At Solvaa we love helping our clients streamline their business, saving them time and money in the process. A perfect example of this was our work with One Year No Beer where we helped slash 63% off their bookkeeping time, a massive 32 hours per week – nearly the equivalent of a full-time member of staff!
One Year No Beer (OYNB) is a digital platform where members receive coaching and support to improve health and change their drinking habits forever. They were processing thousands of transactions every month but in a very disconnected way. It was a chaotic mess and co-founder Ruari Fairbairns admitted “I never had any real understanding of how big the mess actually was”.
This needed to be addressed urgently as they were anticipating a tenfold increase in sales over the following 3 – 6 months, so a scalable solution was top of the list.
Xero automations and integrations
Xero is a cloud-based accounting application with a wide range of integrations that connect with other systems. As Xero Certified Advisors we have a wealth of experience in optimising the system itself and harmonising the technology stack to achieve a slick, streamlined process.
We optimised Xero’s built-in automation functions by implementing standard bank account transaction feeds and creating rules for processing them. To handle the large volumes of Stripe transactions we implemented SilverSiphon (this solution no longer exists) bank feeds. We then streamlined the bookkeeping function by strategizing and implementing the automation of sales and purchase invoice creation to assist with reconciliations.
Delivering a simplified sales process
We simplified the sales process to address the thousands of sales transactions that were being processed on a monthly basis. We introduced Quaderno to manage worldwide digital tax compliance for sales and connected it to the various sales channels, payment solutions, and Xero. Memberships sales made via the Keap and merchandise sold through and Shopify using PayPal and Stripe were imported into Quaderno. Customer invoices and credit notes were then sent from Quaderno to the customer and sales invoices are created in Xero.
Automating the purchase process
Purchasing transactions were automated by adding Dext, an optical character recognition (OCR) solution to read text and numbers from receipts, and purchase invoices in email attachments and photos taken using a mobile app. The financial data is then posted automatically into Xero as a bill coded to the correct nominal ledger automatically. To improve the tedious team expense process we recommended Pleo prepaid cards that integrate with Xero to create the correct financial transactions from expense receipts. This significantly improved staff compliance with handling expense claims.
Each step in the process was delivered using the right technology solution, ensuring the new operating model was lean and cost-effective.
This project was finalised in January 2018, and with only minor improvements since then, OYNB continues to successfully use the systems that were implemented. Their sales have grown as expected and with that, the number of financial transactions that required processing.
Focusing on the business rather than mundane manual tasks
Automating the creation of revenue and purchasing information directly into the accounting system without any manual intervention, saves OYNB hours of extracting, sorting and importing of data, and correcting entry errors. Having the data in the system momentarily after the transaction occurred allows for quicker reconciliation.
Staff engagement has vastly improved too, as a result of being liberated from a constant tread-wheel of manual processes. Despite having thousands more transactions, their finance assistant spends the majority of her work day on valuable data analysis and less time on the actual bookkeeping, giving her better job satisfaction.
Crucially, for Ruari, having more accurate and timely data in Xero ensured he always had access to key performance indicators and a range of management information at his fingertips. He says “I could see very clearly how my business was improving, where we were, month by month. Before that it was just a much more complicated and difficult way to get that data”.
Productivity has increased and the business as a whole can easily cope with the predicted rapid expansion.
Successfully delivering cost and time savings
The success of the One Year No Beer project is clearly demonstrated in the time and cost savings we were able to deliver.
The bookkeeping automations resulted in a 63% time-saving equating to £2,826 per month.
We delivered a total saving over three years of £79,377 which represents a 765% ROI.
Ruari was really happy with the results, saying “I would say that Kelly is one of the best things to happen to my start-up.”.
You can read the full One Year No Beer case study here.
More about automation using Xero
If this story has inspired you to see how you can save time and money by connecting Xero with your other apps then we have some other automations you can try:
- How to automate adding invoices to Xero from Pipedrive
- Send a Slack message with a daily digest of paid Xero invoices
- How Xero automation saves time and reduces errors
- How to automate thanking your customers for paying their Xero invoices
Our other resources
We also have plenty of free resources:
- Our free e-book is the perfect introduction to business automation.
- Our Zapier functions cheat sheet delves into the powerful inbuilt helper apps which can supercharge your automations.
- A free checklist to help you justify an automation budget.
And finally, our founder / chief problem solver / chief automator Kelly Goss’ new book, Automate It with Zapier, is out now and is the most comprehensive Zapier guide on the market. It will get you up and running and to the stage where you can build and debug advanced automations. Buy your own copy today directly from publisher Packt using this link. Or here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) if you prefer.
Check out our automation training programme
And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.
It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too!
Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘.
Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.
Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors.
Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.