Numeric × Public.com: Scaling a smooth month-end close
Public.com is a popular investing platform that empowers members to build a modern portfolio with any asset, from equities to digital assets like crypto and NFTs to art and collectibles, all in one place. And with a collaborative community of millions of members, innovative in-app content such as Public Live audio programs, Town Hall forums that connect investors with leaders at publicly traded companies, and premium content that helps its members level up their investing sophistication, the company is well on its way to achieving its mission to make the public markets work for all people.
To keep pace with their accelerated growth and rapidly expanding team, Public.com has found it crucial in recent years to establish best practices across their many departments. So when Sruthi Lanka joined Public.com as CFO in late 2020, she quickly found that many of the finance and accounting team’s workflows needed overhauling. With the company growing extremely quickly, Sruthi knew it was imperative to optimize the team’s efficiency to be as effective as possible with a lean accounting team. As a result, one of the first solutions she looked to implement was a close management product to make sure her colleagues were able to reclaim hours of their lost time back – each and every month.
Following a traditional month-end close approach and typical of early-stage venture-backed technology companies meeting intense market demands, Public.com’s finance team was managing the close process entirely out of spreadsheets. But they soon found it frustratingly difficult to collaborate and get work done effectively. This labor intensive process – hours and hours of gathering materials, manually reconciling multiple ledgers, compiling final reports, and more – was highly stressful for employees. At the same time, a resulting lack of confidence and understanding of the numbers pulled management and executives away from more strategic initiatives.
Further compounding the problem, their traditional close process used many disconnected pieces of software, with a great deal of time spent emailing back-and-forth to gather materials. Disjointed sources of truth made it difficult for senior members of the accounting team to quickly understand key details, creating redundant work and wasted time.
Sruthi and her team – including Director of Accounting Yifei Wang and Senior Accountant Mary Caiello – ultimately sought new solutions after concluding that their system wouldn’t scale with them as they increased headcount and implemented more robust financial controls. As Mary summarizes, their former process “was not a good way to show auditors that the right work is getting done every month. And there was no formal documentation of any reviews taking place.” The team needed a fast, intuitive, and user-friendly product, and the status quo of cluttered spreadsheets was certainly not doing the job.
Within just a couple days of receiving a demo, Public.com formally transitioned their close process to Numeric. Immediately it was apparent that Numeric offered a dramatic upgrade from the status quo. Offering a lightning-fast platform that would allow for swift and efficient collaboration across team members along with complete visibility through the close process, Numeric instantaneously supercharged the productivity and satisfaction of Public.com’s finance team. Here’s how it happened:
From the outset, the Public.com team found setup and implementation to be incredibly smooth. As Mary describes, the entire onboarding experience was
“really, really easy... Numeric took a lot of the load off our shoulders.”
The team found the user interface of the product to be sleek and perceptive, which helped provide an effortless transition.
At the same time, the ability to seamlessly link Excel sheets proved to dramatically improve the reconciliation process. To this day, Mary maintains that it remains her most prized feature.
“It makes it really, really easy and saves us a lot of time. Just to be able to see automatically whether or not our schedules tie to the NetSuite balances… I think that’s my favorite feature."
Additionally, as Public.com’s finance team has matured and scaled in recent years, Numeric has been essential in making the process as smooth as possible. In particular, Mary notes that “Numeric has been extraordinarily valuable with managing team changes. Team members have been able to pin walkthrough videos of how to actually do each task while adding detailed descriptions in the product, which has been extremely, extremely helpful.”
But most importantly, Numeric accelerates the team’s month-end close process while providing crystal-clear visibility for everyone involved. With Numeric’s centralized month-end playbook and automation, Public.com’s accountants are now able to handle more complex accounting workflows while being able to effortlessly coordinate on open tasks.
Numeric’s comprehensive month-end close solution has enabled Public.com to realize meaningful improvements to their business and bottom line. In particular, as Public.com has become more specialized and has added complexities to their accounting processes, Numeric has helped put the right review processes and best practices in place. Despite being a newcomer to the space, Numeric has helped Public.com excel through many traditional accounting complications and complexities, such as handling multiple entities and currencies. Going forward, Public.com expects to save over two days a month on their close due to Numeric.
On top of the time savings as a result of heavily streamlined reconciliation workflows and report verification, Public.com has found the need for meetings and redundant tasks to have declined significantly. And for Yifei, it has allowed her to take a substantial step back in terms of her day-to-day involvement, helping alleviate strain on staff and in turn encouraging more creativity and autonomy, especially from more junior team members. Now, she can stay informed on her team’s progress without ever needing to click beyond the Numeric dashboard. “It’s very useful for me to understand where the team is, in terms of the closing process.”
Ultimately, Numeric was able to help Public.com establish and formalize their own best accounting practices at a critical inflection point in their company’s growth trajectory. And perhaps most compellingly, Numeric has been able to help the Public.com achieve their goals of closing more efficiently. They are realizing 25-35% efficiency gains, helping almost 3x their work capacity, while simultaneously lowering their team’s stress level. Junior-level employees feel empowered to take on more responsibility, allowing senior management to dedicate more time towards important big-picture initiatives.
If you’d like to learn more about how Numeric can supercharge your month-end close, request a demo today.