Receipt processing app Receipt Bank is releasing a dashboard for bookkeepers that shows which clients are furthest behind in their books and encourages automation.
The practice platform will monitor the efficiency of the bookkeeping team and provide benchmarking across clients, says Sophie Hossack, sales manager for Receipt Bank.
“It makes it easier to see which clients require the most work,” Hossack says. “A lot of bookkeepers only service the clients that complain the loudest.”
The practice platform has received accolades from beta users including Greg Tuckwell, CEO of highly automated bookkeeping service ZeroBooks and accounting firm the Poole Group.
“Within 15 minutes of implementing the new platform we had identified six areas where we could improve our internal efficiencies and client service levels,” Tuckwell wrote in Xero’s community forum. “In terms of the benefits to our clients and our business this has to be the biggest single efficiency improvement released into the ecosystem over the last 12 months at least.”
How the Dashboard Works
Receipt Bank’s practice platform is divided into four sections; outstanding bookkeeping, urgency, client efficiency and efficiency.
The Outstanding Bookkeeping panel shows the amount of work to complete for all clients. Items Waiting represents receipts in Receipt Bank waiting to be approved, sent to an expense report, oncharged or copied to online accounting program Xero. (Receipt Bank has only connected to the Xero API at this stage.)
Unreconciled Items refers to the number of uncategorised transactions in Xero and the Outstanding Workload is a calculation of the time it would take to complete the work in Receipt Bank and Xero. The average is calculated among all Receipt Bank partners, not individually.
The urgency section shows bookkeepers which clients they should prioritise. The Inbox Age column shows the number of days that transactions (in Xero) or receipts (in Receipt Bank) have waited for processing.
The column uses the familiar traffic lights colours to indicate priority. A bookkeeper can set parameters separately for each client. If one client prefers to keep their books up to date every week, an eight-day wait will show up as a red light. A different customer who looks at their accounts once a month will show as green.
A bookkeeper can use this column to filter clients by urgency by displaying them by colour code.
Oldest Reconciled shows the date of the last reconciled transaction or receipt. The Next Deadline column is a period manually set for each client.
The Client Efficiency section is an interesting one to include. The metrics reveal the client’s performance rather than the bookkeeper’s. This is worth tracking to help clients change their behaviour – and to show bookkeepers who are their laziest (most troublesome) customers. “People often talk about hopeless clients but few people talk about firing clients. With the practice platform becomes much easier to know how good or bad a client is,” Hossack says.
Last Submission shows the time since the client last added receipts to Receipt Bank. Client Delay measures the difference between the date of filing a receipt and the date at which it was generated. This makes it easier to find the client who takes six weeks to submit receipts, misses the end of quarter and requires the bookkeeper to update the BAS post-submission.
“If an invoice raised on the first of the month why did Receipt Bank get it on the 22nd? Why the delay?” Hossack says.
Document Coverage shows the percentage of transactions which have images of receipts attached to them. Bookkeepers can set requirement thresholds to transactions above $75 or $80, in line with local compliance law.
This section measures the level of automation in Receipt Bank and Xero. This includes the number of bank rules for automatically categorising repeat transactions from the same suppliers.
“A business owner shouldn’t have to touch the data until it’s at payment,” Hossack says.
Over the coming months pricing will change to a more complex series of plans based on features, Hossack says.
Pricing also differs by geography – contact Receipt Bank for more details.