“Thanks to BILL Spend & Expense, closing the books for a client, regardless of their size, takes five minutes.”
Accounting firm Chaney & Associates describes their work as “collaborative stewardship”: empowering churches and faith-based nonprofits across the country to wisely steward their resources through cloud-based accounting services, so they can focus more on ministry.
Founded in 2002, the Roseville, California firm offers a broad range of financial and tax services, including payroll, general ledger, financial reporting, and more.
Until Chaney & Associates adopted BILL Spend & Expense in 2019, each of their client’s employees had a preferred card and expense management system. “Before Spend & Expense, expense management was a nightmare,” recalled Steve Chaney, Managing Partner of Chaney & Associates. “There were too many cards and expense management systems. Everyone had a card and wanted to be reimbursed. It was impossible to grow.”
Amid the dizzying maze of cards and expense management systems, closing the books was also an ordeal that involved reviewing a transaction spreadsheet from the client, correctly coding each transaction, and uploading receipts and other documentation.
“Before Spend & Expense, it could take us up to 10 hours a month trying to make sense of all the expenses of one small client,” said Chaney. And since the firm offers fixed fees for their services, all those hours ate into their profits.
“Before Spend & Expense, it could take us up to 10 hours a month trying to make sense of all the expenses of one small client.”
Their first attempt at streamlining the expense management process didn’t go well. While the commercial card they tried did allow expense information to be entered online, it didn’t provide any reporting so they had no real visibility into spend—the kind of visibility that’s crucial for making informed decisions.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, the anxiety around expense management before Spend & Expense was a 12. After Spend & Expense, the anxiety fell to a 1.”
In 2019, Chaney & Associates was introduced to BILL Spend & Expense from a client. A test-run quickly demonstrated that Spend & Expense was the right solution for the firm, helping them to gain more control over finances and unlock the power of continuous close.
Chaney & Associates now closes the books with their clients every week, avoiding the stress that arises from the more common practice of closing the books at the end of the month. They reconcile Spend & Expense transactions on Wednesday and Friday, bank statements on Thursday, and payables (such as benefits and cancellations) in between.
With new efficiencies enabled by streamlined expense management, Chaney & Associates has increased capacity. According to Chaney: “With Spend & Expense, our staff of 17 can easily serve 2,500 people. We can serve more clients in less time—focusing on other high-value client services beyond expense management. Serving more clients has enabled us to experience a spike in income.”
“Thanks to BILL Spend & Expense, closing the books for a client, regardless of their size, takes five minutes. Whether you have a hundred or a million rows of transactions, Spend & Expense does it all for you.”
BILL’s customer support team also makes it easy for the firm to dispute a transaction, freeing up even more time—and giving them peace of mind. “BILL’s support, fraud protection, all of that comes off the firm’s shoulders,” Chaney pointed out. “No more hours on the phone.”
BILL Spend & Expense has been a game-changer for Chaney & Associates’ clients, too. Instead of combing through outdated, static expense reports line-by-line, they can view real-time spend from the palm of their hand, thanks to the BILL app. A single admin control panel has replaced sprawling spreadsheets. “Spend & Expense has made expense management relevant, real time, accessible, and easy to use,” says Chaney.
Plus, the impeccable bookkeeping that results from Chaney & Associates’ weekly closes allows their clients—nonprofits, which face greater financial scrutiny—to be audit-ready at all times.
“My clients love Spend & Expense. They tell me, ‘Spend & Expense is the biggest game-changer you’ve added in a long time.”
With Spend & Expense, both the firm and their clients have a better spend management experience—so much so that Chaney & Associates now follows a cardinal rule: “We don’t serve people who don’t use Spend & Expense,” Chaney says. “The anxiety I get when people say they have 30 Visa cards outstanding—I don’t want my employees to be bothered by that. Instead, it’s just a quick transition, and they’re up and running on Spend & Expense in no time, with physical and virtual cards.”
After a new client signs up for Spend & Expense, by request of the firm they also implement BILL for finance automation and Xero as their accounting software. All three platforms seamlessly sync to streamline spend from payments to expenses and beyond. Summarizes Chaney, “All of our systems are connected now. And it’s all automated. We love that.”
With BILL, Chaney & Associates has taken control of their finances—and helped their clients to thrive. Now, they’re better positioned to empower even more faith-based communities to focus on ministry.
“Think of the administrative burden and all that salary and benefits that you offload with finance automation from BILL—not only for the firm but also for your clients.”