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The Accounting Technology Lab Podcast – Review of Aiwyn – April 2024

Hosts Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley, CPA, look at the practice management, billing and collections platform Aiwyn.

Hosts Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley, CPA, look at the practice management, billing and collections platform Aiwyn. Use the video player below to watch, or the podcast player below to listen to the podcast.

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Transcript (Note: There may be typos due to automated transcription errors.)

Randy Johnston  00:00

Hey, welcome to Technology Lab. I’m your host, Randy Johnson with co host, Brian Tankersley. Today we’d like to talk about a collections and billing platform known as Aiwyn. Now I went itself has been around for a few years, their basic value proposition is to try to speed up your revenue cycle, helping you get the bills out the door faster and getting client payments more rapidly, we’re finding a lot of interest in this area and multiple different competitors are trying to play into this space. Now, what’s traditionally happened in many CPA firms, the billing process is very labor intensive, partner intensive and takes a bunch of time and has a lot of manual processes in it. So that internally is a tough thing. But on the outside for clients, it turns out that it’s difficult to pay. And many of these new platforms allow a click to pay invoice methodology via email. I one does do that. And they also allow for you to pay multiple invoices at one time. So all of those things are pretty interesting. And Brian, what do have firms report that that allows them to do? Well,

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  01:15

this is, again, this is these are Aiwyn stats. And so again, just like any kind of any kind of presentation you get, your mileage may vary. But here we’ve got a 22% decrease in say, they say DSO increase three times increase in amount of online payments collected 41% increased in total collections. 69% of invoices paid within seven days. If there’s a collection reminder for 89 89% of invoices paid within two weeks at the collection, reminder of the late invoices paid by clients after one collection reminder, one firm said 42% are actually getting paid from there. So you know, these are individual stats for each of these firms. And they’re probably best in class for for Aiwyn usage, because that’s where they’re quoting them in their presentation. But that’s this is the general approach they’re making here is to build faster, and then remind and collect faster and make it easier for the for the other side of the transaction. Yeah,

Randy Johnston  02:21

so basically, then they call their platform practice intelligence, it’s really broken up into two pieces, the billing side, and then the payments and collections side. And the county today has rated this product as a top product in 21, and 22. And I think it is worthy of note that way. Now it turns out payments and collections system as three different components to it, the command center, and the customized email sequences and the intelligence that’s based on client behavior that’s available. So it does seem to integrate well, with a number of different practice management systems. That’s been part of what they’ve been capitalizing on. Because many of the legacy practice management products just are a little clumsy on the billing side. And the processes internally are not all that great, too. So if you consider that that might speed up your cash flow, and relieve the frustration of staff and improve the client experience in general. That is where some dollars now we’ve seen different quotes through the years in terms of what I went does for the firm’s. But you know, clearly if you’ve got broken billing processes, this may help speed up those things. So Brian, when I think about, you know, billing processes that I’ve talked through with clients in the past on all sorts of different practice management systems, so much of the time partners are not doing online review. It is very common that there does sound so archaic, we’re emptying out all the bills, manually reviewing them, marking things up on their desks, handing them back to admin, or handing them over to other team members, staff and seniors and so forth that have worked on the projects to ask for additional comments, this whole back and forth process can be a real burden. And

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  04:37

you know, the the problem here realistically is we have in the accounting industry with a few exceptions. Most of us are working on billing software and by extension billing processes. That was written before y2k. So we’re talking about most of the much of the software is north of 25 years old. Okay. All of its at least 10 years old. So the the chat, the thing we’ve got to think about here is that the way we did business, when in those days when you had a paper trunk and you know, a laptop was something you might do Excel with, you might not, you might have a dot matrix printer, you might not, you know, as we’re thinking about that, that’s a different era. And so the problem there is we really have some technological debt around those processes, where we’ve, we’ve not really updated those we’re not used, a lot of a lot of firms are not using CRM systems, and other tools to make it easier for those senior folks to get more done and to have a better feel for what’s happening and be able to go right to the information they need for those client relationship efforts. So it’s, I think, realistically, I wouldn’t can help that because it really gives you a, a workflow process for the billing that is really much more modern, and much closer to what we see fortune 500 companies and the Big Four and others using that they’ve implemented in SAP and other tools like that.

Randy Johnston  06:08

Yeah, that makes sense. And, you know, I might point out that a number of Iowans clients are my clients too, so that I want to disclose that. But as we talk about this platform, I’d like to bifurcate our conversation for just a minute, because most of the firms on Iwan today are larger firms. And I know some of our listeners are from smaller firms. And we will have a separate podcast on a billing system like forwardly, or a billing system like CPA charge or quick feed that probably fits your needs more readily. But I can tell you that when I consider the firm’s that are on the platform, to me, it’s been fascinating that the processes here justified, you know, putting in Iwan, just to speed up that revenue cycle. And you know, these are our well known, well respected firms in my mind. And again, if you’re watching the video version of this particular podcast, you’ll notice that there’s about 40 ish firms that are listed in their client base. And I would say at least half of those I’ve done direct work in myself. And I can tell you that we’ve talked about billing processes, in some cases for a couple of decades with some of these firms trying to get it right. This has clearly been painful for these large firms. And they are seeing the value of these types of platforms. Now, we will also discuss other large, firm platforms. But I’d like for you to consider what you consider your billing cycle to be. And I can tell you that day before recording this podcast, I received a call from a client that I worked with in Oklahoma who had the same question. And it was fascinating to me, because I thought that they had their processes pretty well wired, and had a good operations person in place. So in any case, I just want to mention that, you know, again, the target of the potential firms here is may be larger than some of you are. But I do want you to get conceptually what we’re talking about here.

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  08:35

So what I want you to get is, I want you to think about this. And think about what happened in the era when we, when most of our practice management applications were written. It was either in the early days of the Internet, when it was dial up, or ISDN, or it was even pre internet, people smoked in their offices, we had, you had to go to the office to do things, everything was on paper, the processes were all on paper. And the problem that a lot of us have in our firms is that we haven’t updated those practices to use the paperless workflows that we have today. Or if we have made it paperless, we’ve pushed it into email, so that now you have another 10 to 10 emails, you have to look at that or that or unstructured data, as opposed to just a yes or no, on an approve an invoice in a workflow queue. And so that’s that’s the thing I would think about here. And even if you know if I was a great fit for you, I encourage you to check it out. If if it’s not a great fit, I want you to look at your billing. Okay, because right now some of you right now as this podcast goes out, many of you are getting caught up on your billing from the previous tax season. And you know, because you’ve just been running wide open trying to just make deadlines, and I really strongly encourage you to have a look at those to go through and actually have a have a good look at that process. And ask yourself if if I had if I was trying to show my firm’s leadership and technology to a new manager, senior manager that was going to come in and buy me out? How embarrassed would I be if I showed them a paper workflow surrounding surrounding billing and collections and things like that? You know, it’s, it’s not 1985 anymore. And it’s time for us to get products, it’s time for us to get products and tools and workflows that look like it’s 2024. In a world where we have to provide much more flexibility and much more work from anywhere than we ever thought about having in the old days, where if you weren’t in the office, you were dead to them. So realistically, we’ve got a, I think, I think it’s critical that that beyond just I when I think you need to think about your billing and collection process, what you’re going to figure out what you’re going to do with it. And again, remember because so many of you are in eat what you kill firms, but you know, two kinds of firms, there’s the eat what you kill firms, and there’s the shared chair like firms, and most firms are somewhere in between. But especially if you’re in an eat what you kill firm, everybody gets really nervous when you start messing with anything surrounding billing, and collections and other things like that, because they’re afraid they’re gonna lose money. The thing I would say here is that you’re almost always going to make money by building by building on a more timely basis. And by collecting on a more timely basis, everybody’s going to be happier you your staff, you’re off, you know, your, your partners and and the client, because honestly, client wants to pay you, you just have to send them a stupid invoice if you want them to.

Randy Johnston  11:44

Well, Brian, I was gonna ask if you had any parting thoughts, and that might appeared yet. I went software platform does help you evaluate, track and improve your cash flow. So if you’re looking for that type of a solution, it’s one of multiple platforms that Brian and I have reviewed. So any other thoughts there? Brian,

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  12:06

I think I said my piece there, Randy. I probably got a little too wound up about it here. But, you know, it’s, it’s frankly, it’s indicative of the plumbers. Pipes always leak. The cobblers shoe cobblers, kids always have holes in their shoes. You know, we always want to work on our clients processes, because we get paid for it. But we don’t want to work on our processes. And the problem is we haven’t worked on him for a long time. And now we’re not getting paid or as as a result, so we need to act on it. If we like money, and if you don’t like money, don’t worry about it.

Randy Johnston  12:39

All right. All right. Well, we appreciate you listening in on another accounting Technology Lab. We’ll have you with us again sick good day.