Prix Fixe Accounting (PFA) is a boutique bookkeeping firm based in Williamstown, Massachusetts. PFA carved a niche in serving small businesses in the hospitality industry, with a small team dedicated to helping clients move to paperless, data entry-free, and cloud-based bookkeeping. PFA implemented Hubdoc in 2015 and is now a Hubdoc Silver Partner.
Tourists is a hotel and riverside retreat in North Adams, Massachusetts. Designed for the 21st century traveler, the 48-room property is a union of design and nature, home to woodland trails, riverbank vistas, sculptural installations, and more. Tourists signed up for Prix Fixe Accounting's virtual CFO services at its inception in July 2018.
Accountants and bookkeepers can spend up to 30% of their time chasing financial documents every month. This was certainly the case for Chris Macksey and the Prix Fixe Accounting (PFA) team, who were used to dealing with boxes full of receipts and invoices from clients in the hospitality industry before implementing Hubdoc as a document collection and filing system.
As a new business, Tourists was at risk of experiencing a problem that many businesses in the hospitality industry are familiar with: long days with invoices and receipts being created at all hours. “Each manager is responsible for managing relevant documents, but if a hotel is open 16-18 hours a day, you’re going to have documents coming in when a manager isn’t around,” explained Chris. “Often, piles of receipts would accumulate, we’d lose some, and have no organizational system at all.”
For PFA, this meant that Chris went to a client’s physical location to collect documents every couple of weeks, receiving a mishmashed box of receipts and statements. It was then his team's responsibility to sort the paper documents, enter the data, and match to the corresponding transaction in the bank feed. “This manual process was so time-consuming, we had to hire an additional staff member just for document sorting and data entry!” said Chris.
Chris worked with Tourists’ Staff Accountant, Alison Pansecchi, to utilize the power of Hubdoc’s integration with Fujitsu ScanSnap to alleviate the document collection problem facing both companies. Having implemented Hubdoc for similar clients in the hospitality industry, Chris knew the transformative power that Hubdoc could have for small businesses, not to mention cutting down his own team’s time to manage documents by up to 50% per client, per month.
According to Chris, the solution was not only effective, but also easy to adopt: “We knew that we needed to provide an easy solution that each manager and all staff could adopt without delay. The biggest concern employees had was trusting the machine to send the documents and information correctly!”
Once staff began using Hubdoc and ScanSnap, their receipt management responsibilities became much easier. No more lost documents or chaotic inboxes – with a quick scan, each receipt was taken care of.
Practices with 5+ clients on Hubdoc are automatically enrolled in Hubdoc’s Partner Program and work closely with a dedicated Customer Success Manager to ensure they’re getting the most out of Hubdoc.
“Our Customer Success Manager, Sarah, actually remembers what I have interest in and what our company focuses on, and what things matter and what things don’t matter to us. She picks up the conversation from where we left off, as opposed to somebody who has 500 clients and doesn’t recognize you or know anything about your business,” says Chris.
In the hospitality industry, losing supplier receipts can have seriously negative results. “If you lose a liquor invoice, for example, and it doesn’t come into your accounts payable system, on day 60 your supplier ‘posts’ you (makes other liquor suppliers aware that you aren’t paying invoices), so other liquor suppliers might stop selling you alcohol,” explains Chris. “This basically says to everyone, ‘We’re not organized!’. It’s embarrassing for the business, and you lose trust with suppliers and customers.”
Hubdoc’s integration with Fujitsu ScanSnap allowed staff at Tourists to solve this problem entirely. With the ability to easily scan and send documents straight into Hubdoc, PFA has the documents they need, when they need them.
Beyond using the ScanSnap scanner for physical invoices and receipts, Chris also worked with Tourists to utilize Hubdoc’s Auto-Fetch feature.
In addition to streamlining document management, Hubdoc has also helped improve bookkeeping precision. “Being able to look at an invoice and fix it right there, as opposed to catching it in the [bank] statement at the end of the month means that our financials are much more accurate,” explains Chris.
Having access to quality data in near real-time has had a huge impact on both Tourists and PFA. For Alison, Hubdoc has freed up her time to focus on other valuable business assets: “I’ve been able to take on all of Tourists’ retail sales and manage that portfolio. It’s given me time to balance each area and help them all succeed.”
For Chris and the Prix Fixe Accounting team, the time savings and workflow improvements have been invaluable. “When we fully adopted the technology, our workflows improved, but more importantly, the time we spent on each task dropped dramatically.”
Chris and Alison were able to avoid “paper chaos” and implement a streamlined system for collecting and managing documents – a process that’s all too important for businesses in the hectic hospitality industry, and for firms who are looking to increase practice efficiency.
Adopting new technology can be challenging for both firms and their clients, but it can drive the efficiencies that your firm needs to grow, especially with tasks such as document collection. “If you’re not using a document management system in this day and age, you’re wasting a lot of your time doing inefficient, menial tasks,” says Chris.