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Strategic Finance in B2B SaaS

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Bijan Moallemi

Founder's Spotlight

Holding key financial leadership roles at Qualcomm and Palantir Technologies by itself positions Bijan Moallemi, Founder and CEO of Mosaic Tech as a uniquely qualified finance leader. Factor in his innovative use of technology and automation to enable more efficient hyper-growth and his desire to make this level of automation available to anyone trying to implement a strategic finance function in the B2B Cloud industry, Bijan is a market visionary. His story starts with the challenges he found upon joining Palantir as a 100 person, yet $2B Enterprise Valuation company.  Even at that lofty valuation, even the most basic financial questions were difficult to answer with the existing infrastructure, and would often take days, by which time decisions that could have been informed with the data were already made.  His first task was to implement the right infrastructure to move from reactive to proactive financial planning, management and ultimately become a forward looking, strategic finance organization.   At Palantir, Financial Operations including all FP&A, business operations, budgeting, forecasting and included all of the systems that drove all revenue including financial and CRM systems.  By owning the end to end system architecture, it allowed the team to have a scalable, and nimble financial operations function.   Most finance organizations face the challenge of requiring source data from multiple systems across the organization.  By having the primary underlying systems responsibility, coupled with the ability to define the standard data ontology across the customer lifecycle and organization. When pushed on how Bijan defines a "strategic finance function", he started by highlighting the key components of a strategic finance function "Get the Right Data to the Right People on a timely and digestible basis".  The role of the CFO has become more technical, and the toolkit required for a modern CFO have not kept up.  A primary cause is that access to the data and insights are not typically available at the speed or context required. 52%  of B2B SaaS/Cloud metrics required for a strategic finance function are currently being captured and calculated manually in excel and Google Sheets.  Unfortunately, many metrics are still siloed within each function, such as Sales, Marketing and Customer Success.  Until his data is integrated, normalized and available in real-time, decisions will continue to be made on backward looking, historical information versus the relevant data from yesterday or even today.   Think about this, how can you plan for next month or next quarter with data that is only available 10-30 days AFTER the new accounting period has started??? One of the key attributes for the modern finance leader is the ability to "tell the story" that the data is telling.  Bijan refers this to the "synthesis" of the data deserves a much greater share of mindshare and time. If you are responsible for generating or the recipient of SaaS/Cloud metrics to help make metrics informed decisions, Bijan and his unique insights how to deploy and leverage standardized, integrated and forward looking insights to make better metrics informed decisions while building a modern, strategic finance function are a great listen!

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