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IQPC in Perth knows business IT services and client support. It’s what they’ve delivered for the past 26 years. A five-fold growth in their team size has enabled them to offer their clients even deeper support to maintain and improve their essential IT services. More services equals more invoices to collect. In 2018, IQPC improved its invoice-to-payment efficiency by integrating ezyCollect with its Xero accounting software.
Phil Wainwright is a director and co-owner of IQPC. He has personally overseen the accounts receivable process from the time the company issued its first invoice in 1994. Two decades later, an entirely manual process of chasing payments reached its tipping point.
“When it got to around 400-500 invoices a month, it was really hard to keep control of debtors,” explains Phil.
Although IQPC had a great track record of positive cashflow, the workload to recover cash was becoming a bigger burden on the four administration staff who shared the accounts receivable job.
IQPC’s variable payment terms added complexity to the job: some invoices would become overdue after seven days, others had 30-day terms. While Phil describes Xero as an “amazing accounting system”, he describes its capabilities to communicate with customers about overdue invoices as basic.
“Xero would send automated reminders on a per invoice basis. That was confusing and annoying for our clients,” says Phil, whose clients could accumulate up to 20 invoices each month.
Unable to rely on autopilot, Phil’s team had the daunting task of extracting a long list of overdue invoices from Xero and manually preparing reminders. As the team completed collection calls, staff had to create and duplicate their call notes on every invoice in Xero.
“The system was breaking down and things were getting missed and forgotten,” explains Phil.
The team was losing even more time processing credit card payments manually over the phone.
“We desperately needed a good online payment gateway,” says Phil.
IQPC integrated ezyCollect with Xero to solve two major pain points that were costing the business time: following up every invoice to payment; and accepting and allocating payments easily.
Now, IQPC deploys a 6-step workflow of automated emails interspersed with phone call tasks for staff. Customers appreciate the consolidated account information in every communication. And staff appreciate the daily call list emailed to them.
“We have found that the vast majority of clients respond directly to the automatic email reminders, so the daily call list is usually very small. Sometimes no calls at all,” reports Phil.
The automated end-of-month statement also acts as a powerful reminder and collection tool. “We always get a flood of payments for the next few days after our monthly scheduled statement run.”
In addition, IQPC has deployed the online payment portal available in ezyCollect. Clients receive a reminder or monthly statement, click a Pay Now button, and enter a personalised payment portal listing every open invoice.
Previously, IQPC’s clients would need to call and ask for missing invoices; now they can access and query all of their invoices from their payment portal.
“Our customers have everything they need via their reminders, statement, and payment portal and can self-serve 95 percent of the time. Our team is no longer spending 8 hours a week answering their enquiries,” says Phil.
What’s more, the online payments system costs IQPC nothing to run, with no monthly service fees and transaction fees low enough that IQPC can surcharge to clients.
IQPC saves at least eight hours each week or $12,000 a year. That saving is now directly allocated to more customer care.
“We’ve automated other processes in the business, too, and streamlining the entire administration function has meant that our staff can evolve into more challenging roles. People who were doing manual data entry are now customer service professionals at the front line of our business.”
Ironically, after integrating ezyCollect’s sophisticated reminder system, IQPC’s clients actually receive fewer payment reminders.
“Our customers are no longer pestered with too many reminders. With ezyCollect they receive drastically fewer reminders and all the information is laid out in front of them. They can answer their own questions.”
Phil is pleased his IT business has been able to support its own clients with a digital payments experience. “The payment portal has a very slick and modern design so it creates a great impression on the client. Rather important for a tech company!”
“Xero is a fantastic accounting system and ezyCollect is the perfect complement to that system.Chasing over 700 invoices a month without ezyCollect would be a nightmare. We get paid quicker. Our clients get a much better experience. It’s less stress all around.”