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November 16, 2022

What Your CAS Practice Should Look For When You Look for Automation

By 
Hilary Smith

Automation is a bit of a buzzword.

And frankly, every platform uses it a bit differently. And there are so many different ways to automate different day-to-day processes your CAS practice does.

While you’re already busy with client work, managing staff and growing your practice, it can be hard to cut through the noise.

This is a quick guide to help you determine where to start when it comes to assessing an automated spend management and bill pay solution.

Examine your product roadmap

A high-performing CAS practice or bookkeeping practice is not unlike a SaaS product.

You can foresee where the market is shifting and you know how your clients’ needs are evolving. You have a roadmap for where your offering needs to grow.

Take stock of your product roadmap and what your clients are looking for. Maybe they want payment automation, spend control or smoother approval processes to take the manual work out of day-to-day back office tasks.

That’s where you have the opportunity to expand your offering and potentially monetize additional “features” for your clients—like automated bill pay, for example.

When looking at your product roadmap and deciding what to add to it, the ideas below are some good rules of thumb to follow:

  • Are your clients looking for these types of solutions?
  • Is your staff equipped to offer additional services?
  • Will your staff require training to adopt a new SaaS product?
  • Does your tech stack support these kinds of additional solutions?

Find inefficiencies

Are there tasks that require a lot of manual work—and then double-checking that manual work for accuracy? Or, maybe tasks that continuously end up in “bottleneck” status, just waiting for a person to complete them?

This is the kind of work that can slow a high-performing practice down. It’s the same kind of work that slows down your clients when they try to take this work on themselves.

We’re talking tasks like:

  • Expense approvals
  • Issuing payments to vendors
  • Expense coding
  • Manually entering data into platforms like QuickBooks and Xero
  • Organizing and recording data from bills and receipts

All of these things can be automated with higher accuracy. Automation takes you out of these slow time-consuming processes and frees your time up to explore growing your practice, offering higher-value consultancy services or adding more clients.

Look for savings (and not just monetary savings)

Maybe your practice is already using a bill pay or spend management platform with clients.

If you’re using one of the biggest players in the space, chances are there are significant per-user, per-client and per-transaction fees.

Not to mention, even free platforms have started charging more for per-client subscriptions and sending checks.

If you’re using these higher fee platforms with every client, you’re looking at pretty substantial management costs. Whether you’re passing those on to the client, or absorbing them yourself, you have the opportunity to make your pricing more competitive.

And, with the introduction of automation, your staff can be freed up to spend less time on work per client and take on more clients (which is BIG for your bottom line).

Don’t ignore the little details when it comes to finding efficiency either.

For example, does a bill pay platform actually sync the bill or receipt image to the general ledger? For compliance reasons, the original attachment is often needed. And, if the image doesn’t sync automatically, it creates additional manual work.

Or, does the OCR technology and scanning system make scanning bills and receipts entirely no-touch? For example, Corpay One offers the ability for vendors to email bills and receipts directly to a unique address for your clients. From there, recurring bills can be set to autopay with a workflow that runs automatically—no bill handling needed. Or, build an automated workflow that sends bigger purchases through a multi-step approval process.

Do your research

There are a lot of solutions out there claiming to be an all-in-one spend management platform. You might even find yourself facing analysis paralysis or be stuck in an endless cycle of demos with account managers.

If you’ve gotten this far, chances are Corpay One has really caught your eye. And for good reason! 🙂

We offer a complete spend management platform, for all the ways your clients pay—without charging scanning, user or subscription fees. Here are the payment methods we offer:

  • ACH (free!)
  • Check (free!)
  • Virtual Card (free!)
  • International Wire ($9.50)
  • Foreign Exchange (By request only! Subject to exchange rates)

Plus, Corpay One has the added potential of being a complete integrated corporate card solution for your clients. The Corpay One Mastercard® has spend control functionality whereby you can set spending by merchant category, or spend reset frequencies and limits by day, week or month.

For those using QuickBooks Online or Xero, Corpay One Mastercard® transactions and receipts sync seamlessly to the general ledger in real-time, so it’s easier to keep track of all client spend.

Look for staying power

As the economy fluctuates, some VC-backed spend management providers have been restricting their services, increasing fees or kicking folks off their platforms altogether. That is NOT Corpay One. We’re not a fly-by-night funded startup with limited runway. We aren’t in the business of leaving our customers lacking their go-to solution for essential business payments and company spending.

Corpay One has the agility of a high-performing startup, with the stability that comes with being part of an S&P 500 organization. Corpay One is part of FLEETCOR, a $2.8B revenue business with 9,000 employees worldwide and over 1.6B transactions annually.

Looking for an automation solution for your CAS practice?

Get in touch with our Advisor team today.

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