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PolyStone Planters thrives at 12X growth with BILL

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PolyStone Planters thrives at 12X growth with BILL

PolyStone Planters and their durable, lightweight planters are designed with innovative materials to make gardening easy, elegant, and enduring. Everyone from home improvement DIY’ers to commercial landscaping companies love their products, which are also sold at major consumer retailers like Lowe's, Home Depot, Amazon, Walmart, Houzz and Wayfair. And thanks to an effective marketing and advertising strategy, more customers than ever are getting a chance to experience them. As a result, the company experienced rapid growth, increasing 12X over the past four years.

But while this rampant growth has been great, it puts a strain on their existing financial processes.

“Processes are designed to work within certain parameters and, when you exceed those parameters, the processes break,” explains Bert Stouffer, CEO and Managing Partner for PolyStone Planters. “So things that worked when the company was much smaller don't work at the scale that we're operating at right now.”

Stouffer and his team knew it was time to plant the seeds for a new way to manage financial operations. The solution? BILL. “BILL solved our operational need to more effectively process payments,says Stouffer.

PolyStone Planters at front entrance

Simplifying with BILL finance automation

Karen McCubbin, Accountant for PolyStone Planters, remembers the cumbersome processes the company had with paper-based accounts payable (AP). “Before I started, they would print manual paper checks, and the person who did AP would drive to the owner’s house to have him sign checks. Then they would take them to the post office and mail them. Driving 45 minutes to have someone sign a check is a serious problem!”

McCubbin had used BILL in a previous role, so she knew that financial automation could really help PolyStone Planters. “When we talked about automating our financial operations, my first thought was, ‘We have to use BILL.’ Because it allows everything to be done remotely, whether you're on your phone or on a computer,” recalls McCubbin.

“My first thought was, ‘We have to use BILL.’ Because it allows everything to be done remotely, whether you're on your phone or on a computer.” — Karen McCubbin, Accountant, PolyStone Planters

Shifting to BILL was easy for the organization. “BILL is very user friendly,” says McCubbin.  “If I ever have a problem they have the best technical support of any software I've ever worked with.” And bringing accounting functions into a digital environment streamlined operations and made it easier for PolyStone Planters to assign appropriate roles to internal team members.

With all their invoices and other financial records stored digitally with BILL, McCubbin no longer has to go searching through filing cabinets full of paper when she needs to answer a question about a bill. She also doesn’t have to spend time reconciling financial records across different systems.

“The automation of [most] everything from an accounting perspective, and the fact that BILL syncs with so many different types of accounting and business software, has been a really good fit for us,” McCubbin says.

Summarizes Stouffer, “Let's just say that we wouldn't be able to efficiently do what we do now without BILL. We'd literally be hiring another person just to help manage some of that stuff.”

“Let's just say that we wouldn't be able to efficiently do what we do now without BILL. We'd literally be hiring another person just to help.” — Bert Stouffer, CEO and Managing Partner, PolyStone Planters

Nurturing better vendor relationships

PolyStone Planters uses BILL to manage AP for a complex range of vendors, including raw materials suppliers, product designers, transportation, advertising, and lease payments for their facilities. When invoices arrive via email, McCubbin simply drops them into BILL for processing.

Many of their vendors now receive ACH payments via BILL, and several have set themselves up in BILL to receive vendor direct credit card payments. And adding a new vendor to their system is easy. “We can just pull new suppliers into the fold and off we go,“ says Stouffer. “

“With a few exceptions, everything goes through BILL, whether we're paying them by paper check, e-payment, or vendor direct,” McCubbin says.

“Simply put, BILL gives us the ability to easily manage a complex range of vendors.”  — Bert Stouffer, CEO and Managing Partner, PolyStone Planters

Indeed, BILL has played an important part in navigating and improving their relationships with vendors during the last four years of rapid growth.

“Our aggressive growth forced us to strengthen our relationships with our suppliers, or in some cases, diversify our relationships with suppliers. BILL enabled us to upgrade all those relationships. I feel like we're in a much better spot with our vendors right now because of BILL,” says Stouffer.

Another PolyStone planter at entrance

Reducing errors with three-way matching

Three-way invoice matching from BILL allows PolyStone Planters to cross-reference invoices against the purchase order and receipt. This extra layer of verification and visibility helps prevent mistakes and possible fraud.

“Purchase order matching from BILL has been a big help in staying on top of our payments. There’ve been cases where I see a purchase order but am still waiting to receive an invoice,” says McCubbin. “Or, I’ll get a bill and don’t have a purchase order showing that anything has been received. In any case, I can contact the vendor and it’s easier to figure out what happened.”

“These past few years, we’ve all been operating in an environment with increased price fluctuations,” says Stouffer. “Purchase order matching with BILL helps ensure that even with prices changing, we can keep everything matched up and pay what we expect or understand why there’ve been changes.”

Three-way matching has also improved interdepartmental communication, particularly between Finance and the Purchasing department. “Now I can see when the amount a vendor billed us is not what we were expecting, so I can track back to the purchasing department,” explains McCubbin. “It might be that the sales rep gave them the wrong amount, or the invoicing department was wrong. We can get the bill corrected right away.”

“Purchase order matching from BILL is a big help in confirming all inventory is received and accurately billed for,” McCubbin says.

“Purchase order matching from BILL is a big help in confirming all inventory is received and accurately billed for.” — Karen McCubbin, Accountant, PolyStone Planters

Seamless integration with NetSuite

In January 2022, PolyStone Planters migrated from QuickBooks to NetSuite, and BILL made the transition easy.

“BILL has done more than just get along with NetSuite—it's been great. We worked with the migration team at BILL and they helped migrate all of our data from QuickBooks,” McCubbin says. “Within a week of switching over to NetSuite, we had BILL up and running and syncing with NetSuite.”

The complexity of what we're doing now, the number of vendors we have, and the amount of money pushing through the system, would not be sustainable without BILL,” says Stouffer. “The fact that BILL and NetSuite fit together so nicely further validated the decision to go with BILL.”

PolyStone planters

Expense tracking made easy

PolyStone Planters was also looking to automate expense reporting, so they chose BILL Spend & Expense. They use a combination of physical and virtual cards from BILL to help manage spend. And BILL Spend & Expense software makes it easy to stay on top of expenses with automated reporting and syncing across multiple systems.

“We've got our audit trail all there, and it's nice and tidy and thoroughly documented. I feel like we are able to very cleanly track all the expenses that we have,” says Stouffer.

And the results speak for themselves: PolyStone Planters have reduced the time spent on processing advertising expenses by 75%.

Growing upward from a solid financial foundation

Automated finances with BILL have given this young company the confidence they need to enter their next period of growth.

“Strategically, we wanted to put the operational infrastructure in place to allow us to scale the business,” recalls Stouffer.  “My vision is to be much larger than it is today. But in order to grow, you have to have the infrastructure—particularly from a data perspective. BILL has given us the financial operational infrastructure we need to maintain control and visibility while we scale the business.”

“I think that there's a level of professionalism that's implied by using a system like BILL. As a relatively small company, it just makes us seem more credible, more safe, having automated systems like BILL in place,” says Stouffer. “Our partners know they are dealing with a reputable company and they don't have to worry about expanding their business with us.”


PolyStone Planters is based in Kansas City, Kansas, and designs and manufactures garden planters.

# of employees



Home goods, Manufacturing, Retail


The company had been growing rapidly, increasing in size 12X over the course of four years. Their Finance team needed help managing the workload, navigating relationships with vendors, and maintaining a high level of accuracy.


BILL Accounts Payable and BILL Spend & Expense

Accounting software



With BILL on board, PolyStone Planters streamlined finance operations, improved relationships with vendors, and reduced the possibility of errors using three-way invoice matching.

Customer since


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