Hendrik Wessels (CA) is the Associate Director at PwC Kimberley, part of the global PwC network committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services to their customers. Since using Receipt Bank, Hendrik and the team have given up the offsite storage units once used for storing paperwork. Now they are enjoying improved data accuracy and increased profitability.
Here’s why Hendrik returned to using Receipt Bank for PwC after using it for his family-run business last year, and the four challenges he set out to solve.
AN EARLY ADOPTER OF TECHNOLOGY
Hendrik first discovered Receipt Bank in 2012.
“6-7 years ago, we were introduced to Receipt Bank. At that stage, Receipt Bank was just three-years old. It’s remarkable how the technology has evolved since. Back then, we weren’t saving much time because people were not ready to change into that way of thinking. Cell-phones didn’t have the ability to snap photos of receipts.”
“Now, everyone’s more used to using the internet and cellphone on a daily basis. We want to use them for everything, from online banking to emails. Apps like Receipt Bank and Xero save you a lot of time, and are enjoyable to work with.”
“A year ago, I started using it again for my family business. It works so much better than it used to, and I realised there was no other option - we have to use it for our practice! It was dust to dust, and we started again.”
“I remember before, we sent an invoice and 48 hours later, would get information back. Now, it takes 8 minutes. Back then, the extraction options were very limited. Now with the integrations to cloud accounting software, it’s automatically mapped against the supplier.”
“Before we chose Receipt Bank, we examined it from a user-friendly and cost perspective to find the best use-case. We looked at two other products to see what was available on the marketplace, from the perspective of first, cost; and second, capabilities. Eventually, we made the decision based on cost. Receipt Bank provided better value for money, plus the interface was easier to work with and understand.”
“One of the unexpected benefits to using Receipt Bank? It charges you a fixed amount. The price stays the same, so you’re not limited. Receipt Bank are also there for their partners. I did not expect the partner programme to be so nice.”
CHALLENGE ONE: SECURELY STORING CLIENT PAPERWORK
The first challenge was how to securely store all that client paperwork.
“Our biggest challenge was storing client information. We had to get boxes and boxes of information from clients, and pay for three offsite storage units on a monthly basis. We stored paperwork for 5 years in case of an investigation, and trying to find a specific piece of information was a nightmare!”
“We are very proud of our confidentiality, so that has never been an issue. However, that’s the nice thing with the technology. You get documents from your client, scan them in immediately and give them straight back, aligning with all the necessary compliance. It helps a lot that you store everything electronically. You don’t need to sit with cupboards full of paperwork.”
CHALLENGE TWO: WORKING WITH REMOTE CLIENTS
Around 80% of Hendrik’s clients work in farming.
“Particularly in rural areas in South Africa, many of our clients don’t trust that the cloud is the best option for them. We give them the option to send us paperwork through Receipt Bank or email in a scanned document. It helps a lot from an expense point of view.”
CHALLENGE THREE: IMPROVING BOOKKEEPING ACCURACY
To test the accuracy of Receipt Bank compared to their traditional manual system, Hendrik and his team ran an A/B test.
“The other big issue we faced with the accuracy of data processed by staff. When we started with Receipt Bank and cloud accounting software, it was simply a case of testing. We ran Pastel both manually for each invoice, and with Receipt Bank, then compared both.”
“With Receipt Bank, we couldn’t find a mistake. In the other, we realised a staff member had put a one and three in the wrong place, resulting in information not correctly placed. There are limited cases when you see errors from Receipt Bank.”
LOOKING TO THE LONG-TERM
Now, Hendrik and team are switching to a long-term mindset when recruiting.
“Since using Receipt Bank, we have changed our whole system. We used to appoint trainee accountants who would spend two years with us before moving into an audit division.”
“Now, we want more people to stay more permanently so we can continue training with Receipt Bank without losing the effectiveness. We now appoint people who have just finished grade twelve. They start working here to work up the system,” says Hendrik.
“It’s easy to train them all on the software. They already understand the technology, and enjoy it very much. At PwC, they also get an office laptop with a 3G card, so they have connectivity wherever they are.”
“It falls nicely into using Receipt Bank and cloud accounting software, and it’s a nice selling point for staff. Now, they don’t have to manually process any data. The biggest selling point is bank statement extraction.”
TURNING BANK STATEMENTS INTO DATA, INSTANTLY
One of Hendrik’s favourite features is Bank Statement Extraction, the ability to turn statements into actionable data automatically.
“This is a wonderful thing we started using just a few months ago. You pull in the bank statements and get a .csv file. It’s easy to refer to and very easy to operate.”
“It means you can import bank statements and get the data back in less than 24 hours. It’s a huge thing to tell people, you don’t need to manually process anything anymore. All you need to do is import it and set-up supplier rules. It takes away the donkey work, so they can focus on the more exciting work.”
SAVING ONE HOUR PER CLIENT PER WEEK
With the time-saving, Hendrik can now allocate his staff a larger client-base to look after.
“At PWC Kimberley, we have people who look after the accounts, people above them that review, then managers who are a client’s point of contact for everything. Before Receipt Bank, managers were often also involved in reviewing. Now, they can focus on clients.”
“With Receipt Bank, we save at least one hour per client per week. If we multiply that by eighty clients, at an average of 450 rand, it’s a huge cost-saving. We’ve been able to become more profitable while charging our client more or less the same.”
SAVING CLIENTS TIME AND RESOURCES
The time-savings and profitability extends to Hendrik’s clients.
“If I think about the clients that use Receipt Bank, the biggest benefit is that they spend less time and resources processing supplier invoices, and can allocate it to other things. One of our clients uses the time saving to produce monthly reports.”
DROPPING THE MANUAL TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH CLIENTS
Hendrik and the team are using technology to build more quality client time into their services, and live true to PwC’s mission: to help businesses and individuals create the value they’re looking for.
“Ideally, we want to use cloud accounting software to do all the processing, so we add value to our clients’ businesses from a consultant point of view - helping them plan their business and become compliant.”
“In an ideal world, a year from now, I don’t want to have any resources on manual from a compliance point of view. I just want to spend time with clients, in their offices, adding value.”