Using Floqast Connect 2.0, Nerdwallet Gets Real-Time Data for Their Close
Oct 01, 2019 | By John Siegel
Having the assurance of real-time figures pulled directly from the close is crucial to the month-end close. In the age of technology-driven data and analytics, having what you need at your fingertips isn’t just important: It’s mandatory.
At FloQast, we’re well aware of this. That’s why we created FloQast Connect 2.0, a tool that allows teams to seamlessly integrate with our award-winning close management software by sending their Trial Balance on a scheduled basis to a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) folder. As soon as the file is received by the SFTP Server, Connect 2.0 will refresh the team’s FloQast instance with all the up-to-date data from the report. To help illustrate why this is so important, we spoke with FloQast Product Manager Naimur Rahman about developing the product, as well as users from GlobalLogic and NerdWallet about their experience using Connect 2.0.
Building Connect 2.0
Eliminating the process of manually uploading a Trial Balance repeatedly into FloQast was a top priority. The first iteration of Connect 2.0 was a direct ERP to Cloud Storage solution. However, having a more robust ERP-to-SFTP solution is more streamlined, has fewer restrictions, and is easier to implement.
In particular, this idea resonated with GlobalLogic, an Oracle team with over 60 accountants using FloQast. With the dozens of entities, GlobalLogic had in their environment, manually uploading TB reports various times a day did not seem feasible – the team needed to account for ongoing changes happening in their ERP, without adding administrative responsibilities to their daily close processes. With Connect 2.0 introduced, GlobalLogic has had overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the tool since its implementation.
Ease of setup, ease of use
When Rahman was first working on FloQast Connect 2.0, he wanted to ensure the solution we created was a simple alternative to have most mainstream ERP’s connect to FloQast, while also having low maintenance fees. As a result, most Connect users have an overall higher NPS score, as well.
By design, Connect 2.0 doesn’t require a lot of IT intervention. According to Rahman, the main qualifications for the IT team in order to assist with implementation:
- Familiarity with ERP Systems
- Foundational knowledge about Networks, Firewalls, Ports, and FTP
- Foundational knowledge about network security
For the future of FloQast Connect 2.0, Rahman indicated that FloQast is going to iterate based on client feedback and overall business strategy. FloQast already updated FloQast Connect 2.0 to allow for CSV, in addition to Excel files, and plans to optimize Connect 2.0 by introducing FloQast Match to help automate the process of matching large volumes of transactions.
“I just know this is going to be tied out every morning.”
NerdWallet, one of several dozen customers using FloQast Connect 2.0, is a SaaS company with a mission to provide clarity for all of life’s financial decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco, their tools and advice make it easy to expertly pay off debt, choose the best financial products and services (think credit cards and insurance), and tackle major life goals, like buying a house and saving for retirement.
Kelvin Chun, accounting manager at NerdWallet, decided to implement FloQast Connect 2.0 with their instance of Oracle and FloQast because it was not time-efficient to export the Trial Balance and upload it multiple times per day. Additionally, each time the Trial Balance was exported it would take 10 minutes to upload. With Trial Balance totals changing often, Chun found himself hounding team members about incorrect reconciliations thanks to outdated balances. Since deploying Connect 2.0, that has changed. “I don’t have to ask people about it anymore,” he said. “I just know this is going to be tied out every morning.”
In reference to a more strategic review process, Chun reported: “Previous to FloQast Connect 2.0, when I was reviewing the Excel workbook at the same time, I would have to check the TB in Oracle. With FloQast Connect, knowing the TB is updated in FloQast often, all I have to do is Say, ‘hey, you have to fix this in your Excel work paper,’ and not worry about the TB as a second step.”
As for the impact of real-time numbers on the close, Chun was emphatic about how important having FloQast Connect 2.0 was. “During the close, we are saving hours per day for our team by automating this process. We have six people plus FP&A needing to understand our totals. Now we have freed up each person with hours per day during the close, and this is an efficiency gain. No one has to wait for anyone else, and the numbers are just there.” Noting that while working in Oracle can get complicated, Chun indicated that the setup seemed simple and their Oracle consultant could handle it all. In fact, the average setup time for FloQast Connect 2.0 has been 2-3 days.