OUT NOW: 2022 State of client engagement.  Download the report

Accounts receivable now a thing of the past with zero bad debt

Connected Accounting
Marie Phillips, Founder & CEO

Marie Phillips is a CPA and entrepreneur. With three master’s degrees in addition to her accounting credentials, Marie is never one to shy away from a learning curve — on the contrary, she is defined by her enthusiastic curiosity.

Marie founded Connected Accounting so she could innovate beyond the norms expected of a financial services firm. She wanted to create a firm where her passion for problem-solving, love for efficient processes, and sincere support for clients were built into the DNA of the business.

“Using Ignition has probably saved me anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a month."

Marie Phillips, Founder & CEO, Connected Accounting

The challenge: client interactions becoming tension-based conversations

“The big issue is that your only point of contact with the clients becomes tension-based conversations.”

Marie Phillips, CPA, is a fan of efficient processes. When she founded Connected Accounting, she knew she wanted to do away with the bad processes she dealt with in previous roles. This included using Word documents and Excel spreadsheets to organise client communications and information.

These inefficiencies were costing money.

“We were serving clients that we could not collect on. You have to write off time, because all of a sudden they're arguing with every single line item. So, you end up wasting your time as a business owner justifying the work you've done six weeks ago that they're just getting billed for,” says Marie.

Having to continually chase clients down for payments was not only costing Marie time and money, but straining her client relationships and leading to awkward conversations.

“The client gets more frustrated. Instead of remembering that time we saved them $5,000 or stopped them overspending in a business area, clients only know you as that annoying phone call chasing up late payments. So when they see your name coming up on their cell, they don't want to pick up.”

The solution: putting an end to awkward conversations with Ignition

Since implementing Ignition to engage clients and automate billing and payments when she launched the business in 2019, Marie has put an end to awkward conversations about getting paid.

Today Marie has grown the business to 14 employees with no accounts receivable.

“We have zero accounts receivables, literally none. I used to have to go chase people – close to our annual calendar year end, I would have to call everyone and say, ‘you haven't paid us’.”

“Now, we charge our clients the first of the month – it's automatically withdrawn from their bank account or from their credit card account. If the payment doesn't go through, we alert them. We don't start the work until it does.”

“Using Ignition has probably saved me anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a month, not having to prepare engagement letters, track payments, call clients, review invoicing, approve invoicing. All of that is gone.”

“We don't have to do any of it anymore. As a business owner, to me, that's the most important thing – it saves me money to use Ignition because I'm not paying somebody else to do it.”

2022 State of client engagement

With unrecovered out of scope work costing accounting and bookkeeping professionals over $76k per year on average, US firms are leaving money on the table. Having or avoiding awkward client conversations, whether about scope creep or late payments, is a part of everyday life – but it doesn’t have to be.

Register for our 2022 State of client engagement webinar on Wednesday September 21 at 1pm ET, featuring Marie Phillips from Connected Accounting.

Hear from our expert panel about Ignition’s latest research insights on the cost of avoiding awkward situations, and the tools and strategies your firm can use to put an end to these. Ignition’s first ‘State of client engagement’ report explores the impact that delaying awkward client conversations has on accounting professionals and their firms in the United States. Click here to download the report.

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