Brian Campbell on Making Sense of SaaS Billing Data
In this episode of The Role Forward, Brian Campbell, a Co-Founder of Mosaic, discusses the process he has gone through with the Mosaic data team to provide more granular visibility into SaaS billing data.
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Brian Campbell on Making Sense of SaaS Billing Data
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In this episode of The Role Forward, Joe Michalowski hosts Brian Campbell, the co-founder at Mosaic. The two delve deep into the world of strategic finance, discussing the challenges and solutions of handling high-volume data.
Brian shares his experience working with Stripe, a platform often used by B2C and product-led growth companies. He highlights the rigidity of billing systems and the difficulty of changing historical data. The conversation then shifts to the importance of data cleanliness and setting up efficient processes to make sense of billing data.
The podcast wraps up with Brian encouraging finance leaders to focus on setting up processes that ensure the best possible data quality. This episode is a must-listen for anyone dealing with high-volume data and seeking insights into strategic finance.
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Brian started his career as a Y Combinator-backed founder before moving into a financial analyst role at Palantir. After five years working in financial operations and strategy, he moved on from Palantir to join Everlaw as the company’s Director of Finance. In each finance role, Brian took on the technical work of integrating data from multiple source systems to create a single source of truth for all financial and operational information. But he recognized the need for a more automated solution. He joined Bijan Moallemi and Joe Garafalo to start Mosaic in 2019 and build the Strategic Finance Platform to streamline traditionally manual finance processes.
- High-volume data is a finance problem, especially in B2C and product-led growth companies. And the rigidity of a billing systems like Stripe make it difficult to fully understand that data.
- One of the best ways to ensure data accuracy is by looking at the outputs and setting up strategies for success. This insight underscores the importance of having clean data as the foundation for any analysis or decision-making process.
- There are diminishing returns to perfectionism with data. It's never going to be perfect. Brian encourages listeners to accept this reality and focus on setting up processes that ensure the best possible data quality. This insight is a reminder that while striving for perfection is good, it's also important to be pragmatic and work with what's available.
Episode Highlights from Brian Campbell
4:21 — Understanding the Stripe User Base
Brian explains the type of companies that typically use Stripe as their source of revenue truth. He mentions that these are usually B2C or product-led growth companies with high data volume. The discussion highlights the contrast between these companies and those that use platforms like Salesforce for enterprise contracts. Brian also touches on the challenges these companies face due to the rigidity of billing systems and the high volume of data.
“B2C or product-led growth, where people can self-serve, sign up and automate that process is phenomenal for a lot of reasons. The issue you get into, though, is one tremendous data volume cuz it’s just happening all the time.”
9:44 — The Power of Centralized Data
Brian mentions centralization when discussing methods of storing data. He talks about the need to join data from different systems together, highlighting the limitations of other systems in this regard. This part of the conversation emphasizes the value of having a single place where all data can be accessed, filtered, and analyzed.
“You want one place you can go; it’s all centralized. You can drill down. You can filter, you can show your numbers kinda all in one place.”
10:32 — Granularity in Data: A Rising Demand
Joe and Brian discuss the increasing demand for granularity in data. They talk about how investors and other stakeholders want to see detailed data, not just high-level metrics. This conversation highlights the importance of providing detailed and granular data to meet the demands of various stakeholders.
“Really being able to understand, okay, well, where is this coming from? Why is this happening? And so Mosaic lets you drill into exactly what’s going on.”
16:04 — Unraveling Billing Data Complexity
Brian delves into the process of making sense of billing data. He explains how they look at every detail of historical data, factoring in credit memos, refunds, and time zones. The discussion then shifts to how they handle current month data, emphasizing the importance of having a comprehensive view. This part of the conversation underscores the complexity of managing billing data and the need for efficient processes.
“We’re looking at every single invoice, every single probation line, what’s the amount, what’s the quantity, are there discounts included? All of that is factored in. And so you have this rich bottoms up every detail for your historical data.”
[00:00:00] Joe Michalowski: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Role Forward podcast. My name is Joe Michalowski, and this episode is brought to you by Mosaic, a strategic finance platform that transforms the way business gets done. And today I have a special guest, Brian Campbell, better known as BC co-founder of Mosaic.
[00:00:16] Uh, usually have external guests, but today have the pleasure of talking to BC. BC, thanks for being here.
[00:00:21] Brian Campbell: Glad to be here.
[00:00:23] Joe Michalowski: Cool. Uh, well before we get going, usually it’s a, a mystery to me, but today I kind of know the backstory. But before we get going, for everyone else listening, do you mind giving everyone quick background about yourself, uh, past roles, how you ended up starting Mosaic with BJ and Joe, all that kind of stuff.
Brian Cambell Introduction
[00:00:39] Brian Campbell: Sure, yeah. In, in college, I, I started a company, got into Y Combinator that started the, the founder bug for me. Um, and then I went to Palantir and that’s where I met BJ and Joe. And we were on the finance team, fast growing business there, um, and just really were overwhelmed. So kind of took immediately a kind of like data process automation approach.
[00:00:59] Um, and learned a lot in that process. Kind of automated a lot of what finance was doing. Um, and then we started to be more strategic, um, in that role. Um, and I think that’s where the whole vision of kind of how to approach finance from a data first perspective and, and how to be more strategic with the business, um, kinda came from.
[00:01:16] But we didn’t really put that all together. Uh, it’s when we left, uh, each of us went to be, you know, lead finance teams at different VC back companies where we immediately were back in Excel, Google Sheets and realized like, okay, wow. All the stuff we did there, every finance team needs that’s, we can make something product that actually does this efficiently.
[00:01:37] Joe Michalowski: Love it. Uh, I, I know from what I’ve heard about the story is like you were all, all three of you, uh, finance guys, but you, uh, were the technical one. Joe always defers to you as like, all right, BC was the one putting all the data together. And that’s why I wanted to have you on today cuz we were gonna talk about the, uh, The mess of information that can be SaaS billing data.
[00:01:57] And I know that you have been kind of like up against this for a little bit with our data team. Shout to Caleb. Caleb, if you listen to this, hello. Um, but do you mind walking us through sort of the challenges you’ve seen on the SAS billing data side as far as like what you’re saying, what Mosaic’s vision is and what we need to deal with there?
SaaS Billing Data Complexity
[00:02:17] Brian Campbell: Yeah, definitely. So, um, you know, the billing systems and we’re talking, you know, Stripe charge B, um, SaaS optics, whatever it is. Uh, obviously the billing data is, is crucial to any, any finance business, both for the direct, what it actually represents, how much you’re, you’re invoicing it, and typically what you’re collecting.
[00:02:34] But also that’s usually the source for a lot of these companies of what is your MRR, what is your ARR kinda all these derived SaaS metrics, what is your customer account, et cetera. Um, and so the, the problem with these tools is they are generally massive, like huge transaction volume. Um, the thing you’re trying to get out of it, MRR is not just in there, it doesn’t exist.
[00:02:53] You know, it’s like how much you invoiced and, and you have discount expirations all these complexities. Um, and the data volume is really high. So a lot of customers are, are struggling with. How do I take all this strike data and make sense of it from a, you know, MRR perspective? Um, and it’s just a complex problem.
[00:03:10] There’s a lot of data volume. These systems are rigid. So anyways, we’ll dive more into that, this rest of this podcast, but uh, it’s a tough problem for sure.
[00:03:18] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, I think, uh, one question I have is whether, I know in the past, like in the background, you and I talked a lot about Stripe. Um, but good to know that that’s also like a, a problem for other billing systems as well. And the one, the one point of clarification I wanna make, because we’ve done an episode and we’ve done content about, uh, CRM hygiene and like, this feels very similar.
[00:03:38] Like we talked about, like making your crm, your Salesforce, your HubSpot, like a source of truth for. Revenue data. And so, uh, I think I’ve heard you talk about this a little bit, but can you just talk about like the, the audience for this particular problem? Like what kind of company is using Stripe as the source of revenue truth rather than like a Salesforce or a HubSpot?
[00:03:59] Brian Campbell: Yeah, definitely. Um, so typically more b2c, so business to consumer. Um, and it’s generally like very high data volume, you know, like self-serve, product-led growth companies. Um, people are just signing up online for the, the cheap plan or whatever versus kind of enterprise contracts. You have a sales team, they’re using Salesforce, they’re signing these larger contracts.
[00:04:19] Um, and so. You know, B2C or kind of product-led growth where people can self-serve, sign up and kind of automate that process is phenomenal for, for a lot of reasons. Um, the, the issue you get into though is one tremendous data volume cuz it’s just happening all the time. Um, and then two billing systems are, are relatively rigid.
[00:04:39] Right. They, they’re, they’re structured. You can’t do too much with them. Um, you can’t go really change historicals because they’re kind of customer facing, right? So like the customer sees the invoice and they see this stuff, you can’t just change it. Um, whereas on Salesforce, customers never see that, right?
[00:04:53] You can put whatever you want in Salesforce. You can, and you can go back and change it from two years ago or do whatever, like you kind of in full control in some sense. Uh, for better or worse, there’s. Definitely pros and cons to that, but, um, the, the issue with the, this billing side is you don’t always have that control.
[00:05:06] Um, and the volume’s so high that it’s, even if you could go back and change it, it’s just too much data to.
[00:05:12] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, that was, uh, I remember we were talking to, I think it was Jason Parrots at uh, uh, Galley and he was talking about just like the, the being inundated with data cleanup for the C R m. And that was, he was like, we only have like 200, uh, contracts like historically for me to go through. And it’s just like a whole different animal if we’re talking about the a stripe or like you said, a product-led growth.
[00:05:32] So I just wanted to make sure that that was like front and center as a point of comparison. Um, But I do want to talk, I mean, we’re gonna get into kind of the nitty gritty of, of dealing with all that data, but I’m curious, like, to start off, I know a big part of the project is like there are tools, like there’s the profit wells, there’s the ChartMoguls, there’s the bare metrics of the world that will help companies make sense of this data.
[00:05:55] So like, uh, give them better charting or improve upon like the internal dashboarding of Stripe. So can you just talk a little bit about that relationship, like when. You might decide to use a profit well instead of the internal dashboarding there, and we’ll get into, uh, maybe some of the, the downsides of that.
[00:06:14] But I’m curious like what that step up is, what that progression looks like.
The Problem with Subscription Management Tools
[00:06:18] Brian Campbell: Yeah, so, um, Know, ChartMogul, ProfitWell, Bare Metrics, those are all, all great companies. And when you first get started on a billing system like Striper, Chargebee, they’re great tools. Um, and the reason they exist is because, you know, Stripe wasn’t, Stripe isn’t like an MRR tool, right? It’s a billing tool, right?
[00:06:35] Um, but those, everyone knows that. It’s like, hey, you wanna get your MRR out of it? So those tools pop up, connect or stripe to it, or charge B, and we will kind of create all these SaaS metrics and, and things. Um, And so they’re, they’re great for that purpose. They’re still, and they work kind of out of the box.
[00:06:48] They’re easy to set up and get going. Um, but you kind of get what you get out of ’em, right? You don’t have that much control over it. Um, for the most part they’re, they’re fairly accurate when you’re getting started. Um, and they’re good for like little dashboards to kind of get a sense of what’s going on.
[00:07:03] Um, I think more recently, Chargebee and Stripe are aware that customers want this data. Um, and so they started building a little bit more inside the tooling. So I know Stripe now has like an MRR it’s not that detailed, right? It’s like a bi month by customer kind of report and you don’t have a lot of control over it.
[00:07:20] And a lot of times it doesn’t really make sense or you’re like, where are these numbers coming from? Um, and so I think with some of these other tools, you get a little bit more detailed, but even then, they’re still not exactly what you want. I mean, they’re out of the box tools that they’re easy to set up, but they’re not that customizable.
[00:07:34] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, I’m thinking like the, the range of options you have here, like something like, uh, like these tools are, um, I think in many cases free to an extent or like, you know, pretty cheap on a month to month basis, or like the far end is like, I don’t know, like an Anaplan or adaptive, like something that you’ve implemented like way in like kinda legacy 2.0 and it’s like those are like tens of thousands of dollars, like maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars just to put in place.
[00:07:58] Like what is sort of like the context that you can get? Like at what point do you sort of outgrow the, you know, this is fine, I’m good with like a, a Bare Metrics or a profit. Well, um, and you have to start thinking about as a finance leader, Hey, like this outta the box. Nature like isn’t gonna work for me here.
[00:08:21] Brian Campbell: Yeah, good. Good question. Um, I think it comes down to, Granularity, data volume, complexity of, of what’s going on in your business. Um, and so just even just to give you an example, uh, we’ve had customers come to us they’re using all of them. Like, here’s our ChartMogul, here’s our ProfitWell by metrics.
[00:08:39] Um, and the reason they do that is to just kind of make sure they’re getting the right answer, right? Everyone is a slightly different number. You know, it’s like, hey, we have, they’re off by a thousand each month, but you know, we know we’re in the right ballpark. Um, which on the one hand is, you know, they’re all directionally right?
[00:08:52] But on the other hand, you’re kind of like, well, You know what is actually correct? Like what, which one do we want? And for different reasons they, they make different, you know, they’re different advantages. But, um, so I think when people come to us generally, or when they kinda outgrow these systems are when they have a lot of just nuances to their business that just fit outside the mold of ChartMogul or BareMetrics where, you know, they have some like referral program, there’s lots of credits and this and that, and they wanna treat them differently and you know, they’re kinda not sitting in the mold that, that kinda comes outta the box.
[00:09:22] Um, a lot of adjustments they wanna make. A lot of these tools don’t really maybe do adjustments at scale. Um, if they want to bring in different aspects of their business. So, hey, we have product led growth. That’s great. It’s all in Stripe. We’ve also now started selling enterprise and we’re invoicing out of some other tool, or it’s all in Salesforce.
[00:09:40] And now you kind of, you don’t wanna just go to the different places and put ’em together yourself. You want one place you can go, it’s all centralized. You can drill down, you can filter, you can show your numbers kinda all in one place. Right? So those are the big ones. Um, also, You know, if you want to just add data from different systems together, right?
[00:09:56] So you have, um, you know, stripe data and maybe some of those stripe, um, invoices are actually from Salesforce. Customers and you wanna bring in that Salesforce data, right? So what is the customer name in Salesforce, who’s the sales rep that sold the deal? Kinda like, kinda join all that stuff together. Um, you can’t really do in these, in these other systems very well.
[00:10:13] So, um, you know, a lot of different reasons to move on. Um, I would say another one, just to throw it out there, is just granularity of data, right? you go to to stripe and you look at the stripe outta the box, MRr. It’s just gonna show you a number by month per customer. Well, that customer might have multiple products, they might have multiple invoices, like discounts happening and really being able to understand, okay, well where is this coming from?
[00:10:34] Why is this happening? Um, you know, you can’t do that in these tools very well. Um, and so Mosaic lets you really drill into exactly what’s going on.
[00:10:42] Joe Michalowski: I, uh, I have something, uh, by the time this airs, uh, it will be public knowledge, but, uh, congrats to you and the founding team. We just raised a series C, so, uh, you know, not today, but. this is live, it’ll knowledge. And so part of that project is, uh, something we’re working on in the background.
[00:10:58] We’re working on like a, a due diligence checklist for, uh, our customers and for our prospects as like, Hey, here’s the things like we needed to dig into for, um, for our investors, like as we were raising this round. And so the points you make about granularity are, you know, Really resonate with me. Cause I just finished writing this thing and it was all about like, you know, no one just wants to hear your, you know, your net retention or your a r r.
[00:11:25] It’s like everything that, uh, I heard from Joe G. Uh, other co-founder was, uh, you know, I want ARR by customer. I want top 10 contracts. Like, like all of that granularity needs to be there. And I’m curious, like, as a follow up, Is that granularity demand mainly, uh, in these stages? Maybe like in a, you know, obviously maybe like pre-series D um, is it mostly driven by investors asking for things or how does it impact sort of like the day-to-day of actually trying to plan your business?
[00:11:59] Brian Campbell: Yeah, I, I think it’s, um, the granularity I think comes into play, especially from these billing systems, um, of just trust. There’s like so much data that people just don’t trust, and the, the kind of, the ironic nature that they’re in is like, people in the business, like the, the sales reps or the, the support people kind of know specific customers.
[00:12:21] And so they’ll look at whatever you’re spitting out and be like, that customer’s wrong. Right? And it’s like one of thousands of customers and you’re like, ah, is this really frustrating? Cause every, every data point that people have, there’s like, oh, this is wrong. That’s wrong. And they’re, they’re kinda pointing out all these ED cases.
[00:12:34] Uh, even if in the aggregate you’re, you’re mostly directionally, right? Um, and so that, I think that’s where the frustrating place comes in with all these other tools. You’re like, Hey, this customer’s wrong, that customer’s wrong. And then you start to lose trust in the overall number, even if it’s actually directionally right.
[00:12:45] Um, and so, You know, I think it really comes a lot from internal, the business where people start to feel like, Hey, we have questions around customers like this cohort of customer or this, this new product initiative, or we feel like there’s customers gaming the system, or we have like a. You know, referral problem or you know, whatever.
[00:13:03] And so people start to dig into it. And then that’s when you really want the, the ability to get in and actually get granular in terms of specific invoices, credit memos, refunds, how those are all being fill folded in. Um, because again, you know, each business is, is different. Some treat refunds and credit memos very differently than then other businesses.
[00:13:18] So you wanna be able to kind of, based on how your business operates, make sure that the data is reflecting that. Um, so I, I think it’s more internal. Um, and actually one of the things we, we see often with Mosaic when we set up. The mosaic and they’re looking at their striper charge me data as they start to like uncover a little bit more than they realized, right?
[00:13:35] So they kind of have these, this intuition of things happening, but they don’t really know the supporting data. And now it’s like, oh yeah, these are the 50 customers that are in this bucket of issue or whatever. Right? That, um, and so I think we start to actually, the, the first couple months or even couple weeks of, of the mosaic data experience is like really kind of.
[00:13:52] Exploring your data in a way that you hadn’t been able to before, and really getting down to a detail of like, okay, let me get, get down to this invoice, and then I’ll go open the invoice, invoice up and stripe and look at it and be like, oh yeah, that’s really weird. Why did that happen? Or like, we should change something about our process to make sure we’re not missing invoices every month or whatever.
[00:14:07] It’s so, um, to me that’s always like a satisfying thing. It’s always weird, uh, but it’s satisfying when people kind of really start to understand their data and it, and it impacts how they communicate to the business or, or you know, how they, what they show in their metrics or whatever it is.
[00:14:20] Joe Michalowski: Totally. Uh, obviously like it’s kind of a leading question cuz some of my favorite questions on this podcast are when I, I hear anyone with finance background talk about. Some of that collaboration aspect and we’ll get more into that. Um, but I know that a lot of this comes down to like, well, my investor asked for, like, we did a whole episode with Joel from Amper about like ad hoc analysis.
[00:14:40] It’s just all about like the random requests in the morning that he’ll get, especially when they were like raising their series A. And so, you know, cool to hear that it’s, uh, not just, Hey, I’m on this kind of like treadmill of requests. Like it, it’s really once you make sense of this, it’s really beneficial to like the internal operations of the business.
[00:14:58] So all of that, like everything we’ve kind of talked about, you’ve mentioned a few examples of where you want that granularity. Um, I wanna spend some time like in the weeds and I know that is what you, where you have been with this issue for a while. Um, and I want to hear a little bit about the framework that you all have set up to sort of make sense.
[00:15:20] Of Stripe data. So we’ve realized we need the precision, we need the granularity. And now I’ve, you know, got Mosaic and I’m gonna hook up my stripe data. How do we go about like, giving that level of granularity? Obviously I don’t wanna give away any secret sauce here, but, uh, as much as you could tell me about getting, making sense of that data.
[00:15:42] Brian Campbell: Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I would say in, in general, once you connect your, your stripe data through the api, we suck in kind of all the, the invoice, invoice align detail subscription, subscription items. You know, we pull everything in. Um, and for MRR specifically, kind of the, the revenue SaaS metric dataset specifically, uh, we do everything at an invoice line, item level, right?
[00:16:02] So for all the historical data we’re looking on every single invoice, every single probation line, you know, what’s the amount, what’s the quantity, you know, are there discounts included? Like all of that is, is factored in. Um, And so you have this really rich bottoms up every detail for all of your historical data.
[00:16:18] Uh, we then factor in, you know, credit memos, uh, refunds. We look at time zones and you know, everything’s down to the second. Um, just the way Stripe does everything down to the, down to the millisecond. Um, so, you know, everything ties out. Um, and then for the current month, the current month will switch from using invoice data to using the current subscription data.
[00:16:37] Right? And so as subscriptions are actually kinda actively changing, Stripe isn’t invoicing every second, like it’s just kind of building up these changes. So you get a slightly more kinda UpToDate, uh, view of your current month subscriptions. Um, and so you kinda put all those together and you get your entire kind of history of, of Stripe data in a really accessible, easy to slice and dice kind of drill into way.
[00:16:56] Um, you know, for any given customer in a, in a given month, get down to the invoices, get down to the, the line items, um, you know, whatever you wanna do. Um, and that’s the starting point. So you connect your Stripe data, that kind of happens a little bit more outta the box. Um, And then from there, that’s when, that’s when it starts to get interesting of like, okay, well yeah, that’s kind of in the same ballpark as Baremetrics or, or Chart Mobile, um, but this is what we wanna start doing.
[00:17:19] Or as they start exploring their data, they start realizing like, Hey, this feels weird, you know, we want to do something there. And that’s when you get into the really specifics of, okay, well here’s Stripe. Now we want to join it onto, You, we have custom fields in Stripe. Great. Let’s enable those. Let’s join it onto Salesforce data, or let’s take some other invoicing data and, and bring it in and, and kind of union them together, um, via CSV upload or Salesforce data or wherever.
[00:17:41] We have customers that use Stripe and Chargebee together. So like, you know, whatever it is, like, let’s bring it all together in one place, um, so that you have one place all your metrics are, you know, show your complete picture and you can drill in from there. Um, the, the, the, the nuance though, like where you can really get into to precision is, once customers start getting in there, they know some of the issues they have.
[00:18:00] Right? So it’s like, hey, we have scenario and then we’ve seen this with the customers where um, I just love this example cause I found it so funny. But it was like they had customers gaming their system where they would do all these referrals to themselves almost. Um, and so they would get all these free credits and they would just perpetually use this product for free.
[00:18:16] Right? And they kind of knew what it was a problem, but it’s hard to identify cuz they had so many users. Um, and so they wanted specific, and so for ChartMogul and all these other tools, it was showing as MRR right? It was like, Hey, these customers have MRR. They’re not paying anything cuz it’s credited out.
[00:18:29] But they’re, you know, they have these invoices every month and they get credited and all that stuff. Um, and so they wanted some specific logic that was like, okay, only counted if a customer’s actually paid, right? So just little things like that, that can go a long way. Um, or they had, you know, scenarios where customers were like kind of going away and coming back like month over month.
[00:18:45] And they had this weird like, spiky behavior in there, um, in their data and we can help resolve some of that. So, uh, you know, there’s, there’s always something new to it, honestly. And I I say that in the mosaic can’t actually help and, and, and rectify and kind of get the data right. Uh, at the same time though, there is always that gray area of, there’s a lot of data volume. The reality is like, some of it’s gonna be immaterial at a certain point, it’s going to be like not a big deal. And it’s like you gotta kinda look the bigger picture and be like, Hey, is it worth your time as a, a finance person who’s usually strapped and there’s a million other things to do, like to get, you know, every tiny little detail, right?
[00:19:21] Or is it like, hey, the nature of business, you’re gonna have some, some nuance there, some volatility, some imperfection in the data. And so that’s, that’s always something a customer has to kind of decide for themselves, like where they wanna draw the line. But um, you know, I think we can help get you there in a way that most other tools can’t.
[00:19:35] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, I, I love the story. I mean, uh, apologies to any of those people that are, that were gaming the system and saving a bunch of money. I’m sorry that we are responsible for ending that loophole for you. But, uh, it’s a really cool story, and I know, uh, we had talked about it briefly, like as we were kind of preparing to do this, and I, I was excited to hear more about it.
[00:19:53] So I love that. I think. Something that I want to follow up on is, like you’ve mentioned a few times, like, uh, you’ve mentioned credit memos, credit memos, you’ve mentioned refunds. In that story you mentioned like kind of getting to the granularity of like when they actually paid to record things. So like those all sound like, uh, sort of levers or variables that Mosaic can like, include or handle to customize the way you analyze or report.
[00:20:21] Stripe data. I’m curious, like, can you give me, um, like the full list or like a, the list of key variables that you would consider common ways to sort of tweak or customize that billing data?
[00:20:35] Brian Campbell: Yeah, good question. Um, Obviously the, the one that’s always outta the box is like, do you want to include discounts or not? Right? So like you have one time discounts, you know, uh, repeating discounts or forever discounts and, you know, people want to treat those differently. Um, there’s definitely times people want to have, you know, their, their MRRs like, includes a discount and maybe they have like a gross MRR that that includes, you know, without any discounts.
[00:20:58] So there’s, there’s flexibility in, in terms of how we wanna do that. Um, we’ve definitely had customers where, Like segments of their stripe data they knew was bad. And so we would just kind of filter it out and then bring that data in from somewhere else if they trusted or had a clean file of it, whatever.
[00:21:12] Um, so it really kinda depends on the business of exactly how, what they want to do, I guess. Um, you know, we’ve had customers where, you know, we include, we pull out refunds, you know, automatically. Um, and same with credit notes, but we’ve had customers where how they were using credit notes was just not.
[00:21:27] They knew it was different and they were like, did we do this weird thing? It was like, okay, well yeah, obviously, we’ll, we’ll change it up for you guys. Um, and so some of that’s just conversation and some customers know that coming to us like right away they’re like, here’s. We do X, Y, and Z. Weird. There’s other times where as we’re going through it and, and drilling in and, and kinda validating the data looks good.
[00:21:45] We’re like, Hey, these are weird. These are weird. And, and sometimes they didn’t really even know that before. They just, as they’re investigating, they’re like, Hey, these look weird. Um, and then we start to kind have a conversation with them around what, what they need to do or what we should do for ’em. So, um, and some, and sometimes it is just a process on their end, like, we should just change our process or start doing something, tagging something a little differently.
[00:22:04] And sometimes it’s, Hey, let’s just do something on our end to just filter them out or change ’em up or whatever, how they’re treated. So it just kinda depends on a customer by customer basis. But I think that’s the level of kind of customization you get with Mosaic, uh, working with our data team to actually get in there and.
[00:22:19] Joe Michalowski: Yeah. I would love to, if possible, go through maybe another example beyond the, the gaming, the system one, although that one is fun cause to me, The way it sound, and obviously not a finance guy, so try trying to make sense of it all on my end as well. It’s like, it’s almost like you get a triangle of like MRR numbers.
[00:22:38] Like stripes has one thing and then you hook it up to, you know, chart, insert your favorite subscription management tool here and they’ll show you a slightly different MRR number and you’re like, okay. And then Mosaic is like another slightly different one. So you have this triangle, and our goal when you come in as a customer is to make sense of why those changes are different.
[00:22:57] And why, you know, or how to get it to the most precise number that we can. And that’s kind of everything that you’ve talked about is like going through that. It just feels very abstract to me. So I’m curious if you can like, walk me through an example of like, customer A comes in, they’re dealing with this stripe problem that we’ve seen a bunch and here’s what we’re gonna do and here’s, you know, how we fix it.
[00:23:20] Brian Campbell: Yeah. Um. Okay. Yeah, I guess another example, um, I’ll give is most tools, mosaic included by the way. Um, you kind of choose like, Hey, do I wanna include discounts or not in my MRR or certain discounts, right? And so, and when you say yes or no, whatever the MRR you start to see is, is based on those discounts or not, right?
[00:23:37] So it’s kinda factored in and, and that’s what you get and everything else is built off of that. Um, and so we had a customer come to us and say, that’s great. I want my MR to, you know, not include discounts, but I also want the discounts to kind of show up as like extra line items. Um, so that when I’m looking at my MRR Total, the discounts are included, but it’s a separate object I can filter out on the fly.
[00:23:57] So it’s not like pre-filtered out at the beginning of creating your kind of data. It’s something they can kind of toggle on or off downstream. Um, just the nature of kind of what discounts meant to their business. So, you know, that was something you can’t really do in other tools. You kind of.
[00:24:11] Preconfigure, you say, do you include them? Yes or no? And that’s it, you know? Um, and so in Mosaic we were able to actually have it so that it was, you know, built in, in a way that they can filter it out or, or show how much was discounts versus how much was not. Um, and I think that was, you know, we hadn’t done that before and so it was kind of a, a fun little project to do.
[00:24:28] Um, and, you know, we, we tried to, you know, not always dive into doing custom stuff, but you know, we’re, we’re needed. If it’s important to the business, we can do it. So that’s, I guess, another use case. That was pretty abnormal.
[00:24:39] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, no, that, that’s great. I think, uh, as I do more and more of these episodes, I mean, I, you know, I’ve been at Mosaic for a couple years and this is like, I think you’ll be episode 37 of the podcast, but I spent a lot of time talking to finance people and it seems like every time. Regardless of the topic, it’s like there’s always strange use cases.
[00:24:59] Like there’s like almost nothing standard about the workflows that go on in the day in life of someone in a finance position, even though it’s cyclical for workflows, but like, man, every company’s so different. It’s crazy.
[00:25:14] Brian Campbell: yeah. No, we, we’ve had other customers come to us where, you know, they had Stripe data and they were doing kind of their own logic in Excel or something, and. You know, they had just a lot of volatility of like, it was like very usage based. Um, so up and down, up and down every month. And it was just too noisy.
[00:25:29] Like they couldn’t show it to investors. It was just, it was just all over the place. Um, and so they started using, You know, their MRR was like a rolling average of for each customer kind of thing of like, Hey, what the MRR should be, just to get this like, smoother experience. Um, that was still like relatively bad.
[00:25:43] So, you know, there’s always something. There’s always, you know, obviously, you know, you always want your business to be simple and out the box and everything just works. But you know, the reality is either complex to begin with, or as you scale, you become complex. Um, so you need to do something.
[00:25:58] Joe Michalowski: Totally. Uh, well I appreciate you sort of getting in the weeds with me. I hope it, it, you know, it’s helpful for people cuz you know, uh, I know it’s a big problem for customers that come in and want to use any of these tools, not just Mosaic, but even the ChartMogul’s. Like, as soon as you start using one, it’s like, okay, uh, it’s good but it’s not perfect and every tool seems good, but not perfect until you figure it out.
[00:26:18] Um, so I appreciate that. But I want to zoom out. A little bit, you know, be remiss if I didn’t talk about this, because we are the strategic finance company. So, uh, zooming out, I want to talk about what it means for, you know, someone in your past positions of finance leadership. Like, great, I have, you know, mosaic, they’ve made sense of my stripe data.
[00:26:37] Where before I didn’t have that granularity. Uh, what, what do I get as a benefit? What am I able to do? Uh, what insights can I get from this data that I couldn’t before? Really curious like how this impacts the day-to-day.
Drawing Insights from Billing Data
[00:26:51] Brian Campbell: Yeah, so I think the big thing is really building trust and confidence, right? So when you, whenever you’re using these tools, um, a lot of these other ones out, out there, it’s kind of very customer level. Um, you don’t have the granular to like, really, you get these like dashboards, right? So you’re kind of like pre-bake dashboards and you could filter on a few things, but you really can’t. Explore the data in the way that you want to, right? And that exploration over time really builds trust and confidence, both knowing that when ad hoc things come up, the CEO, investor, whatever, you know, oh yeah, I can dive in and, and know where to go. Um, and I know that the data’s gonna be there. But also just as you start doing that, again, you search to just learn about your data, um, in a way that you, you don’t explore.
[00:27:31] I mean, finest people are great at pivot tables in Excel, right? So you’re like, you know that, that exploration though, if you don’t have it, Um, you kind of just, every time you go into a Bearmetrics or ChartMogul or Stripe, you come into something new and you’re like, ah, that’s weird, or that’s not right.
[00:27:45] Or Why is this customer zero? Or Why is this customer showing MRR they haven’t paid us number? They’re like, you always run into these weird things. Um, and I think with, and you do them like one off because you, you, there’s no really way to explore with ease. So I think with Mosaic, the big thing is all of your data, all your metrics, Um, are coming off this stripe data that’s really granular.
[00:28:04] And so you can, from your net retention, from your, you know, customer account, whatever, you can start really drilling into the details, um, and kinda get into the weeds of the Stripe data behind the scenes. Um, and I think it just, you build confidence and trust in the numbers. Um, and so you can focus less on like every month what are the numbers and, and focus a little bit more on like, Hey, let’s just dive into what it means, or dive into the updating or dive into the other stuff that I need to do.
[00:28:27] Joe Michalowski: The, the dream for every finance person is to not spend all of their time just, uh, digging in, aggregating data. So, uh, appreciate that. I think it makes sense. I want to, uh, I mean, we’ve talked a lot about, or we’ve mentioned a lot of specific tools and, uh, want to get away from the sort of subscription management space.
[00:28:44] So not, not talking about ChartMogul, ProfitWell, Bearmetrics, things like that. But we’ve kind of used stripe as. The de facto. I know you’ve mentioned ChargeBee as well, um, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the past about just like choosing billing systems. I know you said these are really rigid, so I’m curious, like do you have any tips for people to evaluate billing systems?
[00:29:05] Should they consider this sort of data conversation that we’re having as part of it, or is that agnostic tools? Just curious, like what your thoughts are. I know you’ve implemented your share of billing tools in the past, so would love any advice here.
Advice for Choosing a Billing System
[00:29:20] Brian Campbell: Yes. Um. Good question. And so I’d say when we talk about billing systems at Mosaic, um, the, the big ones we see most often are Stripe, Chargebee, um, Ordway and, and SaaS Optics, which is now Maxo, I think. Um, and so those are the big four. You also have like Zoho subscriptions. There’s a long tail of other, other things out there you can use like bill.com, I’m sure, and other things.
[00:29:43] But those are the big four that, that we generally see. Um, and they are very different in terms of what you’re looking for. Um, the first thing I would say, even before kind of. Diving into them is like, understand what you’re actually buying, right? So like charge B and Stripe, you can, there’s all kinds of different add-ons.
[00:29:59] Like are you just payment processing? Are you actually the billing? Are you, do you bring out subscription management, you know, reporting? There’s all kinds of different bundles you can buy, which change what you get and also the the price you buy. Um, but I would say, You know, there’s a reason we talk about Stripe.
[00:30:14] They’re kind of the defacto in, in the market for product led growth. Very API driven, lot of documentation, a lot of experience. I mean, people complain all the time, uh, but for the most part they’re, they’re very good. What they do, it is very rigid. Um, but if you have kind of a website where you can sign up and buy stuff and it’s fully automated, you have usage based stuff in your, in your product, like Stripe is great, right?
[00:30:33] There’s, there’s a reason. They’re kind of the, the standard. Um, but they are fairly rigid and, and fairly simple as well. I would say charge me. Also very good APIs. Um, both of them are very good for like high data volume, uh, relatively simple, um, invoicing structure. I think charge me gives you a little bit more control or better experience.
[00:30:51] From the UI perspective, being able to log in, create invoices, send them out, customize ’em a little bit. Um, and so we’ve had customers use Stripe for user-based kind of self-serve. And then charge me for like enterprise invoicing. Um, just as like a, a subtle example there. Um, you could obviously use all of them for anything.
[00:31:09] Um, and then I would say moving on into Ordway, um, Ordway is a newer player in the market, I think a little bit smaller, but, uh, they have really good APIs, so also, you know, hooking your product and all that stuff. I’d say the where Ordway sets themselves apart from the other two is. You can do really complex subscription management, so you can do all kinds of funky stuff, upsells changes.
[00:31:29] So if you have, like, if you’re trying to automate, um, like enterprise sales with like selling to hospitals and all kinds of different things in whatever happening, both their APIs and their, and their ui, you can do really complex stuff. Uh, obviously they can do the simple stuff well too. Um, but I know for businesses that have more complexity, Ordway is, is becoming more popular.
[00:31:48] Um, and then. SaaS Optics is kind of the older player in the market. Um, they’re not great on the API front necessarily, but if you, if you’re doing like Salesforce enterprise sales with like, you know, you have multi-year contracts and step ups and it’s a little bit more manual. Um, a lot of people like SaaS Optics just cuz it’s, you can, you can really customize it.
[00:32:08] And one of the things SaaS Optics as well, that the others don’t do well, uh, at least from a finance person’s perspective, is it lets you literally set what the MRR is like this contract from this day-to-day. Here’s the MRR, here’s the ARR um, and so there’s no, like, you’re not deriving numbers, you’re not like calculating what it is, it’s just that’s what it’s. Um, and so if, if you don’t, if you do more like enterprise contracts and not super high volume, um, you know, might be a, a good option there.
[00:32:32] But I think most of the people we talk to on the, the b2c, it’s like stripe or hardware are the three that they’re looking at.
[00:32:39] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, that, uh, such an awesome overview. Um, really appreciate you kind of giving the, the pluses for each one. I know. Uh, For, you said Ordway is kind of the newer one in the space. I remember we did a podcast or uh, a webinar and Brian Weisberg, shout out brian Weisberg been on the podcast twice. Uh, great customer Mosaic, but I know he is, uh, has become like diehard Ordway fan.
[00:33:00] Like he was singing the praises and probably for that exact reason is the, the complexity that he is dealing with on sort of like the, the contract side, um, is probably why he likes it so much. So appreciate that overview. It’s a really good one. Um,
[00:33:13] Brian Campbell: I will say all the, all the customers I do have, uh, that are order users, like they love Ordway, so it’s like,
[00:33:20] Joe Michalowski: All right. Go Ordway.
[00:33:21] Brian Campbell: to see that.
[00:33:23] Joe Michalowski: Uh, well congrats to Ordway. I guess. I mean, I know, I know we like Ordway internally, but, um, building a product people love. That’s great. And you know, for billing systems, as far as I can tell, there’s a lot of complaining about billing systems, just the concept of it in general. So if you can build a lovable billing system, I mean, more power to you.
[00:33:41] That’s amazing. Um, anything. The only other thing I’ll follow up with on the tool side, I’m curious if you have any, like, is there like any pitfalls to avoid? I know we talked a lot about like the data setup and maybe they’re all complicated in their own ways or there’s really no avoiding this kind of like, Uh, not issue, but the, the conversation that we’re having now about kind of making sense of all that data, are there, are there pitfalls in general of searching for a billing system, ways that you can get caught up with the wrong one?
[00:34:14] I know you mentioned, uh, kinda knowing what you’re paying for. Curious if there’s anything else.
[00:34:19] Brian Campbell: Um, You know, honestly, like, you’re not gonna go that wrong if you use Stripe, Chargebee, Ordway, to be honest. Like, you’re, you’re, you’re gonna be fine in the end. Um, there’s a reason, you know, Stripe is, is the market leader. Um, but there’s also reasons like Ordway exists, right? You know, wasn’t solving all the problems.
[00:34:35] And people have different, different needs on the billing front. Um, so, you know, the biggest thing you do is just ask around and, and try to ask what they’re good at, whether they’re not, and, and really. Try to hopefully see a little into the future in terms of what your business needs, right? If you’re selling relatively simple one or two, three plans, high volume, you know, Stripe probably is the place for you, right?
[00:34:53] So, so kind of understanding where you fit into there is, is gonna be important to it. Um, I would say in general, for billing systems, though, no matter what you use, they’re gonna be relatively rigid. The data’s never gonna be perfect at the end. So one of the things you can do is whatever you choose to do, just make sure you’re looking at that data.
[00:35:10] As much as possible, um, either directly or with Baremetrics or mobile or someone like Mosaic because you know, it’s gonna add up very quickly. And then you don’t wanna look back over a year or two and be like, wow, our data’s a total mess. You know, like, Hey, and, and some of that is just process, right?
[00:35:25] Like how are you tagging stuff in the system, you know, working within the confines of whatever tool you’re using, but just doing it as well as you can do it. Uh, that’s probably the biggest thing. And so, I think one of the best ways to make sure that you’re entering the data correctly is by looking at the outputs, um, and just making sure you’re setting yourself up for success over the next couple years.
[00:35:43] Joe Michalowski: I feel like I could have changed the name of this podcast to just garbage in, garbage out. I feel like almost every time I’m coming toward the end of the topic, I’m like, all right, like what can we learn? And it’s almost always like, Hey, make sure you have clean data. Make sure you’re starting with the foundation.
[00:35:56] And so, I mean, we talk a lot about like setting up that process. I mean this whole episode was about the process of sort of making sense of billing data. So appreciate that. It kind of sums up with that. Um, And yet we are the Role Forward. So no garbage in, garbage out podcast, but maybe somebody else can run with that if they want to.
[00:36:12] Um, all right, BC I have uh, two more higher level questions. So, um, thank you for bearing with me. As I sort of grill you on the specifics of all the work you’ve done on Stripe, I think there’s a lot of really great information that you already laid out. But I’m curious, just high level, uh, you’ve spent a bunch of time sort of building this framework, standardizing SaaS billing data to the extent that it can be so that it can go into Mosaic.
[00:36:39] I’m curious, like what’s one of the biggest takeaways that you’ve learned while diving deep into this problem of rigid billing data?
Key Takeaways and Career Lessons
[00:36:49] Brian Campbell: The, the biggest takeaway, uh, I would say to what I just said about garbage, garbage out is, is um, it’s never gonna be perfect. It’s just, it’s just not gonna be perfect. Um, and you’re not gonna be able to change it. Um, and so because of the data volume or because the systems you rigid, like there is going to be some imperfection in your data.
[00:37:11] Um, and obviously the reason you wanna look at your data as soon as you start using the tool is to make sure that you’re kind of setting yourself up for, Hey, the processes were, the data tagging is, is as good as it can be early on. Um, but even then there’s, something’s gonna happen. You’re gonna have edge cases.
[00:37:26] Um, and so a company like Mosaic, we can. Clean up some of that. But even still, there’s, with enough data volume, with enough data complexity, there’s still going to be some imperfections of data. Um, and I think finance people, as they start drilling into it, as they’re looking at it, when they see it and they know it’s wrong, it’s infuriating.
[00:37:44] Like you just, like, you have to get it right. Um, and, and so I think that to me, one of the big things I’ve seen with certain customers is like, they kind of start going down a rabbit hole. Um, and it, it could be a little bit too much, um, where it’s like, Hey, is this material at this point, um, for their, you know, they have hundreds of customers and it’s like, okay, one or two customers are off this month.
[00:38:05] It’s like, okay, but their, their volatility every month is, is all over the place. So I think for me, that’s, that’s one of the big things of, um, you know, as people really start looking into their data, we clean up more of it. We get into a better state, but sometimes there’s always still something else.
[00:38:20] Right. And at a certain point you’re like, Hey, you know, is that the best use of time? Um, and I, you know, I’ve seen it so much. It, you know, it’s, it’s infuriating, you know, a little bit to, to, you know, whenever you see it and you’re like, oh man, I, I can tell, uh, they know it’s wrong or, or not even wrong, but just it’s not how they want their business to look, right.
[00:38:40] Like this customer, I don’t wanna look this way even though it is that way. Um, and so you’re like, Hey, you know, so that’s always one of the things that I, I see finance people struggling with. Um, and you know, sometimes you have to help step back and be like, Hey, we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars or whatever.
[00:38:54] Like, we’re really at a point where this is not. Worth anyone’s time. Um, and I think that with the billing data, they can be really frustrating. Uh, just cuz the volume is so high, there’s always something.
[00:39:06] Joe Michalowski: I think, uh, I kind of feel like the answer to this question I’m gonna ask is just gonna be like a big, it depends, but I’m gonna ask it anyway cuz why not? Uh, I’m curious, like you mentioned earlier about the same topic, like kind of knowing where to draw the line in the sand. And so you, I mean, you’ve done this work, uh, in multiple positions.
[00:39:22] Like you’re seeing it now with customers like on the mosaic side. Like do you have a tip for. Deciding where to draw that line in the sand? Like how do you know, or is it kind of just a feel like as your business grows and you just kind of have to make a judgment call? I’m curious if there’s anything that you can look at to figure that out.
[00:39:41] Brian Campbell: Yeah, it’s, it’s totally a, it’s totally a feel. It’s, there’s no, like, uh, there’s no clear, that’s part of the frustrating part, but there’s no clear, clear answer. Um, But, you know, I, and it, and it, it changes over time too, right? Like, so
[00:39:53] Joe Michalowski: Sure.
[00:39:54] Brian Campbell: when you’re smaller, like, hey, it’s got a town, we have exactly 200, two customers, whatever.
[00:39:57] Like, okay. Absolutely. Um, and then over time it might be like, Hey, we’re talking thousands and thousands of customers. I, you know, I don’t care as much about some of the nuance there, right? I, I just wanna make sure that there’s no cohorts of customers slipping through in a way that I don’t like, right? So it’s, you become more about these bigger patterns.
[00:40:14] Um, So it, it’s just totally on a customer-to-customer basis and it, and it changes over time. So it’s hard to say, but it’s more of, I, it’s more of a balance of like, what is, as you are a finance person, what is your opportunity cost? Like, what else could you be doing to the business? Um, and, you know, maybe you’re about to fundraise money and you now is the right time to really care and, you know, whatever.
[00:40:33] But like most of the time it’s not, um, so it just, it totally depends.
[00:40:37] Joe Michalowski: Yeah, makes sense. Uh, appreciate you adding some detail to it. I kind of figured it was gonna be an independence, but I still think, uh, the detail was good, so I appreciate it. Um, all right, last question. We ask everyone that comes on bc. So appreciate you bearing with me again. Uh, but want to know super high level, what’s one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started out in finance?
[00:40:58] Brian Campbell: Um, okay. One kind of a joke, I thought accounting was more by like, I thought accounting was like, there was one right answer. It was black and white, and that’s not true anymore. Um, there’s just, there’s so much nuance to accounting. I’ve learned that, but, um, you know, I’m not an accountant, so I won’t dive into that, but, uh, no, I think for me, I’m, I’m a data guy, so, you know, part of the reason I got into finance was data and numbers.
[00:41:22] Right. Um, but I, I wish I knew earlier in finance that, that it was really about empowering the business with data. Um, that is something like that really being strategic and helping the business as opposed to, I’m just, Doing my job, like in finance, I have a job to do. I report to the ceo, whatever, like, you know, these are the things I need to do.
[00:41:43] Close the books every month, report update. Um, and obviously you do have to do that stuff and, and that is your first primary responsibility. Um, and so to me though, you know, finance is uniquely situated to, once you’ve done your work, you’re uniquely situated to actually help the business a way that no other department can.
[00:42:03] Right. Like marketing department is never gonna be like, Hey, customer success, let me analyze your data and like, look at stuff together. Or vice
[00:42:10] Joe Michalowski: Can vouch for that. I will not do that for cs.
[00:42:13] Brian Campbell: yeah, but, but finance, right? So finance already is talking to every department, um, both for, you know, budgeting, which, you know, is what it is, but also for like, hey, I’m, I’m trying to build a, a report from the investors.
[00:42:24] Like whatever our leads generated every month, one of our customer acquisition costs, like you’re already communicating with every department. With data, right? And so I think when I first started out, you know, as a young professional, it was like, Hey, let me, I have my responsibilities. I need to prepare this deck.
[00:42:39] I need to get this data from, uh, a department, right? Or I need to, here’s their budget. I need to sit down with them and have them review and understand it, and, and that’s it. Um, and I think over time, whatever, you know, finance has this access to data, um, which again, as a young professional is fun and exciting, but really how do you empower other business leaders with that so you’re not just kind of.
[00:43:00] Make it a two-way street, um, right, where you’re not just needing things from them for budgets or, or asking for their data, so you can put it into a deck for investors or, or whatever. Um, but really try to make it a two-way street. And it’s, it’s subtle, but it goes a long way. So, and it is, it starts with just, well, it starts with automating a lot of your work.
[00:43:16] Um, and so a tool like, you know, selfless bug for Mosaic to like help you streamline some of your stuff so you can start to have more time to do things like this. So, you know, in your first year or two at a, at a startup, probably not, but after that, Um, you can sit down with each department lead and just basically like, Hey, what, what are the metrics you care about?
[00:43:30] Like, you know, customer support, support, tickets per customer, you know, engineering, you know, efficiency or how much you’re completing every sprint, whatever it is, right? So you can start to, to learn a little about that and start to, hey, like, hey, how can I help that? Help you get more data, or maybe we can look at for each customer support ticket, you know, request, how much are each of those customers spending on us, right?
[00:43:50] So are you spending a lot of money on customers actually not giving you a lot of money back, right? Um, in terms of time and everything else. So you can start to give them stuff, and even if it’s really small, so you know, when you’re doing your budget updates with department leads, include their operational metrics in it, right?
[00:44:05] So like, Hey, here’s your numbers, here’s our number. Like here’s your whole picture of the business, right? The reason you’re spending money is so that your operational stuff is better. And it just starts to make the conversation more about strategically how their department is doing versus just, here’s your budget, right?
[00:44:21] It’s like, okay, well here’s your, your support tickets this month, whatever. Um, and so you have to be in a, a good enough relationship where they, they trust you to like, Hey, you’re, you’re pulling the right numbers. You don’t wanna ever show them numbers that they’re like, these are my numbers in the wrong.
[00:44:32] Um, so you have to be in a place where everyone’s aligned on, Hey, these are the numbers. These are where they get them. And again, that’s where Mosaic come into play of like, All that data’s flowing into one place. Uh, maybe it’s going either Snowflake database first and then it’s going to mosaic. But everyone’s aligned on what those numbers are.
[00:44:44] So when you’re showing them, it’s not like a, you know, it’s not weird that they’re seeing them from you. Um, but you can start more talking about, Hey, what is going on? Like, how can we, do you need to hire more people? Or what is the goal there? Or even when you’re doing your, your forecast, right, even if the ratio of customers to support reps is not, Input to your model, even just having it in his output.
[00:45:04] So when you’re showing the forecast of the budget for the year, you can be like, Hey, by the end of the year, by the way, this is your ratio of support tickets for customers, right? So those little things start to go a long way for different department leads to really trust finance and see finances.
[00:45:18] Like, hey, they’re, they’re thinking about us strategically. Like we’re having a deeper conversation around, around the business. Um, so yeah, early on I didn’t really know that. Um, I see that now I. Not every business is like that, by the way. I’m very transparent. Um, in terms of the, the approach I think Mosaic is we want people to be transparent. businesses, you know, it’s up to the CEO, I guess to some extent. But, um, that’s, that’s how I view the role of finance.
[00:45:41] Joe Michalowski: No, I, I love that. I think, uh, you know, fits in with everything that, you know, most extands for. I think it fits in candidly with, with how you all run our business, how I feel when I work with you guys. I mean, I get to sit here and chat with you about this on, uh, a podcast for marketing. Like, you could be off doing something else.
[00:45:58] Like there is a, a good relationship between finance, not just in the numbers, but I think in, uh, everything that we do. So I appreciate it. Um, so love that answer. I think, uh, Coming up. We’re at the end of time. So just wanted say, I appreciate you, uh, taking the time in the day to, to do this. I think there’s a lot of great information here.
[00:46:16] Um, but the floor is kind of yours here. Uh, anything that you wanna plug, anything you’re excited about that’s coming up, um, where can people connect with you? The, the floor is yours to pitch, whatever you would like. Uh, usually this is like a customer or like a somebody external. We kind of pitch mosaic all the time, but you can, if you want.
[00:46:35] Brian Campbell: Yeah, I mean, um, I guess super excited to share that we got our series C, um, you know, that’ll be out there at this point in time. Uh, really excited about what that’s gonna mean for Mosaic. Um, we’ve got a really high powered engineering team right now, cranking out a lot of really awesome stuff to just, to make the app more flexible and more just kinda configurable to every company, every nuance that they care about.
[00:46:54] Um, and that’s just gonna add to that. And we’re also gonna start layering in a little ai, you know, chatGPT, all that stuff is exciting time. So, um, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity to. You know, help out finance with that, kind of embedding that into, into a product like Mosaic. So just really excited about the future, uh, what’s coming and yeah, all I
[00:47:13] Joe Michalowski: got.
[00:47:14] Sweet. Uh, well, BC thank you so much for, for joining. Um, we’ve been doing this for a while. I’m a little disappointed that it took me this long to get you on the podcast, but thank you and I hope we can do it again because like I said, I’ve said this before. Um, I’m very fortunate at this company to have a lot of finance, subject matter experts, former finance people, and from day one, I’ve been working on content here for like almost two and a half years.
[00:47:38] And from very early on you’ve always been, uh, very good at bearing with me explaining things that I clearly have no experience in or understanding of. Uh, so appreciate you taking the time doing that for other people, not just me for once. So thank you.
[00:47:51] Brian Campbell: It’s a pleasure honor to beon the podcast finally..
[00:47:54] Joe Michalowski: Cool. Uh, well we will connect again soon, man, and uh, I’ll talk to you later. See you.
[00:47:58] Brian Campbell: Awesome. Bye.
[00:48:01] Joe Michalowski: You fucking serious.
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