Company:
Top Hat
Description:
The higher education app that makes active learning come to life.
HQ:
Toronto, Ontario
Founded:
2009
Industry:
Computer Software
Use Cases:
Automation, Reduce Month-End Close, Modernize Legacy Systems, Reporting & Analytics, Revenue Allocation
Boxes
Customer Story

Leapfin helps Top Hat reduce time to close at month-end by 89%

Company:
Top Hat
Description:
The higher education app that makes active learning come to life.
HQ:
Toronto, Ontario
Founded:
2009
Industry:
Computer Software
Use Cases:
Automation, Reduce Month-End Close, Modernize Legacy Systems, Reporting & Analytics, Revenue Allocation
Goal:

Top Hat, based in Toronto, is the leading educational software company. Top Hat has been growing very rapidly – now used at 75% of the top 1000 leading colleges and universities in North America. As the Director of Revenue Operations, Minnie needed to ensure that her revenue systems and processes are robust enough to handle the business’s rapid expansion. However, because Top Hat’s existing financial systems could not scale with the business, revenue recognition and financial reporting became a bottleneck to day-to-day operations and decision making. In addition, Top Hat planned to launch a new pricing structure to encourage full-suite product adoption. This launch would introduce additional complexity that existing financial systems are not equipped to handle.

Minnie knew that her existing revenue processes in Excel, coupled with Top Hat’s massive transaction volume would not be able to handle this complexity. She needed to modernize her legacy systems and processes as soon as possible.

Challenge:

The core of the issue stemmed from Top Hat’s legacy financial systems being unable to handle its massive transaction volume. Before Leapfin, Minnie’s revenue processes relied on a lot of Excel and a SuiteSync integration between Stripe and NetSuite. Top Hat’s success also meant they could sometimes bring in upwards of millions of transactions in a single week. NetSuite’s limitations and legacy architecture were unable satisfy Top Hat’s transactional volume needs and would cost Minnie’s team 30-90 days just to close their books every month.

Since Minnie’s time was completely consumed by the month-end close process, there were many value-add projects she wished she could spend more time on to help drive business growth, including:

  • Providing analytical support for her CFO and cross-functional teams
  • Analyzing all business areas for opportunities
  • Ensuring revenue completeness and no revenue leakage

The right software solution was hard to find:

Searching for the right software solution was not an easy undertaking. Minnie evaluated NetSuite’s Advanced Revenue Module (ARM) as well as Zuora RevPro but ultimately found them both to be unsatisfactory to meet Top Hat’s business needs.

Since NetSuite’s integration with Stripe limited Top Hat’s ability to scale as a business, Minnie knew that using NetSuite’s ARM would not address the core of the issue. In addition, the quoted implementation period was greater than 1 year. Minnie needed to go-to-market in just a matter of months, so this delay is something she couldn’t afford.

Zuora RevPro was also not a great business fit for Top Hat. Minnie found Zuora’s bread and butter was its Zuora Billing for traditional subscription SaaS businesses. But since Top Hat’s business model was much more unique, it was clear that Top Hat would have to modify its own business to work with Zuora’s systems and this was a deal breaker.

Leapfin is more than just a software vendor – they’re our partner as well. They give us advice on best practices for systems setup, configuration, business processes, and more. Leapfin is an invaluable resource.

Minnie Luo, CPADirector of Revenue Operations

Solution:

When Minnie finally came across Leapfin, she knew it was everything she needed:

  • Scalable platform that can handle Top Hat’s massive transaction volume
  • Implementation timeline of just a few months
  • Flexibility to adapt to Top Hat’s unique business needs
  • Access to real-time business insights

Since Leapfin easily integrates with all of Top Hat’s existing financial systems, Top Hat didn’t have to change any existing processes or systems. Top Hat’s data engineering team simply sends relevant financial data to Leapfin to enrich its barebones Stripe data. Leapfin’s automation and rules engine also completely eliminated any reliance on Excel. Now, it takes Minnie’s team just 5 days to produce revenue reports for the executive team and less than 10 days for the entire month-end close process -- a reduction in days spent of 89%!

With Leapfin, Minnie can afford to move away from day-to-day transactional reporting and invest more time in insights reporting, analysis, and forecasting. When her CFO asks for revenue numbers, Minnie can just easily look at Leapfin’s dashboard.

Top Hat’s revenue forecasting has also improved drastically – much to the delight of investors. The FP&A Manager simply takes the deferred revenue number from Leapfin’s real-time revenue dashboard to incorporate into his forecasting model on a regular basis. No more using outdated deferred revenue numbers that don’t reflect what’s actually happening in the business.

Now that Leapfin is live, the finance function is no longer a bottleneck to business strategy and growth. When presented with a new business model, Minnie can finally say to her cross-functional partners, “Yes, this is possible. We can implement this business logic in Leapfin.”