Meet Lisa, Who Uses FreshBooks and Bench to Run Her Business Day-to-Day and Stay on Top of Her Books Come Tax Time

With easy invoicing in FreshBooks and bookkeeping services with Bench, Lisa feels in control of her finances more than ever before.

lisa meller bench case studySince founding Meller Performance Events Group in 2017, Lisa Meller has been living the dream (job). She is in charge of making magical moments happen for the employees of growing organizations—all while traveling across the globe!

As a full-service business event manager, Lisa acts as a personal extension of her customers’ events teams. She plans, organizes and manages experiential meetings, large-scale conferences and group incentive travel programs, in various destinations worldwide.

This isn’t Lisa’s first time running her own show. She had started a similar business over a decade ago. She decided to close up shop after being recruited by a leading travel agency’s Meetings & Incentives department.

The main reason why Lisa decided to branch out on her own again was due to the flexibility of the entrepreneurial world.

“I want the flexibility and autonomy to make changes as I see fit. And to be nimble enough to make changes to the way that we operate so that we can customize the solutions we offer customers. I did not want to be pigeon-holed into cookie-cutter modes of operations and layers and layers of approval.”

The Importance of Staying in Control

When Lisa started her first business in the 2000s, finance and accounting were not her favorite tasks. In fact, it was the one area where she didn’t feel in control.

This was also her husband’s biggest concern. For years, he was roped into completing all the year-end tax prep and monthly back-office paperwork on Lisa’s previous business. Although it allowed Lisa to focus on her client work, she didn’t have a lot of visibility into her financial health and stability.

When she started Meller Performance Events Group, Lisa knew she needed an accounting and bookkeeping solution from day 1.

“I knew going into this that my finances needed to be clean and simple enough to keep up with. But also, that I would have an easy system in place so that I could figure out how to invoice, what to invoice, and when to invoice.”

Invoicing Day In and Day Out with FreshBooks

It was her need for ease of use and invoicing capabilities that lead Lisa to try FreshBooks. And she hasn’t looked back since.

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Her favorite aspects of FreshBooks include:

Invoice Drafts

“While it’s in my mind and I am working with a particular client, project or budget, I love that I can put that in as a draft and get that going in FreshBooks.”

Invoice Customization

“Each line invoice and line item can be unique. I know the cost of each category. They are very easy to generate. I can customize any charge at any time and include notes.”

Invoice Status

“I love seeing when an invoice is pending, past due or hasn’t been paid. It’s really fantastic for me to stay on it. I do believe it is also easy for my customers to pay and to view their invoices.”

Invoice Reminders

“I do like that I can send a reminder in advance of a due date. I think that’s a courtesy. Although it helps me, I think [my customers] appreciate it as well. It’s much easier to say: ‘Heads up, this invoice will be due soon’ as opposed to: ‘What happened? You didn’t pay?’”

Payment flexibility

“I truly believe that my customers appreciate that they can view and download [their invoice]. I also have the flexibility with all the integrated payments so that they can pay in ACH and any kind of direct deposit. And I have the ability to turn off and on credit cards.”

Prepping for Tax Time and Beyond with Bench

On top of her day-to-day invoicing needs, Lisa knew that she needed a more sustainable system in place for tax time. She was relieved to learn about FreshBooks’ recommended bookkeeping partner, Bench.

“Bench could integrate with what I was already doing in FreshBooks for what I felt was a really responsible amount. If I looked at my hourly rate for what it would cost me to have the accounting support, I thought it was well worth it and justified to be able to have this extra layer of team onboard.”

With Bench on her side, Lisa knows her business is running on the right track.

“Their support in tracking all costs and income and then allocating them to the correct categories for my taxes is most helpful. It’s wonderful to know that [everything] will end up in the right place and I won’t have to question where it is, why is it there and if it’s tax deductible.”

Although she’s been working with a Bench bookkeeper for less than a year, she is excited to continue making improvements to her finance management:

“I’m going to improve tracking processes on my end by client and by project, as I’m not perfect at it. This insight provides me with a snapshot of profitability by project so that I can make pricing adjustments and more accurate predictions in the future. I love that the Bench team bugs me about it.”

The Power Couple: FreshBooks Cloud Accounting and Bench Bookkeeping Services

“The simplicity and ease [of FreshBooks and Bench] makes managing finances a smaller headache. This is especially important when business owners are busy doing the service end of their business. We have enough to think about as small business entrepreneurs—marketing, positioning, contracting, servicing, personnel and, of course, finances.”

With FreshBooks and Bench in her business toolkit, Lisa is now up to speed on the most important financial aspects of Meller Performance Events to make crucial business decisions, without getting bogged down by complex invoicing software or tedious bookkeeping tasks.

What’s Next on Lisa’s Bucket List?

With day-to-day invoicing running smoothly and her bookkeeping in good hands, Lisa can focus on her favorite part of the business: Traveling the world.

“I’ve had the opportunity to visit many countries and explore many destinations that would have been on my personal bucket list because I love to travel and see the world. And what a better way to do that than by working in an industry where we do that with and for people!”

about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.