Branch Case Study

Decimal is “thinking about the overall impact.”

Decimal took an operations-first approach with Branch and collaborated to streamline the review process and restore confidence in the numbers.

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"It was a super manual process"

Key Challenges for Branch

A challenge Natalia Shmelova was facing was getting the books closed out in a timely fashion. “Just to give you an idea. When I joined last November, I think we had August 2021 not closed,” Natalia said. Getting a system in place that could scale with the business and the growing complexity of the operations was a top priority. 

Handling sales taxes, and different payment methods from credit cards to financing, and doing all this through Shopify meant that the operational approach had to be airtight. According to Natalia, “unfortunately the systems were not integrated and we faced a number of system challenges given those didn't talk to each other."

From an ecommerce perspective, understanding fulfilled orders and when to correctly recognize fulfilled revenue was an outstanding issue. Natalia says the “challenge was to actually identify those fulfilled sales in the month. It was a super manual process of me pulling together various reports from various sources. ”There needed to be an operational change to reduce the manual effort to gain visibility into a core area of the business.

Working with Decimal

Branch worked with Decimal to find the ideal accounting manager to handle the needs of the growing ecommerce business. Our Decimal accounting manager was able to jump in and learn the Branch business operations and processes quickly to identify areas to improve the approach and streamline the month-end review process. Natalia says “She just has a very good grasp. She's very quick.”

With a single point of contact working with a solutions team and the broader team of expert accountants at Decimal, the teams were able to form a plan to improve accounting operations with the right technology.

"We have to improve the process for the month-end close"

Goals for Decimal

Natalia had a few goals top of mind for Decimal. “My main request was that we have to improve the process that was in place for the month-end close” Natalia continued, “It was the reconciliation and review of all accounts, the quality and speed. I asked my accounting manager to improve the process. How we can work together more efficiently.” Decimal worked alongside Branch to adopt the right approach for their business. 

In order to comply with US GAAP revenue recognition requirements, Branch onboarded Blue Onion ecommerce software. The Decimal team partnered with Branch to further implement and train the software. Decimal even joined calls between Branch and Blue Onion to ensure the process was solidified. Natalia states “they played an active role in those calls with Blue Onion.” 

Blue Onion was the ideal choice given Natalia’s business operations because the software automates order-to-cash reconciliation and revenue reporting for ecommerce and online payments. This paired well with the operational approach Decimal created to provide the best visibility into the health of the business. Leveraging Blue Onion got the team one step closer to addressing the accounting challenges.

The end result was an approach to closing the books in a streamlined fashion with the right technology. Now Natalia says "it has gotten to a place where Decimal prepares detailed month-end workbooks for each geography for my review and I add comments directly in those. Then we have support and documentation for every journal entry posted to the general ledger.”

The Decimal Difference

"There is a lot of value in this proactive approach"

Natalia with Branch knows that the Decimal team is going to go the extra step to keep on top of the numbers.  She says now the “review is not as daunting anymore because it's much more structured. I know where to look for details. I know how to go back to supporting documentation and review what was done in the previous month.” As a result, Natalia when closing the books now says “I trust Decimal to do their work diligently. My review process takes less time and I am confident that Decimal appropriately addresses any comments coming out of my review” 

This frees Natalia up to focus on other areas of the business knowing that the number review process at the close of the month is going to be consistent and accurate. She goes on to say “So that will allow me to step up and work on strategic initiatives and more high-level activities.” 

When it comes to the accounting team at Decimal, they are “thinking about the overall impact, not just the fact that I instructed to address a particular issue… Someone's thinking through those issues independently, and what the impact may be on our business as opposed to just executing on one little piece” according to Natalia. She goes on to say “I see a lot of value in having this proactive approach and willingness to work and go the extra mile as opposed to just helping maintain the books, do reconciliations. I see a lot of value there.”

With the dedicated time to Branch’s success, the team was able to return time back to Natalia’s day and make the process much more approachable. All in all, Natalia says she is “definitely very happy with the outcome.”

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Branch Furniture Overview

“At Branch, we make it easy for people and teams to build a beautiful workspace where you can feel and work your best.” 

After furnishing dozens of offices for a commercial real estate startup, Greg realized the average office furniture company falls into one of two categories: high quality, but expensive and slow, or affordable and fast but lacking in quality and service. There wasn’t a great option for individuals and teams who wanted to furnish an inspiring office without taking forever or breaking the bank.

When it comes to high-quality office furniture, the issue is middlemen. Buying from traditional furniture dealers means navigating unclear pricing, complicated options, and markups up to 50%. There’s also no way for your office to adapt as your team grows: your furniture, your problem.

That’s why Branch was founded: to make it easy for people and teams to create inspiring offices. They sell direct, so the collection costs half as much as premium furniture of comparable quality, and design the products with well-being and work day in mind.

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