Beth Overbey, one of the leading members in Client Accounting Services (CAS) at Baldwin CPAs, knows all too well how much paper and labor are involved when you manually handle accounts payable. When the company underwent a merger in November 2018, one of the firm’s biggest goals was to integrate more efficient technology practices, including upgrading to automated accounts payable processes.
After exploring several other options that either lacked efficiency or all the functions needed to eliminate the paper process, Overbey knew Bill.com was the perfect solution she was looking for. Over two years later, she knows they made the right decision.
About Baldwin CPAs
Baldwin CPAs is a full-service accounting firm with five offices across Kentucky. In addition to their CAS department, which helps clients with a wide range of services, including QuickBooks, AP, sales tax, and payroll taxes, they have a traditional tax practice and assurance team that handles audits and reviews.
Baldwin currently serves nearly 5,000 national and international clients, in a wide variety of businesses and industries with concentrations in construction contractors, financial institutions, governmental agencies, medical practices, non-profits, and nursing homes.
As Baldwin acquired new clients following their merger in 2018, only a few of these clients were already using Bill.com. The future growth of the company was hindered by the time-intensive practices of manual accounts payable, including excessive amounts of paper, printing, check signing and physical postage. If Baldwin CPAs wanted to continue to grow, they knew this had to be upgraded immediately.
How Switching to Bill.com Has Impacted Business
During the merger, Baldwin upgraded to QuickBooks Online with only a few clients using Bill.com at the time. While still overwhelmed with the manual bill pay process and acquiring new clients, finding new talent to help handle it all was equally as cumbersome. With not enough accounting professionals in Kentucky, Baldwin’s best option for future growth and success was to make the switch to Bill.com
At first, Baldwin tested Bill.com with four physician clients. Once they saw the immediate efficiency and alleviated stress Bill.com provided, they were transitioning all clients by the middle of 2019.
The transition to Bill.com was an instant win-win scenario for Baldwin and their clients. This provided a valuable service for Baldwin’s clients who wanted to outsource the function to someone they trusted. This allowed Baldwin to solidify its relationships with clients and opened the door to additional services including advisory services and wealth management.
Bill.com gave Baldwin the ability to become more efficient and more automated. This also allowed for fewer people to touch the AP function, and the firm could eliminate paper records and printed checks while still having oversight of the approval process. With less time spent on the manual bill pay processes, Baldwin increased their bandwidth for more client acquisitions in the future.
How Using Bill.com Has Eased Effects of COVID-19
While all businesses felt the effects of the pandemic, Baldwin’s medical clients faced stress on all fronts. Thanks to automation through Bill.com, Baldwin was able to help support them through it all without missing a beat, making sure the financial parts of their businesses kept running smoothly and bills were always paid.
By March 2020, the remaining clients that hadn’t been moved onto Bill.com were immediately onboarded into the system. In retrospect, this was crucial for their clients’ survival, as Baldwin helped with new challenges of PPP and EIDL loans, CARES Act opportunities, and other pandemic-related relief. All the information needed to apply for the assistance programs was available in the accounting system.
When the majority of its staff was working from home, Baldwin was able to provide support to their clients. Bill.com’s integration with QuickBooks Online has also helped Baldwin to deliver seamless work over the past year. While on Zoom calls with clients, they’ve been able to pull up QuickBooks and show their clients real time financial data. They’ve been able to help ensure client’s bills and employees were paid so the clients could focus on their businesses.
The Best Part of Bill.com
Among Bill.com’s many useful features, Baldwin has found the approval processes to be one of the most helpful. With Bill.com Baldwin’s clients don’t have to waste time looking at bills when they come in, instead, now their bills go directly into the system and the client can approve them electronically, always making sure they’re correct before they’re paid.
When you get to be the size of Baldwin CPA, you can’t have 10 different processes. For Baldwin, Bill.com is the standard. “If you’re going to be part of our CAS department, Bill.com is what you’re using,” Overbey explains. “Bill.com is so ingrained in our process it’s just the way it is done. It’s our standard operating procedure at this point. Honestly, I can’t even imagine doing it any other way.”
How Bill.com Changed the Game From A Client’s Perspective: Cleanse Clinic
Abdul Buridi is the Chief Operating Officer at Cleanse Clinic, a rehabilitation center with six locations in Kentucky and Indiana. Cleanse Clinic has been working with Overbey for about 20 years, more recently as a Baldwin CPAs client. Prior to Bill.com, the invoicing process was manual and cumbersome – invoices would come to Baldwin, who would enter them into QuickBooks and deliver a summary to the client on a weekly basis. If everything reconciled, Baldwin would process the payment, print a check, stuff an envelope, and physically mail it. Obtaining physical invoices was equally daunting.
After Baldwin CPAs switched Cleanse Clinic over to Bill.com, everything changed. The client has easy access to invoices, and within seconds, can check what they’ve paid and are able to cross-reference those payments with QuickBooks and their bank accounts. They also have immediate insight into who approved a given invoice and when.
As Buridi explains, “We have multiple companies that operate across two states which demands my extensive involvement. With Bill.com, I’m able to focus on other important initiatives instead of bills.” The AI behind Bill.com creates a seamless invoicing system that syncs with QuickBooks. Cleanse Clinic’s vendors are also on the system, making auto-invoicing a breeze.
Overall, Bill.com saves Cleanse Clinic about 80% of the time it would normally spend on invoicing. Buridi saves over 20 hours a week while the accounting staff saves another 10 hours a week, for a total of almost 100 hours a month. “I recommend Bill.com to pretty much anyone we speak to,” Buridi says. “It streamlines everything.”
“With Bill.com, I’m able to focus on other important initiatives instead of bills.”
— Abdul Buridi, COO, Cleanse Clinic