Calling All Accountants: How Satago can help you streamline and grow your business
As an accountant, you might be familiar with the following challenges:
- You want to help clients with struggling businesses, but don’t have the data or the time to figure out how.
- You want to grow your own business, but maybe you’re not sure which direction to take it or how to charge higher fees.
- You might manage your clients’ credit control, but doing this manually or with multiple tools is time-consuming and less efficient than you know it could be.
In these situations, the right tool can make a huge difference. Satago is an all-in-one cash flow management platform that gives you the data you need at a glance to advise your clients, with the tools you both need to follow through on this advice – all in one package.
In this article we’ll dive into how you can use Satago to offer additional services to clients and help them take back control of their cash flow.
Ready to sign up as a Satago partner? Uncover valuable data insights you can use to help your clients take back control of their cash flow and streamline and grow your own business.
The issues you might be facing as an accountant who works with SMEs
Let’s look at some of the most common concerns:
You want to help clients with struggling businesses, but don’t have the data or the time to figure out how
Nowadays, it’s accountants that small business owners turn to when their dealing with an issue related to their finances. As an accountant, you face blockers such as: too many client queries, lack of time to offer support, being stuck in reactive mode and often your clients have only partially moved online, making it harder connect all the dots.
You also likely have plenty of client data at your disposal, but very little time to actually go through all the details of your clients’ accounts to see who is struggling with what, and how you can help.
There’s also the risk that their cash flow problem could become your cash flow problem. If your clients are struggling with cash flow (not to mention bracing for an approaching recession), there’s a higher chance they might pay you late.
Your business has hit a ceiling you’re having difficulty growing it further
In our experience, many accountants struggle with growing fees and business development.
Maybe you just don’t have the time? – after all, there are only so many hours in the day. Unless you can figure out a way to make your process more efficient, there’s a finite number of clients you can take on and services you can offer.
Or maybe you’re not sure which direction to go with your business:
- How do you easily work out how you can upsell existing clients
- What would entice new clients to join you?
- How hands-on do you want to be?
All this business development research and planning takes time, though. If you aren’t sure what would be the most profitable route for you to take, it’s easy to feel paralysed by indecision, and then end up doing nothing at all.
The process of managing credit control can be time-consuming, clumsy and prone to errors
Accounting tools like Xero, Sage and QuickBooks are good for sending invoices and keeping track of customers, but they’re more limited when it comes to pursuing payment. While you can send a certain number of invoice reminders, you can’t customise them very much.
As an accountant, you also know a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best way with credit control. This is especially true when your SME client wants to protect and nurture existing customer relationships. For example, you know they’ll want to take a softer approach with the clients that have been around for decades compared to those that have been around for months.
- What do you do if you want to send a reminder before the payment due date, so the client is ready to pay?
- What if you want to send them a thank you email when they pay early?
- What if you want to add custom text for certain industries and customers?
- What if you want to customise the branding, tone of voice or sending schedules?
Current accounting tools offer limited functionality when it comes to customising credit control.
How Satago can support you as an accountant
If time, data, and cash flow are the main problems, Satago is a great solution. The features you have access to as part of the Satago platform allow you to:
- Advise clients on the risks associated with current and potential customers.
- Manage your clients’ cash flow (or set them up to do it themselves).
- Help clients set up invoice financing to give them a boost when they need it most.
Here are the main Satago features that would benefit you as an accountant:
Uncover valuable insights into your clients’ businesses with portfolio overview
Once you’re set up as a Satago partner, you can view all your customers’ financials on one screen for free. This allows you to see information including:
- Weighted average days overdue.
- The number and value of open invoices.
- The number and value of late invoices (this is also shown visually – see the screenshot below).
- Age of the debts
- Risk segments.
The Portfolio Overview screen is one of our most popular features for accountants using Satago, as it allows you to see how all your clients are doing and where you can make suggestions to help their cash flow.
Risk segments are particularly valuable; the client wouldn’t have this information if they weren’t using Satago. It gives you a new insight on how risky their customers are, which you can share with them to help inform their approach to credit control.
You can also dig deeper into all this information within other risk insight reports like:
- Aged debtors: Your standard-issue, aged debtor report – hyperlinked to the relevant customer for easy access
- Risk segments: How much of your total debtor balance sits within each risk level.
- Risk concentration: This combines aged debtors and risk segments, so you could look at how many very high risk customers have invoices 90+ days overdue for example.
- Largest and oldest open invoices.
- Customer credit summary: A detailed view of the level of credit you’re offering to your customers.
- Top industry segment concentrations: Identifies your exposure to different industry sectors.
- Highlights your riskiest customers.
- Credit limit breaches: list of all customers who’ve breached their recommended or customer credit limits – either because they’ve been over-invoiced or because their credit limit has recently fallen.
There’s a lot of useful information here which you can take to your client. Perhaps your client has an old debt they knew about but didn’t realise the customer in question was high risk. With this dashboard, you can let your client know that they have high risk clients.
Another option available to you is to run credit checks. Credit checks allow the SME to understand how creditworthy a customer is before working with them. Having this option available to you as an accountant allows you to give your clients good advice that’s backed by data. This means you can consider offering credit checks as another dimension of your service. Credit checks are available to your clients who are using the Standard version of Satago, too.
Finally, the Receivables screen can uncover more valuable nuggets of information (to get there, navigate to Accounts, then Receivables). Here you can see how much your client could charge in late fees for each overdue invoice, which so many SMEs aren’t even aware they can do. Once again, you have a great opportunity to educate your clients and strengthen your working relationship.
With the right information, SMEs can set themselves up for success by offering sensible terms to their customers, setting specific credit limits and taking back control of their cash flow. Satago can empower you as an accountant to give your clients good, solid advice that helps their businesses survive through difficult times, backed up with the tools that help them follow through – and without it all costing the earth.
A perfect example of an accountancy making the most of Satago is Dan Edwards at D&K Accounting. Dan had one SME client with a huge debtor book of around £30,000. Once D&K had set up Satago, they helped their client set up invoice reminder emails and communicate with their customers. They managed to bring overall debtors down to £1,500 – releasing £28,500 in the business which funded expansion and growth.
Find out how they did this in our client case study – D&K Accounting.
Offer your clients added value and grow your business at the same time
The best way to grow your fees as an accountant is to solve more problems for your clients. With Satago, you can help your clients solve multiple cash flow problems and charge an added fee for it.
You can start off by introducing clients to Satago. Your approach to this will depend very much on the relationship you have with your clients, but here’s a good way to get started:
- Load your clients into the free version of Satago and use risk insights to offer them advice on their issues. It’s totally free to set up, and we have a “Bulk upload” feature that means you can import data in 5 minutes. If you do this, rest assured we won’t start bothering them with emails they might not want – it’s entirely up to you to mention the Satago platform when you see fit.
- If your clients respond positively to this, you can post about your services more widely on social media, and share positive results and client case studies.
- To help you take it further still, we’ve created some marketing collateral you can use – and we’ll even rebrand it to match your business.
If clients seem interested in Satago and you believe there’s an opportunity to add it on as a service, here are a few ways you can do that depending on how hands-on you want to be:
- Refer them to Satago: For the least input from you, you can introduce your client to Satago as the solution to their cash flow problem. In this scenario, you get the fee when you refer your client to us and we take care of the onboarding and support from that point on. You can do this through your own Satago subscription (offering bigger discounts for your client), or via a referral link (meaning no subscription, billing or hassle for you).
- Set them up on Satago: You can also help your client get set up on Satago, create some email templates, client groups and make sure they’re making the most of the tool. You can then let your client look after their credit control themselves, using the system you implemented for a fee.
- Offer credit control via Satago: Finally, the most hands-on option is for you to use Satago to take full care of your client’s credit control for an additional fee.
You could also choose to set up educational material on credit controlling and managing cash flow. This could involve running a workshop or recording a webinar that you could sell to clients who are looking for help in this area.
Satago helps solve multiple pain points for SMEs, allowing accountants to add it to their offering and charge decent fees for it. For example, some accountants charge an additional £300 per month for services they can add using Satago. Satago only costs £50 per month for accountants, so you can quickly see how these turn into a revenue opportunity for savvy accountants.
Find everything you need to manage your clients’ accounts available in one easy-to-use platform
If you or your clients use multiple tools to manage accounts and credit control, you’re likely familiar with the pain of constantly switching back and forth between them all. With Satago, you can do everything in one dashboard – customise invoices, view credit risk information and even help your client apply for invoice finance in just a few clicks.
There are no other solutions that can offer the same breadth of control: most tools focus on one aspect of cash flow management. But instead of only focusing on invoice financing or credit control (which don’t solve the underlying cash flow issue), we offer multiple tools that help clients take back control of their cash flow.
By working with Satago as an accountant, you can help your clients reduce their debtor days, understand their cash flow position and remain in control of their business.
How to get started with Satago as an accountant
It’s easy for accountants to get up and running with Satago:
- Head to our dedicated page for accountants and bookkeepers and fill in the form to register your interest in becoming a partner.
- One of the Satago team will reach out to have a chat with you and get you set up with your practice subscription.
- Once you’re ready to go, the first step is to set up your clients on the free version of the platform so you can take a look at their finances and identify pain points.
- Have a discussion with clients who have issues to help them work out how to tackle them.
- If you get a good response, create a webinar or some social media posts, promoting your services further. We can also share marketing collateral, which we can customise with your details and logo.
- To build on this further, you can either refer your clients directly to Satago as a platform that can help them manage their cashflow, or you can make credit control part of your service and charge a monthly fee for it. Another option is to charge a fee to set the platform up for your clients, with ready-to-use email templates etc. And yet another route you can go down is to create and sell content that educates clients on credit control best practice.
Satago works especially well for accountants who agree with some or all of the following:
- You’re looking to differentiate.
- You’ve made some serious steps towards becoming a digital firm.
- You’ve established proficiency with cloud platforms and want to take your service to the next level.
- You have good processes around accounting functionality and aren’t new to the cloud.
What else can your clients use Satago for?
As well as being a great platform for accountants, Satago opens up possibilities for your SME clients. Here’s how they can make the most of it:
Get invoices financed in days, not weeks
If your clients are waiting on long payment terms from their customers, they’re going to need cash to pay their own bills. And with Satago invoice financing, SMEs can get the cash they need in a few days, instead of a few weeks.
We do invoice financing a bit differently to other companies:
- No hidden fees: We pride ourselves on clear, transparent pricing. SMEs only pay what they’re quoted, which includes an arrangement fee, a monthly service fee, and an interest fee – no hidden disbursement fees.
- Start with selective invoice financing: Satago is the only provider which offers both single and full invoice financing, with a seamless transition between the two. SMEs that are not ready to use full invoice financing have the flexibility to invoice finance only certain invoices.
- Invoice finance and credit control in one: Satago combines invoice financing with our other features, which allow your clients to retain control of customer relationships and keep borrowing costs to a minimum.
Everything SMEs need to know to arrange invoice finance is available in the Finance section of Satago. Here you can see:
- Eligible invoices: This screen shows available invoices, plus reasons why SMEs may not see all their invoices there (the amount is too small, the invoice is due within 10 days, it’s too overdue, the company credit score is low, or there’s not enough trading history with that customer).
- Pending invoices: This tab shows which invoices are pending disbursal and which are ready to withdraw.
- Financed invoices: This screen shows historic data about past invoices the SME has had finance against.
Vet new and existing clients using risk insights reports
Being able to run checks on potential clients gives SMEs a better idea of the kind of relationship they’re getting into and will allow them to plan their credit control approach more effectively.
As well as the information included in the Analysis screen, which we covered above, your clients can also use:
- Credit search: SMEs can view reports on their current or prospective clients. They can see an unlimited number of snapshot summaries about clients, but also a limited number of complete credit reports each year (the exact number depends on the plan they’re on: Standard = 3, Plus = 25, Premium = unlimited). The full credit report is powered by a credit bureau agency and includes detailed info on directors and shareholders, financials, mortgages, CCJs, and can also be printed or saved as a PDF.
- Credit limit breaches: This shows if any client has gone over their recommended credit limit in overdue invoices. SMEs can also amend this to a custom limit.
Use Satago as a tool to let clients take back control of their cash flow
Satago is a great platform for managing all aspects of cash flow and will help your client take back control of theirs, further encouraging their customers to pay on time. There’s no need for multiple tools to manage SME business accounts, cash flow and credit control.
As an accountant, you can help your clients use Satago to:
- Set up automated invoice reminder emails, tailored for their customers in language, schedule and frequency, as well as sending automated thank you emails and grouping their customers in a way that makes sense.
- Get a quick cash injection using invoice finance whenever they need a boost.
- Quickly learn how risky each client is using free insight reports to help them work out what credit terms to offer, and how to plan their approach to credit control.
You could set the system up for the client or teach them how to do it – both options provide fee-generating opportunities for your firm. Most importantly, they help clients help themselves out of cash flow difficulties.
Get started today and discover the benefits of using Satago for yourself
In this article we’ve looked at all the benefits of using Satago as an accountant. Whether your focus is on helping clients with struggling businesses, saving time by making your process more efficient, growing your own business and offering more services, or a combination of all three, Satago is a valuable tool to have at your disposal.
Sign up as a Satago partner today and unlock valuable data insights you can take straight to your clients.