With FloQast, ZoomInfo Adds the Transparency and Efficiency to Successfully IPO
Jun 23, 2020 | By John Siegel
Given how almost all signs were pointing toward explosive growth following a much-publicized merger, ZoomInfo found itself facing major accounting challenges at a time when experts were predicting IPO — and a big one at that.
In 2019, competitors DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo completed a merger that created a juggernaut in the marketing intelligence space. With thousands of organizations relying on the now-named ZoomInfo for its sales and marketing information services — now considered to be the industry leader — things were looking very, very optimistic.
Internally, however, the transition started out rough. The acquisition saw transactional volume explode, resulting in an overburdened accounting team struggling to scale and a month-end close that soon ballooned from its usual five-to-six days to north of 30.
As if things couldn’t get much worse, the solution that management hoped to implement to bring the close under control, BlackLine, proved quickly to be a poor fit for the organization with repeated failed implementations, numerous training sessions, and poor staff adoption. It didn’t take long for Director, Financial Systems Dave Witty to start looking for alternative solutions.
“BlackLine had been purchased by the organization before I came on board,” lamented Witty. “There had been two failed attempts to get the product up and running. Honestly, the integration between NetSuite and BlackLine was the most painful process I've ever experienced within an integration. The training process with users was very difficult — we had very low compliance from the users. After going through eight hours of training videos on BlackLine U. They came away from that looking at me and going, ‘What do I do now? I still don't know. I need guidance.’"
After presenting his conundrum to leadership, Witty received the go-ahead to commence a replacement search, which led him to FloQast. Although he admitted that he first thought the close management software was too good to be true, it soon became apparent that was not the case.
“I’m used to hearing about seamless implementation from salespeople, and in almost every case, it’s not true,” said Dave. “When we purchased FloQast, everything everyone said was true. I literally had the integration between Google Drive and NetSuite done within 15 minutes, not the three-month time period I'd been working with BlackLine to get things implemented without success. FloQast helped guide us to create a proper close list that would give us visibility and transparency into our closed process. We had a one-hour training session with our 21 accountants and they all understood it immediately. FloQast is the most intuitive third-party integration I have ever implemented to NetSuite. We were up running and had full visibility into our closed process within a month.”
Within two months, the company’s close was back at 6-days — down from over a month beforehand. With plans moving forward for an IPO, the universe decided it was time to intervene. With nationwide shelter-in-place orders, ZoomInfo, like many other companies, shifted to a 100% remote-work policy. Unlike many, however, the accounting department was able to do so without missing a beat.
“FloQast has allowed us to seamlessly move to a work-from-home policy and still have complete control and visibility into our accounting close. It’s allowed us to stay on schedule with our close, even after transitioning 1,300 employees to remote-work policy. It's given our managers the ability to effectively supervise employees, to confirm everyone stays on point, and to ensure accuracy and consistency. It's been pretty groundbreaking so far, and we’re ahead of those unforeseen circumstances that now make remote work more important than ever.”
In June, ZoomInfo became the first tech company to IPO during the COVID-19 era, closing at a valuation north of $13B and bringing in more than $900M.