Case Study

With Glean AI, Laika’s Finance Team is Ready for Growth

Cassie Crail
November 3, 2021

Laika, a fast-growing compliance startup, has a lean finance and accounting team of one. Glean AI provides the automation and visibility their finance manager needs to scale successfully without the need to hire any additional dedicated AP personnel.

About Laika

What they do: Laika helps growing businesses manage compliance, obtain security certifications and build trust in the marketplace.

Location: New York City

Employees: Less than 100

Industry: Compliance and Audit Management SaaS

Pain Points: Reliance on Google Sheets and No Centralized DocumentationStorage

Glean AI success: Organized AP Process, Centralized Documentation Storage,Easier Reporting and Syncing with Budget Owners at Month’sEnd, Clear Financial Visibility into Expenses

Finance Team of One Needs Streamlined Processes as Laika Grows

Jake Liebersohn is the sole member of Laika’s Finance Team, but business is ramping up and he knew his current manual system to manage AP just wouldn’t be able to cut it.Says Jake, “When I joined Laika, the legacy system for AP processing was 100% manual. I would receive invoices throughout the month and simply move them into a folder in my Gmail. At month-end, I’d open the folder and one-by-one manually enter each invoice into a Google Sheet and take action on it."“Within the running Google Sheets AP tracker, I’d mark what's paid and unpaid, what has been submitted, etc. But business is ramping up, we’re using way more third-party vendors, and there are a lot more invoices coming through. I knew that the legacy Google Sheets process wasn’t an efficient or scalable process to accompany the hyper-growth of our organization.”

Jake’s Lightbulb Moment: Cash out is as important as cash in

“If you asked me how revenue looked for the last month or the last quarter, I could give you a clear answer and tell you specifically what was driving fluxes month over month - both from a GAAP and cash perspective.”“But if you asked me the same question on the expense side of the house, I really wouldn't be able to tell you the key drivers of fluctuations month over month without a little digging into my existing systems.”

AFTER GLEAN AI: All-in-One Finance and Clear Visibility

Glean AI was able to provide Jake with the visibility, ease of use and automated processes that he knew he needed. “Glean AI gave us the obvious time savings from invoice automation, but the added ability to analyze historical expenses is what makes it stand out from a basic AP Automation offering like”

Proactive Reporting for Budget Owners

Glean AI provides that crucial visibility into expenses that a growing, Series A company needs. “An important part of my role is paying close attention to burn rate,” says Jake.With Glean AI, Jake pulls together a monthly financial summary so that he can get a clear view of what is happening on the expense side of the business. “The dynamic reports within Glean allow me to have at my fingertips the information I need to be aware of Laika’s expenditures. For example, if I see that my payments for Sales and Marketing went up by $60K, I’m going to immediately want to know why. Previously, I would have had to search manually for what was driving that.”“Now with Glean, I just filter for Sales and Marketing and immediately I see that it was just an upfront payment for an annual contract that drove up the S&M cash outflow that month. The ability to quickly understand fluxes in cash outflows month over month allows me to spend my free time elsewhere, and continue to support the rapid growth of Laika in additional areas. This helps me to be an efficient finance manager and focus my attention in other areas to support the growth of our organization.”

Glean AI’s the Smartest AP Solution Out There

Jake is very happy with his decision to use Glean AI for AP and spend analytics. “I would definitely recommend Glean AI over other AP tools,” says Jake. “It performs all of the day-to-day accounting automation duties that typically come with an AP platform, but in addition, it provides critical spend insights and visibility into what’s happening in each department.”“And best of all, the system lays out everything in a clear and easy-to-digest manner, perfect for department heads and our executive team to better understand how cash is being spent.”

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