“We enter all the documents into Billtobox as soon as possible, because the platform takes all the work off our hands.”

21/11/2019
Billtobox

Fiscotax, a member of the Institute of Accountants and Tax Consultants (IAB), has started using Billtobox in the beginning of 2019. Manager Christophe Meesters, also a recognised external member of the IAB, was utterly impressed with the UnifiedPost community platform almost immediately: “I have found Billtobox to be an ideal solution for digitising all invoices, resulting in an immense improvement in terms of efficiency.”

Christophe Meesters founded Fiscotax in 1997 and, together with his permanent staff of four, he provides advice to an extensive client portfolio ranging from multinationals to those small, self-employed businesses around the corner. Christophe: “The services we offer big companies comprise mainly digitalisation advice and ratings, while we provide local businesses like neighbourhood supermarkets, car dealers or news agents guidance from start to finish. Because we are a fully digitised office, we really take them into the 21st century.”

Primarily plug-and-play

Christophe first heard about Billtobox via the IAB, which is also the driving force behind the community platform. “One day I saw a Billtobox promotional campaign: ten businesses were allowed to use Billtobox in the run-up phase,” Christophe recalls. “I jumped at the opportunity, because I was very curious to see what the platform had to offer. We’ve used a lot of programs in the past, but they never matched my expectations as seamlessly as this. With Billtobox, that’s a completely different story.”

Christophe was adamant that the platform had to meet a number of strict criteria. “The fact that Billtobox is supported by UnifiedPost doesn’t only give me lots of confidence; it also creates expectations. I knew that it complies with all the rules and is a secure platform beforehand. Still, it was also important to me that it was a simple system, that it would be able to process the invoices properly and that it would also be able to recognise them quickly. Another big advantage of Billtobox is the fact that it is primarily a plug-and-play system. It had to be easy to use for everyone in the office.”

Extensively tested

Before Christophe rolled out the platform for his entire client base, he tested it internally for a year. “In the past, we made the mistake of switching to a new system immediately and that was by no means ideal. It was impossible to register an invoice with two VAT rates, or to work with continuous financial years, for example. So, when we got Billtobox, we decided to test it first and to evaluate it extensively afterwards. The assessment was so positive that we started offering Billtobox to our clients at the beginning of this year. I organised a few brief seminars at our office to convince clients to switch to Billtobox too.”

Now, after the test period, approximately 80 per cent of Fiscotax’s client portfolio uses Billtobox. Christophe: “Our clients or employees scan the invoices to their own Billtobox environment, where they are converted to a UBL format. It actually starts with Robotic Process Automation: the UBLs are collected in the background and subsequently processed in the ExpertM bookkeeping package. The same goes for CODA (digital bank account statements) and SODA files for the personnel bookings. Then there is a link with Silverfin, where the data is updated. This virtually gives clients real-time insight into their documents.”

Numerous benefits

Apart from the fact that Billtobox is a user-friendly platform and that invoices are processed accurately and recognised quickly, it offers Christophe many other benefits. “It is really the ideal platform for processing invoices, and it also suits my needs – as someone who works primarily with numbers – really well. The big difference with other platforms is that Billtobox allows you to keep the UBL and the documents under control at all times, and that you can decide how everything will be processed. When the UBL comes in you can find it in the Billtobox folder and choose the program you want to import it into. Hardly any other systems give you that freedom. Other systems don’t give you as much control over a file once the UBL has been processed. It is also important that we remain the owner of the UBL itself. After all, the processed UBLs are stored on our own server.”

The financial picture

What also played a part in Christophe’s decision-making process was the cost: “Billtobox is almost free – partly thanks to the IAB’s contribution – which is quite unique. I have listened to other parties and heard that the implementation alone cost thousands of euros, not to mention the monthly fees. Those are costs I won’t be able to convince my clients to pay.”

But that is not the only financial advantage: according to Christophe Billtobox will even make you money. “In the limited period that we have been using the platform, we have become much more efficient. To us it is important that all documents are entered into Billtobox as soon as possible, because Billtobox actually does all the work for us. I also notice that there is less stress in the office. Everything is largely well prepared, which allows us to shift gears much faster.”

Payment initiation: no longer the music
of the future

Christophe is very pleased that Fiscotax will also be able to initiate payments via Billtobox in the very near future. “I have been informed that these payments are now in a pilot phase and that this function will soon be rolled out for everyone. That is a moment that many are eagerly awaiting. Clients will then have a complete overview and be able to track all payments: which customer has already paid, which supplier still has to be paid, and so forth. I already predict that we will garner tremendous response then. Those who are still in doubt will then become the requesting party.”

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