Optimise Your Accounts Receivable Collection

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, everyone. And welcome back to another episode of the Modern Workplace Acts podcast. My name is Tom Freer. And today Josh and I have special guest Mark Riley on the show. Who is the CEO O at IODM. Now? Iodm are an intelligent accounts receivable solution. So if you have ever wondered how to make your accounts receivable more effective, then listen into this. There are some really great insights and the fact that 18 million hour per year is spent by businesses chasing debtors. This is certainly one of those tools that can add some real value to your business. So have a listen. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Welcome to another Modern Workplace hacks with Tom and Josh. Tommy, how are you? Good. Josh. How things. Thank you. Good. Another busy week at the Wintech House. It’s been interviews coming and not coming fast enough for some people and coming too fast for others. It is indeed, but no, as promised, we have another guest today, which is great because we’ve been talking it up, probably for the last three or four episodes listening just to us. And today we’ve got Mark Riley joining us from IODM. I think I’ve said that right. Having upside down sometimes. Mark, thanks for joining us. Pleasure, gentlemen. Thanks for having me.

Mark, look, introduce yourself. Tell us a bit about you and then the company and where it all started. We’d love to hear. Sure. Thanks. And again, thanks for the opportunity. So look, I’m a charter Cannon and for my sins, I’m also a native West Australia. Don’t know if that’s good or bad for your client base, but sorry we accept all. I grew up in Pert, trained and joined Cooper’s and Librarian as it was then before the merger with Price Woodhouse. That’s how long ago it was and trained in their insults division and then branched out into my own practice with another guy a few years later, practically insolvency. And then, like everyone in Perth and towards the late 90s, early 2000s, we drifted into the mining space and had a lot of fun, did some good things out of that.

And I went to London for a while in 2009 for four or five years to do that and came back to Victoria or came to Victoria from London, Melbourne and then got involved in some other things and then IGN presented itself to me as an opportunity. They were looking to list and advance their business, and it appealed to me from my insulting background dealing with companies that had folded and one of the main reasons they encountered trouble was their cash flow issues and obviously a key driver of cash flows is your ability to collect your accounts receivable. So it appealed to me and I got involved and oversaw the float onto the stock exchange and then slowly from something that was supposed to be a passive investment for me, I suddenly found myself on the board MD and our CEO, which is great. And look, it’s been a fantastic journey today, and we’re on the precipice of some really good things going forward.

The company’s basic function, if you like, it’s a software that we don’t call ourselves debt collectors, and we don’t call ourselves an ERP system or a general accounting system. Okay. We’re a specialist software that plugs into those systems. Any of those systems, your accounting systems and automates the AR function. Most businesses and accounting firms will have a workflow in place or designed for their AR function, and we simply automate that workflow. We’re not limited to professional service firms, accounts and lawyers. We’ve got a number of clients of various industries on our books, from materials handling to medical space and everything. So we’re agnostic about who we can help. If someone is issuing an invoice or raising credit, we can help them. We can help them. And you mentioned it.

Obviously, your system plugs into any accounting system and that’s across. We’ve got the zeros and the miles. Yeah. Absolutely. Tom, we’ve got clients that use zero. We have clients use my Sip, Oracle, Microsoft, all of them across the whole gamut. Whatever is generating an invoice, you can then pick it up and workflow through it. Yes. 100%. And what does that look like? Is that, like everything from it wouldn’t issue the invoice. It will end to the first follow up and the statements and the collection. Correct? Yes. As you say, we don’t issue the invoice. Although we do have capability. The beauty about our software is we’re not specifically off the shelf.

Okay. So we’ll sit down with the client and say, what are your pain points? What really causes your gym, in your business or in your practice and in the IR space? And the beauty about why we do that is because there are products out there that do some of what we do. Most of what we do. They’re also, by general rule, normally off the shelf type products. There’s a process you just have to abide by this, correct. And look, our view of the world is we’d like to customize and get it right. So that when you’re using it and paying for it, you’re using 100% product. Yeah. You’re not paying for a product that you’re using 60% off. Okay. And so that’s what we really try and focus on. And as you say, we can do anything. Really. The client wants.

The client says we want you to do this. One of our sales guys is cash prices. If I give you a magic wand and you can have anything you want, what do you want? What do you want? And that’s pretty much our mantra. We’ve got a basic engine. We can option it up or option it down or soup it up, whatever you want. You mentioned earlier. Obviously, identifying those pain points. Do you see common pain points across businesses? Is everyone saying the same two or three things yeah. And then look whether it’s professional service firms, accounting firms, legal firms or companies in the industry, I think it’s a general common theme out there. Guys that staff in those organizations are being asked to do more with less. Absolutely. Okay. And if anything is common, it’s that to do more with less.

And by introducing digital transformation and automation, you can solve that issue. You can go a long way towards solving that issue. Where, as I said, just by taking simple manual processes and automating them you’ve seen on our website, you may have seen our website. We’ve got a couple of industry stats out there about things, and one of them is that, on average, in Australia, 18 million man hours is spent collecting us. That is tougher. It’s ridiculous. Let’s be honest. If you’re a professional services firm, if you’re an accountant lawyer where you’re selling time for a living, you want to be selling time for a living. You don’t want to be paying for someone their time to obviously, generally that people doing the AR aren’t revenue writers, but it’s still a function. And to give you an example of that, if you’re a company or a business and you’re issuing, say, 5000 invoices a month. Okay. And you allow five to seven minutes a month to collect an invoice that’s 416 hours.

And our system sweeps the whole ledger in an hour in minutes. So whether someone and what we also find is in businesses where they haven’t embraced technology and automation, is it’s still quite an old fashioned way of running the ledger? They’ll pick a monetary amount, five grand, ten grand, draw a line under that everyone above that amount gets contacted. Everyone below that amount doesn’t. And the tail blows out. And what we find when companies start using our technology, they find they rain that tail end so quickly because they’re getting contacted. As I said, we contact everyone in minutes. So whether someone owes you a million dollars or a dollar, they’re getting contacted in a minute. Okay. And then we build in functionally to make it easy for them to pay you. There’s calls to actions pay. Now query the invoice interactive query management. That’s a big issue.

We talked about issues before pain points. It’s query management dealing with issues around invoices. Okay, particularly in that time billing industries where it’s how come I’ve been charged 2 hours and it should have only been half an hour or correct. And what we found with our query management function is that people can do it interactively. And what it does is it brings it forward. So you’re not waiting till it’s 60 days because, look, it’s human nature. I mean, if people have got a reason, people have generally may have reasons they’re not paying you. All right. But they’re generally not going to tell you to you ask, though, and you might not get around to ask until it’s 60 90 days, whereas with the query management function.

We give them an interactive thing. They can raise a query so they can say, as you said, Tom, the figure is wrong. Or I’ve been charged this to charge that. So you’re bringing your payment times forward just by resolving queries. And we all know we all run businesses. You guys run a business, I run a business. We all have a daily cost of capital, cost of business. And every day we can reduce our outstanding every day a day, we can reduce it by we’re just increasing the working capital for our businesses. And in many instances, for companies that we some of the companies we service, reducing it by a day is hundreds of thousands, if not, which, as you sort of said earlier, one of the biggest things for businesses going in solvent is cash flow, isn’t it? They can be the most profitable business on the Earth. But if they’re not actually collecting correct.

Well, you can’t do much with it. Cash in the bank over my career as insults and practitioner. If it wasn’t the main reason they went and it was in the top two an element of fear, I think from some people as well of asking for that. Well, if I ask for it, am I going to put them offside? Whereas obviously the technology can assist with that process as well? Look, it’s not about making the point you make is correct, particularly professional services. It’s all the partner relationship. Client is paramount. Okay. That’s what the business lives or dies by is that relationship between the staff. And they’re obviously very conscious of not jeopardizing that relationship. But the way we tailor it and structure it is, the communications aren’t offensive. They’re not aggressive.

And as I said, with query management and everything else, it’s actually improving. We find a lot of time. It’s improving the clients experience, including the pump, because they’re not getting a phone call because let’s face it, no one likes making those phone calls and no one likes receiving them. No one likes making the phone call. Can you pay us? Yeah. And no one likes receiving that. So it can be done interactively and automatically. And it’s all about the communication when you strip it back. A we’re sophisticated communication tool. Obviously, within that framework, you’ve got language that you defined over years to assist those clients with that. This is how you ask for it. This is how we can position it so that doesn’t become a barrier to the client going. I don’t know how to ask them. No, we work with the client.

We don’t say this is out writing. This is outwarding. You go for it. It’s sitting there because they know their clients better than us. Okay. And we have some additional functionality which helps us. Well, I come from professional services background, and I know the value of relationships. We know that there will be some clients and in some professional services and some accounting firms where the partner in particular won’t want admin chasing particular clients to collect invoices. So what we do is in the bigger firms, where the medium to bigger firms, where they probably have professional executive teams, CEOs and CFOs. We put some functionality in there that makes their life a bit easier. So what we do is that we still upload all the invoices, but we can freeze communications to certain clients. But still, then you’ve got it for reporting purposes.

We call it manually managed. So then the credit controller or the CFO at a medium large accounting firm can then go to one of the partners and say, look, you said you’re going to collect these your ledges at 200 grand, you’ve collected 15. So can we try our way? Maybe. But you’re making that with empirical evidence. You make having that discussion with empirical evidence behind you. So the system itself, obviously connecting to the ledgers will provide that level of reporting as well. And again, we can tailor the reporting if you want to keep the report. We’ve got public companies where the CFO has tailored the report. So he’s board pack. But when it comes to debtors and it’s just our reports, he just spit them out. There it is that makes up his board pack for the monthly Boardmen.

At the end of the day, it’s a compliance tool as well. If you’re a director of a public company and you’re overseeing a ledger worth hundreds of millions of dollars, you need to know that it’s been rigorously managed and everything else. And our thing’s got a complete audit trial and the reporting, you can sit there and know that. Okay. I’ve got the reports. This is what’s happening. I’ve got audit logs if I want to dig Granular to see what’s going on. So from a compliance perspective, it’s a pretty critical tool as well. Yeah. And do you guys also then get into the payment gateway side of it. So there is a payment function for the client. Yeah. So we don’t touch the money a bit like with the accounting software.

We can interface with the payment gateways as well. We don’t have our own. Okay. So the client will have generally has an existing one that might be with their bank or with a third party provider. Yeah. We can direct them to that. So if a client gets a communication saying pay now, they can hit that button and it’ll go through the gateway. We also allow for international payments. We have a global partnership with Western Union. And so if people are receiving money from, they’ve got an overseas client. In some circumstances, the client might want to pay in their own currency. When they hit pay. Now, in foreign currency, they’re integrated. We push them straight through the Western Union platform, and they make the payment direct through Western Union.

And that’s again controlled because Western Union will give us reports saying these people are paid and the money will flow through. But also if you have a fair bit of that. If people are paying you normally through to your bank account from overseas, there’s normally a two and a half 3% fee. So by using our system in conjunction with Western Union, if you have a fair bit of that, you will receive 100 cents in the dollar because Western Union will take their FX margin from the person paint the client paint. So if you’ve got a lot of it, it can add up. So for every million dollars you receive from overseas, there’s 25 grand return to your bottom line. Yeah. Those little things I think people neglect as well. That just don’t maybe look at the detail around some of that. And what is it actually costing me not only from a personnel perspective, to collect the money, but transactional costs as well.

It’s just being able to, as I said, we said at the start that doing more with less. And we saw that get worse or exasperate during Covet. All right. Because we all had to do it. We all had to quickly deploy to work from home. Yeah. And we found a lot of clients, potential clients, new clients. Their systems weren’t geared up for it, so they weren’t geared up to work from home. Companies were struggling to communicate with their clients on mass. Okay. And quick and not in that management had no visibility over what the staff were doing with our system. It’s remote. You can be at home. You can be in an airport lounge wherever you’ve got Internet connection, you can log into our system. And management through a master dashboard can have real life visibility, absolute visibility of what’s going on. And scalable.

If you’re a multinational, we can give you real life multinational, global visibility. Okay. And we found during covert that was important that people had to get up and running and communicate with their clients quickly. And that was one of our strengths. We also saw at the start of Covet, where those offshore teams just stopped operating when COVID started to hit India and the Philippines really hard like that. Their call centers were shut down, whole call centers shut down. There’s little things that we’ve learned through Cova that businesses with their software have to have a natural ability to work remotely. I think that’s embedded now and a lot of organization.

We hope we’re certainly seeing it embedded there as to whatever solutions they’re looking to do need to work, regardless of where their team are. We’re no longer saying, okay, we’ll come to the office to do this function. We’ve got this function. We’ve got this process, whether it’s an optimise accounting, AR or whatever it is. How do we do that regardless of who or where they are? And you’ve said you’re sort of growing into overseas markets, where in particular, you’re seeing growth with and is there any sort of country? I suppose it’s off limits. For this. I sort of look at this and go, everyone’s collecting invoices wherever you are in the world. Yeah. Look, we’re fully scalable. We’re live in four regions or continents, if you like. We’re live in Asia, UK, parts of Europe and North America, and that’s predominantly we’ve done that, working quite closely with Western Union, and it’s quite good because they’ve allowed us to sort of write. We’re not walking into London, for example, establishing a site, putting a board up and then going on. We need to go find some clients.

We’re going in on the back of a big brother. If you like a global brand, tier one brand and is walking us through the city. And it’s quite good clearly where I personally think the biggest overseas market outside Australia will be the UK and us. I mean, that’s just a function, but certainly we’re active Asia, parts of Europe, UK and US and Z. Yeah. Fantastic. And is it all in house developed as well? Is it correct? Yes. We do all our development in house in Melbourne, the 19 team in Melbourne. They do sometimes depending on workload, utilize contractors, but generally it’s done in house and we get constant. Everyone that’s ever had to do and you guys would have seen it countless more times than I have is anytime anyone has to do a software installation that’s always where it either lives or dies. Installation and our guys onboarding. I don’t think our It team has ever been to a client. It’s all done remotely, particularly now overseas.

They’re onboarding people overseas and they get glowing reviews. When we do the debrief with the clients, they get glowing reviews on board. It’s good, I suppose, working with those established entities, like a zero and a map, they’re sort of defined in your connection, methods and all that. So that does help, I guess, as you mentioned, the biggest part of the process is what is the client born out of it or how do they expect this to run? And I think that’s where most you allude to most of the projects live or die is the technology piece is actually in comparison easy compared to the change management from a people and a business perspective. Absolutely. And that’s probably our biggest. The phrase you use change, man is that’s it 100%. And I don’t think that’s necessarily limited to any one industry.

I think we said everyone, no one likes to like any success, any digital transformation success. And you guys will see this in your own business. If you don’t have a doctor’s in the business, it’s not going to happen. It’s going to happen if you don’t have buy in at senior levels, at senior management levels, if you don’t get the buy in for digital transformation and automation, it’s simply not going to happen. And is that where you see? I mean, looking specifically at your product, the IODM platform. For me, it sounds like it would be a no brainer in that sense. So Where’s the pushback is? It just purely because it’s different and new or when ready for it. Yeah. And look, as a business, we sit down and ask ourselves that very question because without wanting to blow our Trump, but we agree with you. We just think it’s a no brainer. But look, it’s interesting how businesses operate. A lot of businesses we found are focusing on payables, and there’s a lot of payables products out there. Okay. And they seem to get a bit more airtime, if you like. Yeah, certainly in mainstream media. I mean, you’ve got governments now saying you need to pay certain suppliers within certain times, so that’s getting more airtime. I’m not the smartest blank walking the streets, but it’s all very well getting paid, putting your payment systems

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