Case Study 21.2 Balanced Books Bookkeeping Certification

Norma joined the Balanced Books team in July 2017. She graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a degree in Liberal Studies.  Norma has over a decade of experience working in customer service and aims to please. Her goal is to provide the best quality of work at all times.  She specializes in prioritizing, thrives in challenging situations, and strives to deliver only the best.

 Norma loves spending time with friends and family. She enjoys cooking, traveling, photography, and hiking.  She has hiked many trails in Yosemite and Hawaii, but she ultimately holds Yosemite closest to her heart.  Her goal is to take one new “never-been-to-Yosemite” person to hike Nevada Falls each year!  She has also hiked the tallest waterfall in North America! (hint: in Yosemite too).  In recent years, she decided to diversify her hobby portfolio by joining a fantasy football league for the first time…and ended up winning the league championship two years in a row!

 Norma is a great addition to the Balanced Books team, as she strives for the best and will never settle for less.  She firmly believes in continuous self-improvement, as well as the improvement of processes around us.  Additionally, she has a knack for numbers, patterns and loves to analyze the details!

Automation and cloud technology are a tool for a skilled bookkeeper, not a replacement. That is why a commitment to client service is still essential to stand out in a competitive market. Balanced Books & Accounts have combined their passion for service with Receipt Bank’s technology, with impressive results.

A scanner in every office

The original bookkeeping process at Balanced Books & Accounts grew out of the fact that many of their bookkeeping clients lived in rural areas.

“Before Xero and cloud accounting we would put scanners into each of our client’s offices. They would scan items as they came in and then our scheduling software would check every hour for new items and send them to our server”, says Joe Lautier.

This system eliminated the need to drive out collect the data, or the client having to send it in the info. It also meant that they never rejected a client based on their location.

However, it did still require the traditional bookkeeping process once the scans came in. “We’d download the scans, print them off and enter the data,” according to Joe.

We make up the cost four times over

After getting involved with Xero when it hit Australia, they came across Receipt Bank at a conference in 2015. Impressed with the technology-focused bookkeepers he met there, Joe decided it was time to upgrade his system. In his words, “We needed to take that next step from the scanning that we were doing and start making our lives easier.”

Clients were already used to scanning their receipts and invoices, which allowed the scans to just be fed into Receipt Bank for data extraction and categorisation. But originally, clients weren’t actually aware that Joe and his team were using Receipt Bank.

“For me it was ‘We have X amount of work to do, and I physically can’t do it’. Receipt Bank was my way of employing another person. Now, if one of my bookkeepers used to take ten hours to do a job, with Receipt Bank he can do it in six. We absorb that software cost but we make that up more than three or four times.”

Now that they have moved to a more automated data process, the team have experienced significant time savings, Joe explains. “The old process of going in each week, downloading invoices and entering the data would take three hours a week, four times a month, per client. Now it’s done in half an hour, max.”

Part of the sales pitch

Clients became more aware of Receipt Bank once the team started using the Receipt Bank app. “The app became a selling tool for me. We weren’t hiding it before, but it moved from being an internal tool, to part of the sales pitch,” says Joe.

This also simplified the client experience. Those who had trouble making time to use the scanner in their office, or whose hardware wasn’t compatible with the scheduling software could now just switch to using the app.

Joe recalls one particular example of helping a client using Receipt Bank.

“I had a client who I would talk to once a quarter for BAS and GST lodgements. I hadn’t heard from her, so I tried to make contact and found out from her husband that she was ill. Because of this they were four months behind on their bookkeeping. I went over and set them up on Receipt Bank and by using the app they were caught up within a few days. It allowed us to give the client an easy resolution to a major problem.”

“For us as a bookkeeper Receipt Bank is great because as it attaches the document in Xero and you can Auto-publish items, which raises your efficiency and quality of work. If you’re not using Receipt Bank, invoices slip through without attachments, so now we’ve eliminated that issue.”

Time to do what you need to do

The Auto-Publish tool on Receipt Bank has become essential. “Over a 3-month period we had put through 4200 documents. If you can then save 15 seconds a document [with Auto-Publish], that adds up,” says Joe.

Now some clients have 75% their suppliers automated. The time the team has saved is being used to drive powerful growth in the firm. According to Joe, “Within the last month, we’ve picked up six new clients, and not small ones. But without Receipt Bank, we would have had to stop growing 15 clients ago.”

Receipt Bank also helps Joe stay competitive in a changing industry by focusing on client service.

“We offer full blown accounts support, even with clients overseas where we act as their accounts department. Our clients know they can call in whenever and get help with their files. That’s because with Receipt Bank we have time to do what we need to do.”

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