From Financial Automation to Acquisition: hugoWREN Set to Expand

After using a different connection tool, it fast became clear that enabling the full system integration of their PSA and accounting package, wouldn't be an easy feat for just any provider - 

For hugoWREN, reconciling their recurring service invoices and reducing their overheads, would form only part of what they needed; the real test was finding a provider who actually understood their systems. 

More than finding a connection tool, Lee McKeel, Director of Finance, was determined to unlock a full system integration backed by an expert-led support team. hugoWREN needed to understand how these systems worked, and in turn, how they could best utilize these systems to a profitable advantage.

hugoWREN, formally known as hugoWREN Mac Consulting, is a specialized provider of Apple and PC Managed IT Services for all-sized businesses throughout the United States - 

For this New York-based Mac consulting IT company, the idea of expansion alone, would not be a feasible pursuit without having both the operational and financial visibility over their business. hugoWREN didn't just need to make sure customers were paying properly, they needed to ensure they had complete invoice and payment automation; they needed to understand where their business stood from a holistic perspective.

"We were using a different connection tool, and we just weren't happy with it. It worked, but it didn't do enough. There wasn't enough there to make it really efficient for us... 

We would have recurring invoices, and then, we would have this other set of invoices, and we would just delete them once they got over to our accounting package. There was no ability to reconcile between the two systems that were automated, and the invoices were automatically created, so we were really looking for something that would allow for better reconciliation for payments to agreement invoices...

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Finding the Yellow Brick Road to Zero-Touch Reconciliation

hugoWREN felt "in the dark" due to the lack of reconciliation between their systems. A full system integration would result in the complete transparency of accounting data between systems; it would mean that any data received in their accounting package, QuickBooks Online (QBO), would be "truly" traceable back to their PSA, ConnectWise Manage. 

In a determined bid to find this all-encompassing solution, hugoWREN shopped online for different products on the market when they discovered Wise-Sync. 

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Any time that I've worked with the Wise-Sync/Wise-Pay team, they've been very knowledgeable about both systems, especially ConnectWise [Manage], about how things flow, and even things that aren't really related to Wise-Sync/Wise-Pay but are causing us a pain point - they're quick to help us address these issues so it's no longer an issue for us. Just their in-depth knowledge of how ConnectWise [Manage] works, and how it should work for us to be efficient...we were really impressed. 

And having a partnership with a vendor that understands your systems and all of your systems, we felt, was so important," says Lee.

When conducting their search for a full system integration, it wasn't about a "pretty interface," hugoWREN determined functionality and support as their two leading factors, "that was more important." hugoWREN needed more than a seamless integration for both their invoices and payments; they needed a partner who could support their business, set-up their systems properly, and help guide them through the right decisions. 

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So, for us, the knowledge base was so important, it really added value in our perspective of that partnership, and why we chose Wise-Sync and Wise-Pay." 

After implementing Wise-Sync and Wise-Pay, Lee declares having a "more holistic efficiency rather than a single system efficiency," having witnessed an immense return on investment for their company firsthand, including operating visibility and analysis - 

"Reconciliation isn't as much of a time-waster as it once was," says Lee, as her team no longer has to manually assign classes for their different business units, which was "a huge time-waster," particularly when assigning 5-20 lines on 80-100 invoices per month. Now, GL classifications and business unit divisions are placed where needed, and items are assigned to their proper classes. 

"It provides so much operating visibility and analysis that we need. It's a huge time-saver for us." 

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The solution stack of ConnectWise Manage, QuickBooks Online, Wise-Sync, and Wise-Pay, has enabled hugoWREN to significantly shorten their invoicing process (removing 3/10 steps), along with their newfound ability to email invoices directly out of ConnectWise (instead of QBO) with "no unnecessary workflows." Now, the hugoWREN team no longer checks GL codes and classifications or manually enter item lines.

No More Headaches

From drastically streamlining their invoicing process, hugoWREN revels in a strict cost-saving of $3,000/month on labor alone. hugoWREN's gradually eliminating the need for smaller payments to go through a manual process as clients are encouraged to choose autopay, "it's not a headache anymore." 

"We get paid, and it's fantastic! There's transparency between the systems now, and I think that's helped us more than anything...on the plus side, the fees from Wise-Pay and IntegraPay are lower than the Intuit fees; so while Intuit has made it kind of simple from a QBO-only side, Wise-Pay has made it simple and more cost-effective from a ConnectWise integration into QuickBooks." 

Now, hugoWREN anticipates they'll slash another 3-4 days off their bookkeeping process each month after implementing "completely bulletproof" invoicing, payment, and procurement processes with the help of the Wise-Sync team. 

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Streamlined to Scalable: Efficiency You Can Feel

On the functionality of Wise-Sync and Wise-Pay, Lee says, "They just work!" In the event that there is an error when syncing across, hugoWREN is instantly notified and provided with a clean error report indicating exactly what went wrong so that their team's able to quickly fix it and move on. 

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"Less touchpoints means that it's not another system we have to run to make sure it's operating every single day, so it's definitely wonderful because our company has tried to keep our overheads very low. That's great because it's a saving that we can then pass onto our customers; it's a business efficiency that we can scale with no matter how much growth we have - it's all scalable."

It wasn't long after hugoWREN achieved this full system integration, that they felt fully equipped to acquire and merge with another company (with hugoWREN being the surviving entity). Prior to merging, hugoWREN had two separate ConnectWise incidences, which meant they were running two accounting packages and two connector systems. To facilitate a smooth merger, the Wise-Sync team provided hugoWREN with a solution in the interim, before eventually setting up hugoWREN with just one ConnectWise incidence. 

"Implementing Wise-Sync and Wise-Pay made the merge much more efficient and successful from a time and energy standpoint - if we didn't have that solution in place, and in advance, then we wouldn't have had such a successful merge. Of course, these processes can take up to anywhere between 12-18 months, but we wouldn't be as far along in that process had we not had those systems in place with Wise-Sync and Wise-Pay."

Even after their merger and subsequent expansion, hugoWREN hasn't had to hire additional staff within their finance department. Now, their systems are managing the heavy-lifting for them, with complete transparency, where Lee ascertains such ease-of-use to enhanced features like real-time sync and simplified payment collection, which facilitate up-to-the-minute operating visibility, together with the complete streamlined invoice and payment cycle reconciliation. 

The Perfect Time to Give Back

With this newly acquired revenue, hugoWREN's not only been able to give back to their customers, they've also been able to redirect this revenue toward their marketing budget and staff remuneration. 

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To-date, hugoWREN revels in the immense benefits of having a scalable "one-and-done efficiency," with very low overheads, $36,000+ cost-savings/year (on labour alone), and saves up to four days of manpower each month. hugoWREN expects "there's more savings to be had" when they implement a procurement and expense functionality; a process the Wise-Sync team's currently working with hugoWREN to achieve.

Cloud for Thought: QuickBooks Online and the Future

Cloud-first businesses like hugoWREN are capitalizing from the implementation of the solution stack QuickBooks Online (QBO), ConnectWise Manage, Wise-Sync, and Wise-Pay, where witnessing the continual year-on-year growth needed for scalability, greater financial visibility, and of course, newly acquired revenue from redirecting resources toward business areas capable of producing a significant return on investment.

To gauge this heightened cloud-first climate and its role within the MSP ecosystem, we spoke to Jeremy Sulzmann, Vice President and Business Leader at Intuit. Jeremy and his team are responsible for enabling third parties to integrate with the QBO platform in order to build value-added products and services that QBO users can thrive from in their day-to-day business lives. 

For those interested in moving to QuickBooks Online, we spoke to Jeremy about the renowned benefits of cloud accounting and why he promotes cloud-based solutions first and foremost. 

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"QuickBooks Online is an open platform that enables third-party applications to connect and integrate so data can flow automagically, eliminating data entry and creating time-saving efficiencies across workflows and processes. Sending e-invoices and enabling online payments is a growth strategy small businesses can adopt to achieve more success. In fact, small businesses that provide their customers with the ability to pay online get paid 2x faster than those that rely on paper invoicing. 

Deeper and more online platform integrations, coupled with more automation and AI/ML insights, means a small business owner can not only streamline processes, but tap key insights for running their business. We’ll see more of these types of capabilities from cloud accounting in the future."

change is constant and needed

Stronger Than Ever Before

"Looking back over the last two years, it's unlikely that you're running your business today in the same way you were in 2019. You had to evolve to reach new customers in new ways because the "old way" of doing business no longer existed. Small business owners have the passion, grit, and perseverance to rise above challenges and push through change to grow their business.

According to a recent QuickBooks survey, we estimate that as many as 17 million new small businesses will be formed in 2022. As a result, small businesses will continue to be key to the economy’s overall health with new fintech offerings being integral to the success of these small businesses. Thanks to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), we expect to see more from autonomous finances in the coming year, which takes a bulk of the legwork out of managing business finances, optimizing decisions, possibilities, and opportunities. This allows owners to focus their energy on other aspects of their business worry-free," says Sulzmann.

As the burgeoning demand for cloud solutions becomes the primary objective of the vast majority of industries worldwide, the sheer reluctance to embrace what's already fast becoming the norm, begs the question... 

What's Holding You Back?

Is it your finance team's inherent desire to spend every working hour on data entry and correcting its countless errors? Or perhaps you prefer to hire added contractors to make up the hours your team's struggling to fulfill?

Well, if compromising your company's scalability isn't what you had in-mind, you could be winning back all of those hours (and then some) through invoice and payment automation... and finally be able to take that family holiday, or for MSP owners like Damian, it's simply being able to use that spare hour each day to walk the dog

For whichever scenario plays out starring the happiest version of you, prioritizing your business' growth and attaining work-life balance can be a reality... after all, these businesses are just like you - the proof is in the payments

To help you better decide, download your free comparison of QuickBooks Desktop VS QuickBooks Online here, or get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss what's best for your stronger business.

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