Accounting System: Quickbooks
Invoices/Month: Approx. 100
Payments/Month: Approx. 100
Company Size: 80+
EverQuote is a quantitative internet marketing firm that applies sophisticated mathematics to online customer acquisition programs connecting auto insurance customers, carriers and agents. You’ll find top physicists and mathematicians among its 80+ staff, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Despite its commitment to advanced technology, EverQuote’s approach to business payments was decidedly antiquated. “We were walking invoices around by proverbial sneakernet,” recalls John Wagner, CFO of EverQuote. “Our younger employees thought it was funny.” But Wagner thought the old process was inefficient and embarrassingly behind the times. In 2014, EverQuote implemented MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay to bring a new level of organizational efficiency to its entire payments process – from handling incoming invoices to making vendor payments.
Now MineralTree delivers efficient payments as well other unanticipated benefits – from automated invoice approval to protection from fraud threats – all at an affordable price.
The Challenge: Finding the right payments solution
EverQuote processes slightly less than 100 invoices and payments every month to pay technical service providers, to reimburse employee expenses, and to cover standard office expenses, from rent to electricity. In the past, it relied on QuickBooks® and manual processes to get invoices approved and hard-copy checks in the mail.
“For me, the biggest driver that urged us to change our processes was to create a more effective and efficient way of making ACH payments,” says Wagner. “We wanted to find a way to make ACH payments work seamlessly for an organization of our size. My goal in getting away from paper checks and manual processes was to make the move to ACH payments in a way that worked for us.”
The Search: Looking for the right solution for automating payments
In 2013, EverQuote began looking at possible solutions to automate its payments. “We looked at our options,” Wagner recalls. “But we wanted a solution focused on what was most important to us – business payments, not billing. We wanted to go with a solution that did a great job with Accounts Payable (AP), and that provided a simple, intuitive way of doing all elements of the process.”
Wagner knew that automation could come with a certain amount of risk. Unless the payments were accompanied by clear and complete remittance information, they could create confusion among its vendors. “Our solution had to provide an automated way of dealing with ACH business payments, including communicating all the remittance information,” Wagner says. “Otherwise, it would just create new problems, such as more calls from vendors.”
The Solution: MineralTree brings new efficiency to business payments
In April, 2014, EverQuote chose MineralTree as its business payments solution. Implementation took less than an hour and EverQuote’s users were up and running quickly. “We didn’t need a lot of training,” Wagner recalls. “MineralTree works really intuitively, like a consumer application. And it integrated with our existing QuickBooks online accounting process.”
With MineralTree in place, EverQuote began bringing new efficiency to its business payments. “It changes the way I pay my vendors, making it much more efficient. And it moves our payment processes from the past into the 21st century, without adding any new costs or greater complexity.” In fact, given the expenses of manual payments, MineralTree pays for itself, according to Wagner. And time formerly spent processing payments can now be reallocated to more strategic projects.
The Benefits: Automation, simplicity, peace of mind
“If all MineralTree did was streamline payments, that would be enough,” says Wagner. “Everything else is gravy.” After using MineralTree for months, Wagner has found that there is plenty of gravy as well. “MineralTree also streamlines the approval of invoices, which in the past might have required lots of manual steps, from walking around the invoices to wondering whether that squiggle really was an authorized signature.”
MineralTree eliminates the outdated process of manually coordinating approvals of invoices and checks. Instead, a mobile, secure, easy-to-use application lets authorized users approve, reject, and hold payments right from a device. No more AWOL execs or stalled payments. No more time-consuming review of paper documentation. “The benefit to us is that the invoices aren’t waiting on a desk. They’re processed quickly and easily, via ACH or check,” says Wagner.
Wagner acknowledges that security wasn’t on the top of his list of enhancements. “Most smaller businesses don’t understand their exposure to fraud, including account takeover and other security risks,” Wagner says.“Consumer protections just aren’t extended to the business world. MineralTree quietly provides us with the protection we need to ensure that our payments process is secure and protected from fraud.” Two-party approvals and other features make MineralTree the most secure business payments solution available.
The Bottom Line: Why choose MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay?
Wagner is clear that MineralTree was the right choice for his growing company. “We’re very happy with MineralTree,” he says. “It lets us make payments in a very streamlined fashion – which is why I chose it in the first place. And with that improvement alone, MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay more than paid for itself. But it also brings us invoice approval capabilities, fraud protection, and much more.
Wagner has a clear message for other businesses focused on growth rather than organizational efficiency. “Even if you’re not doing a ton of payments now, MineralTree streamlines the payments process and brings it into the modern, digital era,” he says. “But there’s no trade-off – I still get the visibility and control I need. And while MineralTree delivers clear value today, it will continue to deliver even more value as it expands into other areas. It brings you powerful benefits with no trade-offs or downside – none.”
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