March 22nd, 2024

Populi migrated from Xero to Campfire for its next stage of growth

Profile photo of Campfire Team
Campfire Team
March 22nd, 2024
Case StudyAccountingFinance

Company Profile:

  • Company Name: Populi

  • Industry: B2B Subscription Software

  • Website:

  • Key Contact: Mark Ackerman, CFO


Populi provides an all-in-one platform for colleges and universities to operate their school with features ranging from student billing to learning management. Its software-as-a-service business model and monthly per-student pricing makes it one of the most popular solutions on the market. Populi recognized the need to upgrade its accounting software as the company had outgrown its previous accounting software - Xero. 

The Challenge:

While Xero provided a solid foundation for accounting, Populi faced numerous challenges with the product:

  • Inability to Scale: Populi was routinely reaching the monthly transaction volume limit, which resulted in throttling of transaction data and inconsistent data syncing.

  • Slow Search: Xero’s search was becoming increasingly slow as Populi’s total transaction volume increased resulting in delays in completing tasks and accessing financial data. 

  • Inconsistent Connectivity: Xero’s APIs worked well most of the time, but they did not provide a way to retrieve data when Xero experienced an outage, resulting in the Populi team manually reconciling data. 

  • Suboptimal Support: Whenever there was a question or product issue, Xero’s limited support made it challenging for the Populi team to triage issues or make sure they were taking full advantage of the products capabilities. 

The Solution:

After thorough research and evaluation of various options such as NetSuite, Populi decided to implement Campfire as its accounting platform for the next stage of growth. Campfire offered a customizable, scalable platform with robust integration capabilities, allowing Populi to tailor the software to its specific needs. 

“We were hitting the monthly transaction limits and search was painfully slow on Xero, so we selected Campfire as the accounting software for our next stage of growth. We integrated our own product with Campfire’s APIs to automate the transfer of in-product payment data into our general ledger.”

Mark Ackerman, CFO @ Populi

Key Benefits:

  • Accelerated monthly close: The finance team at Populi has found the monthly close workflows to be faster in Campfire with improved transaction reconciliation and categorization saving hours every month amounting to days per year.

  • Improved Connectivity: By automating the syncing of invoice data, Populi significantly reduced the time and effort required to manage transactions. Tasks that previously took hours to complete can now be accomplished in minutes, allowing the finance team to focus on more strategic initiatives.

  • Joint Roadmap: Populi benefits from influencing the Campfire roadmap to ensure the product aligns to its own product requirements. This has resulted in numerous product improvements that were surfaced by the Populi team.

  • Premium Support: The Populi finance and engineering teams interact with their Campfire counterparts in a Slack channel for premium support, and have found value in live discussions via Zoom on an as needed basis. 

  • Broad API Coverage: Leveraging Campfire's flexible API, Populi built a custom integration in only a few days to automate the process of adding invoices to the Campfire general ledger. 


Benefiting from Campfire's scalable product architecture, Populi has been able to successfully scale its transaction volume on Campfire. In addition, the collaboration between Campfire and Populi has resulted in numerous product improvements. Populi’s accounting and financial reporting is ready for its next phase of growth as the company continues on its growth trajectory as the leading provider of software for colleges and universities.