While the popularity of golf has surged in recent years, the experience of golf can be intimidating, especially for a newcomer. aboutGOLF (aG) and its premium golf simulators have a vision to make golf accessible for all—whether you are a beginner, a casual enthusiast or have a seasoned swing. The simulators allow you to improve your game through at-home immersive golf experiences or in commercial establishments like indoor golf centers. With simulated versions of hundreds of golf courses—including championship level courses like Pebble Beach and Kiawah Island—aG offers golfers a fun and easy way to learn and enjoy playing the game.
To streamline their swing, maximize their reach, and achieve their strategic business goals, aG turned to BILL Accounts Payable and BILL Spend & Expense, to digitize accounts payable and spend management.
Founded in 1996, aG was acquired by new ownership in 2018 and, as a result of the acquisition, the company was using multiple financial systems that didn’t sync well together. Zoho was being used for inventory and CRM while QuickBooks Online was used for their financial reporting and accounting. It was a struggle to be in two financial systems with duplicative work. Data entry was a time consuming task which often resulted in human error.
In addition to manual data entry, the accounting staff was also saddled with a range of other manual tasks like setting up ACH payments through the bank, writing checks, attaching stamps, and sealing envelopes. They even had a Pitney Bowes machine for metering postage.
In 2021, their run rate on spend was $12M with expenses including inventory for hardware sales, travel expenses, and more. The business spent a million a month on payables alone, with hundreds of bills every month. With this level of transaction volume, it was clear the company needed a modern solution to manage AP more efficiently, cutting out all the unnecessary paper and manual effort.
aG found their “hole-in-one” with BILL. aG started with BILL Spend & Expense in January 2021, and then implemented BILL Accounts Payable in June of the same year. The Finance and Accounting department started running more smoothly right away.
With BILL, the staff was able to focus on what they were hired to do instead of taking 10 hours a week to stamp envelopes and write checks. The team could spend their time on more strategic initiatives and analysis including forecasting, looking at their balance and P&L statements, and assessing risk.
aG appreciates a number of timesaving features of BILL’s AP automation solution, including the ability to schedule payments. And for their golf simulators, which require a number of parts, BILL’s predictive smart artificial intelligence (AI) is a huge timesaver. When an invoice enters the system, the AI remembers what it entered last time for that line item, SKU, or expense, then populates the field.
When aG procures inventory for its simulators, they often purchase a variety of items, both big and small, with long SKU numbers. Doing that by hand can be a very manual and error prone process. With BILL, the software populates the SKU fields and it’s a simple step to double check the quantity then be good to go.
In short, the finance function at aG has become proactive instead of reactive. BILL adds time back in the day for the team as they can rely on its accuracy.
In addition to the increased efficiency and ability to schedule payments, aG also now has greater cash flow control and visibility which is critical when sending out checks. When a business sends out dozens of checks to vendors, managing when vendors are going to cash them can be a challenge. Thanks to BILL digital payments, aG now has real-time insight into all their payments.
With the BILL, if aG wants to push out a payment, they can. It’s great to have the ability to defer payments in order to better manage cash.
After implementing BILL, aG migrated from QuickBooks to NetSuite, which was fortunately a simple system migration—and has resulted in seamless integration between the two solutions.
More recently, a huge benefit of the BILL integration with NetSuite has been their ability to perform three-way matching. With three-way matching, purchase order and item receipt details are automatically synced from NetSuite to BILL and can be viewed alongside invoices.
Says Courtney Smith, Accounting Manager at aG: “Whereas before we had to do everything manually with billing, thanks to BILL’s three-way matching capability for NetSuite, the entry part has been almost eliminated. Paying bills is so easy—just review and approve. It’s been pretty refreshing.” And the results are impressive: Says Smith: “The new three-way matching capability has reduced our time spent on AP by up to 75%.”
In its over 25 years as a company, aG has transformed and grown in significant ways and they have big plans to continue evolving and expanding while revolutionizing the game of golf. BILL empowered aG to hit their ambitious revenue targets by effectively functioning as a helpful financial system caddie. Both AP and expense management solutions have helped eliminate time and effort removing the risk that can sometimes come with mundane and manual tasks.
Now, aG can focus on executing on the strategy that will enable them to become a simulator-as-a-service subscription business that brings golf to anyone, anywhere, anytime.