In our latest episode, Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director at Invoca, shares his invaluable insights and expertise on navigating the intricacies of managing headcount in a rapidly evolving business landscape. [scroll down for chapter list]

Daniel takes us on a journey through the evolution of the planning process, reflecting on the early days when it resembled the "wild west" with no defined structure. He highlights the transformative shift from relying on scattered spreadsheets to embracing a powerful headcount management tool that has revolutionized their operations. By leveraging this innovative tool, Invoca has saved valuable time and gained unprecedented visibility into their workforce.

Daniel addresses the biggest challenge they faced – managing an array of spreadsheets and ensuring accurate and up-to-date information amidst promotions, terminations, and the dynamic movements within the organization. He emphasizes the criticality of effective headcount management, especially in a software company where personnel expenses account for over 80% of the total spend and play a pivotal role in driving company growth. By mastering headcount planning and maintaining a robust plan, businesses can steer clear of the pitfalls of overstaffing or sudden layoffs due to unforeseen circumstances.

The conversation delves into the intricacies of the annual planning process, starting with a top-down target that is presented to department heads. Daniel unravels the collaborative process with teams, providing them with budgets and empowering them to prioritize their investments in software, personnel, and other crucial resources.

While initial discussions are high-level, the planning process becomes progressively detailed, encompassing specific aspects such as job titles, levels, salaries, and start dates. However, Daniel acknowledges the possibility of changes and the need for flexibility, where adjustments and negotiations are made to navigate budget constraints effectively.

Throughout the video, Daniel underscores the importance of proactive planning and the immense value of adopting a rolling forecast approach. By consistently looking ahead and aligning future projections with current performance, businesses can make well-informed decisions, avoid unwelcome surprises, and quickly adapt to ever-changing market conditions. This agile mindset empowers companies to optimize their headcount expenses, extend their financial runway, and minimize the need for drastic measures such as layoffs during challenging times.

Join us for this enlightening discussion with Daniel Fulmer as we unravel the complexities of headcount management and discover the strategies that can help businesses navigate the annual headcount planning process with confidence and success.


00:00 - Cold open w/ Daniel Fulmer

01:00 - Meet our guest, Daniel Fulmer!

02:44 - What’s your finance stack today?

05:09 - How do you build your initial plan?

06:58 - How detailed is your planning process?

08:02 - How are HR and Talent collaborating with Finance?

08:54 - How are you informing the Talent team about the plan?

10:13 - How long does this process usually take?

11:19 - Why go from fixed planning to a rolling forecast?

12:31 - Why should you invest in headcount management?

15:31 - How do you do headcount management?

17:03 - How many people run headcount management?

20:47 - What is your acceptable variance range?

21:42 - Why did you implement a headcount management tool?

25:18 - What is your new process with the tool?

27:11 - How do you envision the hiring managers utilizing especially the org chart and the hiring plan in a tool like TeamOhana?

28:17 - When should you invest in a headcount management tool?

29:19 - What's the future of these tools?

[00:00:00] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: the fact that it could integrate with our h r s and Greenhouse and give us forecast information was a huge win. And something that we would spend hours and hours a month managing and still not even quite getting right.

So this was almost like a no-brainer.

[00:00:17] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: today I have with me Daniel Fullmer who is the director of Finance at Invoca. And as we like to say, the man in charge of managing headcount.

Daniel has been with the company for over six years and has seen the growth of headcount go from more than when he joined around. There were a hundred people in the company and now they are close to 400 people in the company. So I think this is going to be a, great discussion. Daniel actually has implemented a specific tool and has a very well defined process to manage headcount at Invoca.

So he's gonna go deeply into all of those and explain how he manages headcount. Welcome Daniel. Thank you. Glad to be here. Awesome. Daniel, do you wanna start by giving the audience a quick introduction of who you are? How did you end up at Invoca and a little bit of what you've been doing?

[00:01:09] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah as you mentioned, I joined about six and a half years ago. I joined as a senior analyst. I was like the one and only FP and a team member at that point. . So it was a lot of me and the c e o kind of crunching everything at that point. And now we've grown, I think our fp and a team is five people total. All of us report up to the vp.


[00:01:28] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: Tell us a little bit more about the organization of the fp n A team. 

[00:01:32] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: We are split up into a couple of us doing kind of various business partners with the different department leads.

So we have one who does r and d and Cs, and another business partner doing sales and marketing. And then someone else with G n A. And then we have another member on the team who focuses more on our top line in revenue and bookings in churn and all that. 

[00:01:53] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: And I, to sum it all up, what's your finance stack today?

Or I would say finance and probably HR stack 

[00:02:02] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah. That you connect with. Yep. So we're using planful as our budgeting tool, . Been using them since we implemented 'em pretty close, like within about six months after I joined. So we've been using them pretty much my entire tenure. And then namely is our H R I S, and we use Tableau for a lot of our, front end reporting and data digestion from the platform and from our financial KPIs. And then greenhouses our a t s. 

[00:02:30] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: And then your are you probably NetSuite user. Oh, NetSuite as your, . As your gl. Okay. That's great. Daniel, so let's dive in. You have seen the company grow from hundred to 400 employees and you also use a planning and budgeting tool like planful. So tell us a little bit more about the headcount process at Invoca and if you, through your tenure, if you have seen the process evolve it would be great to understand like how it has evolved and how it has changed in the last five to 

[00:03:04] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: six years.

Yeah, for sure. It's definitely evolved. I think when I'm trying to remember the process. When I first joined, I feel like it was wild West, cuz I can't remember a process at all. So it's developed into a lot of different spreadsheets and. Now we're using, a headcount management tool, which has saved us a lot of time, but I'll get to that piece.

But yeah, our biggest problem was all these spreadsheets. And so we had namely getting information updated when there were promotions term emails and someone would leave, would be through email and then just the recruiting team moving, or maybe it was just even just the hiring manager hiring directly moving at their own pace and their own rules.

And so we were always trying to find a way to, to reel this in. For us, and I would assume it's the same for a lot of other software companies as people spends over 80% of our total spend. So it's a big chunk and it's, the biggest driver of our company. So it's important we get it right and have visibility into what's coming down the pipeline and have a solid plan so we don't get to a point where you're overstaffed.

The things slowed down and now you're, looking at layoffs, which no one wants to deal with. 

[00:04:07] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: But why don't we take a step much back? Is that okay? Let's start with this concept of let's the annual planning process, like what does that look like? How do you build your initial plan? Is it top downs? It is bottoms up. It is somewhere in the middle. And maybe how it changed going from a hundred to 200 and going from 200 

[00:04:26] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: to 400.

Absolutely. We typically always do start with kind of a tops down target that we come up with. And then we'll take those to the teams, the department heads, and say, here's your budget from our perspective, , what do you wanna invest in, whether that's new software, new people things like that.

So give them their first pass to do that. And a lot of the time they come back and say, I need more. So then it's a priority discussion or we keep it as a say, a incremental ask thing that we might, go back to during the year and as if things are going well, add those into our plan.

But , that's the initial practice starting tops down and then we go to a bo bottoms up and find that middle ground that kinda hits all spots. 

[00:05:07] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: Let's just take engineering for example. Y you now have a budget for the engineering team and you want to collaborate with the leader of the engineering organization to build the future plan.

Are you inviting them into planful to come and build the plan alongside with you? How does that process work?

[00:05:26] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: No, we don't invite 'em into Plan full. We do everything through spreadsheets, for the most part. Google Sheets. So it's us exporting data out of Plan Full and sharing it with them through, other mediums and either having meetings or talking through Slack around those.

[00:05:40] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: How granular would you like to be at this stage of the planning process in terms of are you looking for actual job titles, levels, salary, start dates, or, is it more of a. Peanut butter spread around the year? Or is it something that you are trying to nail down and reduce the possibilities of variance?

In this initial planning process, I've heard that a lot of people are very detailed versus a lot of people are very hands off. So just want to get your sense around how you've been doing it and what do you think is right or 

[00:06:16] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: better. Yeah. So we do actually get pretty detailed, I'd say on the initial discussions.

It's a little high level just as you're planning, but when we go into the plan , it's everything down to the start date down to the day and their titles and everything. So we get pretty specific, but that's not to say things change and. So someone could change that role or push a start date out and, do some horse trading.

We like to call it when it's I'll push this headcount out so I can give this one a promotion or whatever it might be to navigate their budget. So we get pretty detailed, but that's more to just get to a target number and then we just try and hold through that number through the year.

[00:06:52] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: And I can understand that finance is the budget holder. How the budget is best spent is coming from the leader of the functional team or the functional department. How is HR and the recruiting team collaborating in this? For example, are you are you asking them that, are these start dates even possible or, so how does HR and talent team work in 

[00:07:19] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: this process?

Yeah, so the HR teams do work closely. I'd say we typically give what we call, and we're very specific about it, a finance approval. So we're approving the budget in the dollar portion, , but everyone still needs to get HR approval on all of their headcount. And that's for various reasons, whether it's to make sure we have, equitable compensation amongst the teams or various roles.

And they also own our pay bands and the job catalog. 

[00:07:44] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: And then what about talent oftentimes it happens that if you look at a department's hiring plan versus the full company's hiring plan taking into consideration recruiter capacity would mean whether this would be a successful plan or not.

 And also would inform more investments that. You may have to make in the recruiting org. Hire more recruiters. 

How are you informing the talent team about this? Or is it something that will only happen after the plan 

[00:08:12] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: goes live? Yeah, it's typically only the plan after the plan goes live. We've been in a position where we had what I'll call a recruiting bottleneck. So we just didn't have the capacity.

So it was, either certain roles were just prioritized and others were pushed down the pipeline and didn't get as much attention. Or for some of our more complicated or priority roles, we've hired. An outside firm to do that recruiting which can add up really quickly if you start opening up that door.

But we've gone down that road when we've needed to move faster than we could with our existing recruiting team. So I'd say they're more of a digester and reactor to the information though. Instead of instead of being as involved or having a say in that at this stage.

Alright. Yeah. And I would say finance does their good pass. If everyone had their way, they would hire all their headcount in q1. But we do that push, like it's not realistic to do all your hiring then, and you also have to be mindful of the business performance so you can pull back if you need to.

So we usually try as a, from the finance org, put pressure on those and get some headcount spread throughout the year so it's not as heavy loaded as well. 

[00:09:15] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: So it seems like there are, there is the finance team, each of the functional teams sales, engineering product as well as influence coming from the HR team as well.

How long does this process usually take? When does it start? How long does it usually take? 

[00:09:33] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah, so we used to start it, I would say oc you know, probably September, October, starting to have like high level strategy conversations. And then by October November starting to get into the details.

That used to be how we operated in this last year. We actually had a full rolling 12 month forecast going at all times. I'd actually say it was more of like current year plus next year forecast. We were always, so by the time we got to the plan, we were pretty set. There wasn't a lot of conversations to happen besides working with the leads to say, here's some of our assumptions.

Are you good with those or would you like to pivot the investment money we have? But for the most part, we've. This plan cycle was very quick because we had been planning for it all year a little bit. We basically pulled our mindset from this locked into this calendar fiscal year mindset to the making it more fluid.

[00:10:24] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: I had another question, but now that you bring this up, why the adjustment to go from this, fixed planning cycle to more rolling forecast and looking at things from like a current date plus 12 months perspective. 

[00:10:38] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah, so it, it was mostly to change the mindset of the org a little bit. When you're focused so much on this 12 month budget cycle you're all so focused on where it's gonna end in Q4 and you're not planning for that next year. Now you need to almost start over. For Q1 and q2 we're in reality it all is just, it all should just keep going. So we found it was helpful just to keep that pulse on, always looking at least four quarters out.

So we always know where the business is going to be based on current performance. So you're not, maybe you're missing your bookings target a couple quarters in a row, and now you'll see that impact six quarters out instead of hoping it's gonna come back or assuming it's gonna come back. Without planning that way.

[00:11:18] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: This brings a lot of agile and, making you adjust pretty much. In real time to changing market conditions as well. So that's very impressive. Seems like a lot of work goes into this process, a lot of moving parts. Why do it if there are listeners out there who may be at a hundred, hundred and 50 employees today, or maybe there are companies out there at 400 employees, look them in the eye and say why they should invest in this process and why they should do headcount management?

[00:11:49] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah. I think it empowers the finance team and the leadership team a little bit. When you are this detailed and looking this far out it allows for, there's constantly kind of critical decisions on where you invest. Do you hire these people? Do you expand to, Europe or beyond? Do you do new products?

Kind of where do you wanna go? And if you're just. Only really know where you're at now or where you're at in the next quarter or two. Especially with hiring it's gonna make those decisions hard and you're probably not gonna be very informed when you need to make them. So by us always having this six week view out and being pretty, pretty diligent on our headcount management and also having a pretty rigid approval flow for headcount allows us just to keep a check on things so we can make sure it's the right decision for the company.

And we being us and the leadership team kinda always have that information to make the right decisions instead of getting caught by a decision you made that maybe was the right decision for the next quarter or two, but not six, six quarters out. 

[00:12:51] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: If what I hear is that it is the right thing to do, right?

 If you don't run this rigorous process then you don't have this, view out six months on what the business is going to look like, what do you think may happen? So now let's put on the finance person's hat, making a recommendation to the CEO so that they also invest in bringing on a finance person to do this.

[00:13:17] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah, things could be fine. Like it could totally be fine and everything works out. That usually is if the business is doing well. But I've experienced where I've had to help plan for layoffs and that's where you get It's hard if you get to a point where your spend is a little ahead of your top line there's only so many tools and stuff you maybe can pull back and eventually it has to be people, which is always a lot harder to do and expensive with severance and all of that stuff.

Having that visibility and avoiding that for the money reasons and the emotional reasons, I think is super important in itself. Cuz it's not fun being on the planning side of that kinda thing. 

[00:13:54] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: And you, it's a very timely thing to talk about given what's been happening since the beginning of 2023 in companies begin small, having to do the layoffs because as you just said, is that pulling back on tools which is already less than 10% of your opex is not really going to generate the savings to extend your runway.

Extending runway means. Having control and visibility on your headcount expenses. And if they are not in line with what the future growth is going to look like, you have to do layoffs and cut that headcount expense. Seems like you have been running and your company in WCA has been running a very tight ship in implementing this rolling forecast and having this long-term short-term view to make the good decisions for the company.

But, how do you do it? Is it always up to date or you have to do some work in order to get all this information in one place to run that to have that forecast ready? 

[00:14:50] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah, so definitely not easy. There's a lot of information kind of flowing between a lot of different people and a lot of different platforms that we have to be mindful of.

So we had our master Google sheet that had every role that we approved in our plan, , and then it was dynamic. So as people would leave we're adding their backfills it might be, and then eventually a backfill needs to switch roles to a different kind of thing.

So it was all tracking in this one spreadsheet where we get some of that information through email. So that's typically how you'd find out someone was leaving before they were updated and namely, Okay. And working through. Working with the recruiters on where they're at in all of this.

So one big spreadsheet, managing all these channels and then having to digest that spreadsheet and get it into our budgeting tool. Which was a big, it's a big upload file on itself to keep track of everything. Just a lot of work keeping up what's changing in this Google sheet that we're sharing with HR and talent teams.

Having a separate spreadsheet that you're sharing with the business owners so that they can have visibility into their departments hiring and then also needing to get it into our budgeting tool. And while this happening, there might be promotions happening and things like that, which are all handled in different ways.

So just a lot of manual work. We had someone who's, spent a lot of time managing all of that and keeping a pulse on it. Just cuz it was a lot of work. 

[00:16:11] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: So how many people or was there someone dedicated in your team or the fp a organization to keep that spreadsheet and other connected spreadsheets up to date?

[00:16:22] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah, we had one person do it. We had it where each business partner was making their own updates, but it became when you have too many people making edits in one thing, , you dunno if something's updated or something gets updated accidentally and then the one person who owns it all doesn't really know cuz someone else made changes.

So we stripped everyone's edit access and just had one person managing it, which was a lot, but it was the way we could avoid mistakes and also feel like that sheet was the most accurate it possibly could be. 

[00:16:52] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: So there is this process that HR may be going through for existing employees that has to result in, namely getting updated in time, whether for promotions or terminations, and then you pull that information into your sheet.

And then second is you had mentioned you have Greenhouse. So the recruiter that giving information back on new roles that have been open or existing roles about offer sent. And then if there is horse trading or if there is need to adjust start dates for headcount or the business, they make those changes or they suggest those changes.

All of this feeds into this master spreadsheet. So number one, did you do this monthly or quarterly? And then how long did it take before you were ready to upload this into planful to run your forecast? 

[00:17:39] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: one thing I'll add too to what you said before was all of that horse trading and stuff was all happening usually through Slack or something else.

Slack too. Slack. So yeah, so you just are adding in another tool into the mix, which I didn't even think about. But yeah, so we do a monthly forecast for our entire budget, , and the benefit of when we moved to the headcount tracking to one person is they could keep it going and update it live.

On your maybe slow day on a Thursday, you could catch up on that week's stuff any of the updates, whatever they may be. But it still was, we had always meet with the recruiting team couple days after the month end close and get the latest start dates from them.

Yeah. So when there was a lot of hiring, there was a lot of updates that needed to also be added. So I'd say it could take. Besides the time it was taking all month and updating, we could still probably turn one around in about a day after meeting with the recruiting team. But there's just a lot of pieces that needed to be updated.


[00:18:32] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: the end of the day, the accuracy of information is what we are looking for so that we can run that accurate forecast 

is that something that After you collect all the data, what was the diligence that you were doing? Or like how confident did you feel about that data? 

[00:18:45] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah. There was always doubts about how accurate it was just because it's so easy, there's so many spots for human error throughout the process.

Like just fat fingering a number or something like that, even when you're just copying it in. So confidence was it, was there, the, it was close enough I would say, there might be an extra , but I'd say every six months it would, spend the day or two kind of doing a full on audit where you pull all of, namely and try and do a bunch of e lookups, but no one's name is ever matching perfectly.

A lot of kind of manual going through just to see. Yeah. And you'll find something new, terminated and you missed it, or, You had terminated and they ended up staying or something like that. So you always would find those pieces. Or they got a promotion for 20 K and you missed it. So there was always that kind of stuff in the grand scheme.

It, yeah it hurts. We luckily never had any big ones, but usually could catch 'em in the month. We are usually, we, I think our review process in a forecast is if we see a big change all of a sudden, especially in one given line like payroll someone usually finds it. So we've caught a lot of errors before we've closed the forecast.

But yeah, it still takes a lot of work and a lot of different people checking it before someone might find it. All 

[00:19:57] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: right. And then is there a number in mind around like accepted variance or a variance range that you always wanted to stay within? 

[00:20:06] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: I don't know if we've ever really had that special number.

I think with, and, being within 5% is probably our target, but even our CFOs never really had that number that he demands. As we are heading into a world where we're starting to I p o prep as a company a little bit, , just, learning the ways that you need to be with that specifically.

So I could see, these notions starting to come into our normal process. But yeah, we've never just had that number. It always is just kind of case by case. 

[00:20:37] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: You've been able to run your forecast fairly accurately and give the information back to the business. you use namely, you use greenhouse, you use planful and NetSuite, and then you use a lot of spreadsheets as connective tissue. Then why choose a specialized tool for headcount management? What led you there? 

[00:21:00] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: There was a lot of time spent in our headcount management. And we have a C who's very much leaning into technology.

If you can find something that automates something you do on a regular basis, he's all for investing in that. So you can put your time elsewhere. Cuz the team's time is, The most, restricted asset we have, so we had the person we had managing this they were leaving and I've always wanted a tool like this and could never really find it, but yeah, we had we had someone who was leaving, I got an S D R reached out about a tool that they were pitching for this.

And I went in and ex explored it. And it was like exactly what we were looking for. Like the demo just hit all of the pieces that was the pain points. And the fact that it could integrate with our h r s and Greenhouse and give us forecast information was a huge win. And something that we would spend hours and hours a month managing and still not even quite getting right.

So this was almost like a no-brainer. Kind of pitch to do. And the fact that we can get realtime information now without needing to check Greenhouse and see if an offer has been sent and add that into a spreadsheet has been great. 

So the tool that we ended up getting was t Moana. And I think we signed that about three months ago. We implement. And it's saved us a ton of time, especially coming into a new fiscal year.

We have a two one fiscal year start, so it made our planning process a lot smoother and we were able to get timana up and running in a couple weeks and fully linked to Namely and Greenhouse. So we're basically using it to get all the right information and it added a lot of confidence going into our plan that we weren't missing anything.

So it's saved me a lot of the time. I've always been in the approval process for headcount, so just having a tool that I can trust is accurate when approvals come through. It saved me a lot of time and made me confident in those approvals. The person who was fully managing this process after he left, we backfilled him, but he's actually spending zero time on this.

He's doing completely other things. So it's. Right now I'm managing it all, but it's pretty small amount of time for me to keep it up to date. I think it's been a big help too for our talent teams. I think it was a little frustrating for them when they'd have hiring managers saying one thing, it wasn't on our approved sheet or maybe it was and it just didn't get updated correctly, or something like that.

So I think there was a lot of friction kind of playing this telephone game between hire manager, recruiting and finance. And so now by having this tool, everyone can be on the same page. And there's also the audit history change tracking management so we can follow headcount if it changed roles throughout the, throughout its hiring cycle.

And have a better picture than what we had before. So I think that's been super helpful. And then our next step, which I'm excited about, is to roll it out to the hiring managers themselves. We've had it out with our head of engineering for the last few weeks and he's been loving it.

He's been loving the dashboard and getting, the org chart insights that he's been able to get out of it which was really painful and namely before. So he is enjoying it. So I'm excited that we're gonna be rolling it out to the rest of our hiring managers next week. And I'm expecting it's gonna be received pretty well, cuz it's always been a little bit of a black hole for hiring managers, what's their approved headcount, budget, start dates, all of that.

It's not been easily accessible by anyone unless it's been updated or provided on a manual basis. So really excited to take that step.

[00:24:28] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: So Daniel, how, what is the new process in Team Ohana then to manage all of headcount for you and for the rest of your organization? 

[00:24:36] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: . So the current process, we just, I think I mentioned we finished our plan recently. We went through and uploaded all of the headcount that we have in our plan, all the new hires.

So this will be our first kind of start of the fiscal year using T Moana and. It's the process now is I still meet monthly with the recruiting team once a month just to check in and make sure we're all aligned on start dates and everything for the role. Where are we going? Has anything pushed out or pulled forward?

And that meeting has gone from, it used to, we have an hour book. We still have the hour booked actually, but now I think it's over in about four or five minutes cuz most of this stuff is already updated. We're starting to see a need of not even really needing that after implementing this.

We're still growing into it a little bit, so we're keeping in until we, we feel comfortable. But I think it's been really helpful for the recruiters cuz we can assign recruiters to each of those. And so they get their own kind of recruiting dashboard and see the headcount that they're hiring towards and live status from Greenhouse.

And it's been super helpful for the fp and a team to see when offers are out. Or if it's, hiring and how long it's been in the pipeline. We've had that access in greenhouse, but I don't think any of us ever really went and poked around for it. But now that it's like in your face it's super helpful to, trust that start date cause there's actually an offer out with that start date on it or things like that.

So I think it's given the finance team a lot of confidence in that. 

[00:25:55] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: , I understand how Timana has changed the process for recruiters who can now get access to their approved headcount in one place and then do the entire opening of job and syncing in greenhouse status in real time.

Also for you and the fp n a team, now there is definitely more trust in the data and it is updated near real time without the need of having any sync up meetings with different departments. How do you envision the hiring managers utilizing especially the org chart and the hiring plan in a tool like T Moana?

[00:26:29] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah, I think it's going to give them a lot of information that they haven't had access to. I'm pretty sure hiring managers don't have reporting access to namely, so if they wanted to check, their team's comp, I think it's a one by one thing, or ask one of us for a report. So I think giving them the power to see, the headcount ledger directly from Namely and Live and also an org chart that shows our two be hires implanted in there.

I think it gives a great picture, especially like right now we're in our merit cycle. And so that information, having that over to them is as handy as they're planning out, merit raises, promotions and then even org planning, do you shift teams around and things like that.

Cause you can see what the full year plan is and what that's gonna look like for the Oregon, its current state and make adjustments and get ahead of those. 

[00:27:15] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: What would be your advice to strategic finance leaders in companies or fp and a leaders at companies?

When is the right time to invest in a team like t Moana and when is, and how should they go about convincing their c e o or CFO for budget for a such a system. 

[00:27:35] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah. We're at about a hundred million a r and 400 ish headcount right now. Just as a reference point.

I wish we had this tool probably a few years ago was probably a point when we were, when we started to get into the two and the 300 count, I think is when things started to get pretty time consuming before it, it wasn't fun, but it was doable. And so I think once you're getting to that point where you're spending more than a few hours managing all of this on a given week or a month having the tool saves that time and can allow you to do a lot of other things, which is a, adds a lot more value to the company.

And that was exactly the selling point as well. Just communicating to our C F O, how much time was spent on this . And how much time it could save was. Sold itself. So I think it was a pretty easy sell when we could find something that automated something that is pretty important in our company.

Again, it's 80% of our total costs. Yeah, it's pretty important to get right. 

[00:28:27] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: Final question how do you see the future of systems like two Moana?

How, what are they doing today and what is, what do you think is the possibility of them to go and achieve in the future? 

[00:28:38] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Even seeing the org chart in the dashboard come out has taken it from a management platform to also insights a little bit.

And I think that insights piece is super important right now. For example, we report on our monthly, our attrition rate and our invocation, or sorry, those are our, our all hands, and you have to pull this namely report and do all these calculations.

And just having that detail in T Moana see how much you've hired we're, it's a good, reflection on the year when you look back to see how many did you hire, how many of that was new hires versus backfills. That all those kinds of insights are super helpful. And I think T Moana is gathering a lot of data around that, being plugged into all the systems where, you could see it taking it that step further maybe merit cycle planning or equity analysis, or.

Things like that d n i analysis, which are becoming super important in these spaces. So I could see a lot of that as well as like scenario and org planning because you have all the data there of what the budget is or what hires you're bringing in. So being able to, do scenario planning within the tool ums where I see it going and where I think would be pretty cool.

That's great. 

[00:29:45] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: Just one last question for you is that and then we'll end it, is that because you mentioned strategic insights and, ability to do organ scenario planning, coming back to like, why is that? So I think the, this is not about cost cutting, this is not about layoffs. This is about just building a better organization, right?

So from your perspective, like why is that important? 

[00:30:06] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: Yeah I, I know our P N C teams, our HR teams, spend a lot of time doing a lot of, salary benchmarking and equity analysis when it's merit cycle to make sure everyone's on the same pay scale.

And we release a D N I report every quarter to the company and things like that. And it's a super important focus for us, like on the recruiting team and on the hiring managers. And so having those insights easily accessible and not having to go hunt for them and make them yourself, I think is super important.

And then as far as the org chart planning as you start to grow and have all these different teams and need to start making new initiatives new OKRs, whatever they might be you gotta make sure your teams are structured the way to achieve that. And, f. , our engineering r and d team is, well over 120 people now and made up of 15 different dev teams.

And, to give them the ability to be nimble and have that planning process within a tool where they're doing other headcount stuff is just a huge bonus and I think saves them a lot of time so they can focus on, actual coding and, developing the product instead of, organizing their team in Excel or whatever kind of outside tool they're using.

[00:31:15] Tushar Makhija, CEO, TeamOhana: So this has been really insightful. Thank you, Daniel. I think net one of the key things that I understood from our conversation today was headcount management is not just about budgets or saving money or tracking expenses. It is actually about being agile as being nimble to actually go plan.

And grow the organization. So it's I would say, I think we'll be having more of these conversations with you to understand how headcount management directly correlates to operational efficiency and the future responsible growth of the organization. Place where it's not, we didn't have a blank checkbook to go write and spend all the money that you know, we could.

So thank you so much for spending this time with us and sharing your very important insights. I really appreciate it. Thank you, Daniel. Yeah. Thank you. Thank 

[00:32:07] Daniel Fulmer, Finance Director, Invoca: you for having me.

About the guests

Daniel Fulmer
Finance Director
Daniel Fulmer is the Finance Director at Invoca. He's been with the company for more than six years, helping it scale 4X during that time. As the person primarily responsible for headcount management at Invoca, Daniel has a strong background in FP&A and financial operations, and previously worked for Rosetta.

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