Here's how AppSmart CEO Van Murray and his team streamline their billing with the help of a simple cloud accounting solution.
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
No efficient way to process increasing number of invoices
FreshBooks Select Recurring Billing function
is a young tech company that businesses go to for custom cloud strategies.
Just five years ago, the brand was born out of a larger organization. And since then, Van has seen his company grow by leaps and bounds.
Today, the thriving business has more than 50 ISPs partners, including Google, Microsoft, and FreshBooks.
The Challenge With Growth
AppSmart’s business model relies on recurring revenue and automated efficiencies, so it was processing a large number of invoices from the get-go.
Consolidated billing was crucial to its success. This need would only grow with the company. Van knew he needed a solution that would scale with the needs of a growing customer base and efficiently process the rapidly growing number of bills and invoices.
When Van launched AppSmart as a new brand, he turned to his trusted network and customers to shortlist his options for a suitable billing solution.
Many of them were successfully using FreshBooks, but he also knew that moving systems involves a lot of pieces, especially when it comes to accounting and billing processes. That’s why several teams at AppSmart were part of the decision-making: Accounting, Engineering & Support, Sales, and Product.
“We evaluated multiple solutions to ensure a smooth rollout,” recalls Van. In the end, as a cloud provider of businesses, it was the recurring billing function that convinced the team to go with FreshBooks Select.
“Although familiarity, reputation, and trust are a big part of why we chose FreshBooks, the recurring billing feature is very important to us and that’s where FreshBooks gave us the most value.”
Rolling Out a New System
AppSmart was actively billing even as a smaller organization so when it decided to implement FreshBooks Select, Van knew that managing the change was as important as the new solution.
To make the transition easier, the FreshBooks Select team was busy spinning up instances for AppSmart to test before launch, and make sure all of AppSmart’s processes were successfully up and running.
“The biggest thing was having great support throughout the process. Multiple people within FreshBooks in different groups helped accomplish that.”
Ultimately it turned out to be a very easy experience for Van’s team. “They simplified a complex system without overly complicating the options, which made launching so much easier.”
Advancing Automation With Powerful APIs
In the earlier years as a smaller company, AppSmart began using the solution with some manual processes. But as its billing needs grew, the company started leveraging FreshBooks’ powerful APIs to build more automation and billing efficiencies.
Van’s team loved the ability to create a billing profile and generate invoices automatically based on that recurring profile. The billing process got even easier and less involved. “FreshBooks doesn’t just provide traditional accounting functionality, it also provides components that typically aren’t found in pure billing systems,” explained Van.
Now as a larger organization, AppSmart has a large number of daily billing cycles, and FreshBooks Select is the core of its billing engine. What’s more, Van says its other systems also interface with their new cloud accounting solution.
When AppSmart began integrating with the FreshBooks API, it had to look at several technical areas to nail down the best way to successfully get going.
Luckily, because FreshBooks Select’s focus is on simplifying the billing experience, the team wasn’t weighed down by a heavy load of customization tasks. There was no need for a professional services team to launch.
“With other complex billing systems, the story would have been quite different,” says Van. “We would have gone through a long and arduous implementation of multiple options and customizations.”
But with FreshBooks Select, Van could give his customers an easy experience that worked smoothly so they could successfully pay their bills.
“At the end of the day it’s about revenue and making sure customers can easily pay,” he points out. “Complicating it with things like sign-on credentials and portals and stuff they don’t remember or can’t access causes receivable issues.”
The AppSmart-FreshBooks partnership has been growing for over five years now. During this time, AppSmart has:
- Hired 3X-less people to manage and administer billing and invoicing
- Saved roughly $18,000 annually on credit card processing
- Expanded by over 40% year over year, using recurring billing to generate invoices on a regular basis, whether that’s monthly, quarterly, or annually.
FreshBooks Select has also allowed Van to scale his company’s billing needs without having to hire multiple people. AppSmart’s entire billing and collections are now handled by just one person.
Today AppSmart continues to leverage the efficiencies from FreshBooks Select into its ability to grow and launch its marketplace of over 50 vendors.