Cloud Accounting & Finance

How Client First Automated Expenses In NetSuite With Abacus

“Abacus was a great solution for us. It was very easy to integrate our NetSuite settings into Abacus, including custom fields, without any manual work. This was really a perfect out-of-the-box solution.”

– Aaron Smolinsky, Controller, Client First Settlement Funding

Struggling to connect to NetSuite

Founded in 2008, Client First Settlement Funding is a financial services firm located in Boca Raton, FL. With a sales staff that frequently travels to visit clients, the company’s finance team needed their employee expenses to align with the workflow they had set up in NetSuite. Unfortunately, the expense management system they had in place wasn’t working.

“We were on Concur,” said controller Aaron Smolinsky. “We do project-based work, so we needed expense software that could assign specific expenses to a job code, trip, or client. They just weren’t able to do it. We couldn’t map any fields from Concur into NetSuite.”

The problem for Client First was that their expense system had never integrated with NetSuite at all, despite having been in place for over two years. Instead, they made do with a manual workaround. “As expense reports came in, we used Excel to track how much we paid. Later we would follow up with whether or not it got imported into NetSuite. And then we had to cut checks. We were spending a lot of time doing manual accounting work. The employees were getting impatient.”

Aaron knew he needed to find a different solution.

Integrating Abacus with NetSuite

Client First found Abacus through a NetSuite partner’s recommendation. Right away, the experience was “night and day” compared to their former struggles.

“Abacus was something I could set up on my own in NetSuite,” says Aaron. “It was easy to create accounts and categories, and we were finally able to integrate the custom fields in NetSuite with our expenses.”

Once data was flowing seamlessly between NetSuite and Abacus, Aaron decided to try out the system’s automated reimbursement workflow. “We set up the ACH reimbursement so that whatever we approved that day got paid the next day. Once I saw how Abacus creates bills and bill payments, then pulls cash out of our account, I felt comfortable with it. And now that whole process takes care of itself. There’s hardly anything we need to do on our end.”

Faster reimbursements were especially popular with Client First’s employees, who suddenly didn’t have to wait to get paid back. “Travelers used to come back with dozens of receipts they needed to expense. With Abacus they understand that they don’t have to wait to submit a whole expense report. They just take a couple pictures whenever they have the chance and we move the receipts to the proper approvals and reimburse them the next day. They’ve really enjoyed that.”

On the back end, Aaron used the Team Cards dashboard to streamline his corporate card reconciliation. “Once the transaction posts to their card feed, it’s in Abacus. It’s great at month-end, when I can clearly see how many expenses each employee needs to submit and I know who to harp on. Corporate card reconciliation used to be a total nightmare for us, but Abacus has saved a lot of that time.”

A valuable new workflow

Since switching to Abacus, the Client First team have been submitting, reviewing, and reimbursing expenses faster. On the finance side, Aaron is getting more visibility into his spend than ever before. Some of the results Client First has seen include:

  • Client First was able to cut the time between expense submission and reimbursement from 3 weeks to one day.
  • ‘’The automated NetSuite sync saved a lot of time and resources by streamlining the whole back-end process.”
  • “We’re seeing the expenses more now. We have more detail and more control over our expenses than we did before. That itself is saving us more time and money than Concur was ever doing.”
  • “Just last week, one of the employees said, ‘Listen, Abacus is great. So much easier to use.’ The employees have noticed a difference, and they love getting paid back faster.”
  • “It was actually kind of surprising that Abacus cost less than Concur considering it filled all our needs out of the box.”

With Abacus, Client First has finally found a solution that’s removed the manual work involved in expense management. For Aaron, that’s meant happier employees and better control over the team’s spend.

“Who wants to be on paper anymore? All your people on the go want to just use their phones to snap receipts and get their money back. The fact that we can do that—and that we have a lot more control over the expenses than we used to—is 100% thanks to Abacus.”

 

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