Blumer & Associates: “Our Clients are Blown Away by Bill.com.”
Cassidy Jakovickas, president and CEO of MBS Accountancy, understands firsthand the importance of data security and having full transparency when it comes to client data. MBS Accountancy is a cloud accounting firm that has been in business since 2010 and serves a broad client group with a concentration in construction and nonprofits. The firm uses expert accounting, bookkeeping, and tax planning to grow clients’ companies and maintain their compliance. The firm has two offices – both in Fresno, California – but supports 150 clients throughout the state, with a few that are out-of-state.
In this interview, Jakovickas shares why MBS Accountancy chose to work with Bill.com and the benefits the firm sees as a result.
What makes MBS Accountancy unique?
We are very focused on our clients’ needs and making sure we have good relationships with them. We offer many touchpoints – in-person meetings, email, videoconferencing – whatever works best for them. We also have an experienced group of experts that can handle complex accounting services, including recommending technology to make things more efficient and transparent for our clients. We are pretty much a paperless office and are known to be the most technology-focused firm in the area.
Why choose Bill.com?
Previously, we would go to clients’ offices and print checks. We were looking for a cloud-based system that could handle accounts payable from approval processes to issuing payments to vendors. We wanted to manage AP anywhere. Through this process, we explored multiple technologies, but chose Bill.com because it was the AP processing program recommended in a CLE class we went to about client accounting services (CAS).
Ease of use and transparency are so important, and Bill.com provides them. We appreciate the fact that we can handle all the AP from our office without sacrificing control and visibility into what the client needs. On-the-go clients can use their smartphone to make and approve payments, giving them flexibility when they’re out of the office. In addition, Bill.com’s automation capabilities provide much-needed transparency, acting like a third party by keeping an eye on things, sending reminders, and moving the approval process forward to the next reviewer. Each step is tracked and audit-ready as every payment is looked at before it leaves.
CAS is all about scheduling and predictability. When we are doing our internal delegation and capacity planning, we also spend time ensuring that our clients know when bills need to be in so they can be processed. When working with Bill.com, our clients know exactly when things need to be in so they can get them paid on time. We are not chasing approvals or payments with Bill.com, which ultimately decreases our hours. In return, we have the time we need to do valuable consulting with our clients. It’s really a team effort – we have our role in the process and our clients have their role in the process.
If we are going to oversee a client’s AP, using Bill.com is a requirement, not an option. Once they get on Bill.com, they really love it. Everyone that tries it, likes it.
Working with Bill.com has given us about a 10-20% increase in revenue as we are now able to offer efficient AP services to clients.
In addition, auditors love it when our clients use Bill.com. They don’t have to be on-site to complete their audit. They can drill into payment approvals and canceled checks digitally with audit-level access from Bill.com. We work with so many nonprofits required to have an annual audit that this is important for everyone involved.
Advice for firms looking to grow
I have three tips, which I think are helpful. First, think about your business as systems. Systems run the business, and people run the systems. This has really resonated with us. You have to embrace different technologies. There is no other option. Second, you can’t scale in a CAS model without leveraging the technology that is available. Finally, create extremely clear expectations and rules for your clients. Have the courage to call out a client if they are not fulfilling their part of the bargain.
A Client’s Perspective: RCS Fresno
Priscilla Meza is the executive director of Rape Counseling Services of Fresno (RCS Fresno). The organization, one of 86 rape crisis centers in California, has a mission to end rape and sexual violence and empower survivors while supporting safe, consensual relationships in Fresno County. RCS Fresno started working with MBS Accountancy eight years ago. The accounting firm streamlined its financial processes and introduced RCS Fresno to Bill.com for its AP. Meza discusses the seamless transition and how MBS makes systems run much more effectively. She also shares how having Bill.com in place when COVID-19 hit was a blessing as it made the transition to work from home very seamless since everything was already web-based.
Transitioning to Bill.com
We were handling everything in-house before we outsourced to MBS Accountancy, but it was more than one person could do and we needed an alternative. In the beginning, MBS would come into our offices to help with AP since we were still doing checks in-house and they needed wet signatures. Then, with their guidance, we were seamlessly transitioned to Bill.com. This made everything more cost-effective as it saved us valuable time and resources.
While we still need to keep some paper copies for audit purposes, we can access everything right in Bill.com. It’s readily available when needed in a very quick and easy way, which makes our accounting functions, including audits, so much simpler.
Having Bill.com in place when COVID-19 hit was really a blessing for us. It made the transition for our staff to work from home very seamless. Everything is web-based, so we can easily and remotely get the signatures we need from our board president and treasurer to keep things moving forward. Our board consists of working professionals, and this is convenient for them. I highly recommend that agencies consider using Bill.com. Having the capability of working remotely, especially when considering our current circumstances, is vital to any organization.
Working with MBS Accountancy
We enjoy working with an accounting agency we can trust and partner with for years to come. MBS Accountancy is a solid and trusted partner for us. They understand the complexities of a nonprofit with multiple funding sources, and they made integrating with Bill.com an easy process.