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Professionals in financial operations, especially in accounting, live by checklists. That means they use Excel. But Excel checklists tend to become messy. As accountants know, they must be rolled forward constantly. In fact, accounting and financial operations can sometimes amount to a recurring roll-forward of checklists on Excel. What’s more, different funds and processes need separate Excel lists – making things even messier for busy firms. 

At Redmile Group, this approach created a “ball of yarn” of different checklists for the venture capital and private equity firm, said Director of Operations and Accounting Travis Breznak. 

“If you want an overview of where you might stand on all your funds and processes, you’re opening up a bunch of Excel checklists, and then those all have to roll forward,” said Breznak. “That’s sustainable to a certain extent. But we found that, as Redmile grew as an organization, it was becoming unsustainable, especially as we started hiring more people.” 

Especially problematic were transitions between departments within the firm. Moving a task like an investor’s letter, for example, from operations and accounting to the investment team and then to investor relations often entailed extra work to make sure nothing was lost in translation along the way. 

OpsCheck provided a solution. San Francisco-based Redmile Group now tracks all their tasks and open items with OpsCheck, making it easy to hold individuals both up and down the chain of command accountable for assigned responsibilities. When someone completes one stage of a task, the next person sees the next stage of the same workflow in their queue. Everyone knows the day’s priority without needing to check on their OneNote, Excel, or other personal to-do list. And they don’t need to update their Excel lists as their workflows progress. 

“You want to make sure everyone’s checking their box along the way,” said Breznak. “OpsCheck is perfect for that. You can kick off a workflow so that it’s really easy to track a task across departments. OpsCheck is really beneficial for any organization that has multiple departments and wants to scale while making things more efficient.” 

Furthermore, managers like Breznak could use OpsCheck to observe how teams were progressing with their assigned tasks – as many as 75 at a time in his case – as well as drill down on what was on time or not and who might have been responsible for expediting or delaying work. The tool provided excellent data for reviews and self-reflection among everyone who wanted to improve. 

The solution’s superior approach to operations reflects OpsCheck founder Frank Caccio’s depth of experience in finance, added Breznak. “Frank, being an investment industry professional, understood a lot of the pain points that we were experiencing,” he said. “He was a mentor – a huge help in implementing the solution and streamlining our work. He and OpsCheck could help not only anyone in the investment industry but any large organization that has lots of processes.” 

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