[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]****This blog piece is from one of ConnectBooster’s newest contributors, Jason Etheridge. Learn more about Jason below.***

During the early days of our business, we were lucky. Our clients were usually up to date on their payments, and we experienced very few billing issues. We did have the occasional customer who would get 4 or 5 months behind, but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. In other words, few “red flags” ever went off when our collection processes were manual.

I know better now. Slow payments can quickly lead to major cash flow problems for a small business, but we were lucky. Our old methods may have cost us a fair amount of money over the years.

The reality is the number of slow or non-paying clients was growing as we grew. That’s an unfortunate byproduct of success. AR creeps up over time when using manual collection processes. We knew we were doing something wrong and needed to fix it.

1. Automation is the answer

We added a PSA to start addressing the problem. The Autotask platform lets us automate everything up to and including invoice creation ‒ but those systems aren’t designed to handle collections. That meant we still needed to process and deposit our checks manually.

So, we experimented a bit, using PayPal as backend internet gateway to try and speed up client payments. We even wrote an integration using their APIs to allow credit card charges. Between their continual updates (which broke our links), manual input, and rate increases, that was an extremely time-consuming and painful experience.

That’s when, thanks to a friend of mine, we found ConnectBooster. We quickly discovered it would be a fast and easy way to fix our back-office processes ‒ from invoices to payments ‒ so we could grow the business more predictably.

2. Leverage MSP Integrations

Our payment platform now links with Autotask and QuickBooks, which means we no longer have to create new usernames, and passwords and input payment data in other systems. ConnectBooster pulls the information it needs and updates the other applications.

Most small business payment gateways don’t integrate with the tools we use, so they won’t help automate our processes. That’s why MSPs should focus on companies that address our specific practice needs; those that develop the links, or the glue, our systems need to work together seamlessly.

Our combined automation tools allow us to scale without having to spend extra time on our billing and collections processes. With these systems in place, you won’t have to add more people to handle all the additional paperwork and accounting activities on the back end. It’s all automated.

In fact, our accountant was spending 30-40 hours per month handling credit card payments before we implemented our payment portal ‒ and that was before we acquired another MSP and doubled the number of invoices we generate each month. But after we integrated Autotask, QuickBooks, and ConnectBooster, it still takes less than half that amount of time each month.

Now we can add clients and revenue without the frustration and extra work. No need to solve the same billing and collections problems over and over.

3. Track Cash Flow Carefully

Another benefit of payment automation is how it improves your money stream. Cash is king. So, the faster we can get paid, the more money we have to invest in our company’s growth. While $300,000 in AR may sound great, that cash is still sitting in somebody else’s account, so we can’t spend it.

Our automated collections process fixes that problem. We enjoy having more cash in our checking account every month, not more AR. That lets us automate more processes, hire more (and more qualified) employees, and continue building out our managed services practice.
Cash in the bank is a game changer. MSPs tend to make poorer business decisions when AR is high, and the collections process is slow or broken.

That’s where automation truly helps.

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About Jason Etheridge

Jason Etheridge is the founder and President of Logic Speak; a growing managed IT and cloud services provider headquartered in the metro-Atlanta area. As the owner of Logic Speak for over 13 years, and as a member of the IT services industry for the past 20, Jason is passionate about serving others businesses and helping them succeed. Over the past three years under Jason’s leadership, Logic Speak has seen 20% year over year revenue growth.

Before founding Logic Speak, Jason was a Technology Consultant for Hewlett-Packard following the acquisition of Extreme Logic, a professional services firm focused on the development and delivery of Microsoft-enabled IT solutions. While at Extreme Logic, he received the Extreme Logic Excellence through Results award. In 2001, Microsoft took a preferred equity position in Extreme Logic, and in 2003 the company was acquired by Hewlett-Packard, forming the foundation of Hewlett-Packard’s applications solution business in the Americas.

Jason has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives in Johns Creek, GA with his beautiful wife Jennifer, son Jameson and their dog, Harbins.

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