Hasan Omran Ali
Marketing and Advertising
inBe is a Canadian Front End of Innovation solution. It helps organizations make better innovations, de-risking investments by using a proven validation methodology. As the name implies, inBe is "in between" innovators and users of innovation. They help businesses collect insights through the voice of the customer, in industries ranging from consumer goods to high technology products. We spoke with partner Sebastien Leduc who described inBe's main objective.
At inBe, we are transforming the world with our unique solutions, helping organizations build better innovations. My role is to oversee the company's strategic partnerships, mainly in North America and some regions of Western Europe. We capture the voice of the customer sooner and more often, through a range of tools such as surveys and home testing, and we then bring the data back into our application to support businesses in making better innovation decisions.
inBe employed two different systems to handle its billing and accounting in 2017: Freshbooks for invoicing, and a different legacy system for year-end accounting that was overseen by an accountant (as Freshbooks did not help them with the end-to-end accounting). The team was finding it difficult to get the big picture of their monthly or quarterly numbers, profit and loss, or revenue, as the systems were not integrated and they did not have access to any of this information. Furthermore, their CRM and accounting solutions were not integrated, so identifying and tracking the source of any discrepancy was difficult and time consuming.
When inBe used Freshbooks to manage its accounting and finances, they were not satisfied with the software. They were also searching for an alternative CRM system to the one they were using.
Marie-Andree Giroux, a Zoho Certified Partner, met Daniel Leblanc, another partner at inBe, and they discussed these pain points. Marie introduced him to and spoke about Zoho Books after many solution exchanges. Daniel was amazed by the solution's seamless integration between accounting and CRM. He opted to move right away as multiple Canadian companies managed by Marie testified in favor of Zoho Books. Daniel and his team have now been using Zoho for over four years and find it the perfect solution for all their accounting problems.
When inBe started using Zoho Books in the beginning, their business model was not as evolved as it is now. Marie, therefore, decided to do the migration in two phases. The first stage was the implementation phase, during which they imported clean data such as vendors, customers, items, and charts of accounts and provided introductory training for their staff. The second phase was largely an optimization phase where they started making extensive use of Zoho Books. The team was elated to find that the whole training and implementation process only took between 10 and 15 hours.
Marie noted, "I think Zoho Books is pretty accessible for any business; it is powerful and improving each year with its custom functions, automation, and reports. My customers' businesses are evolving as Zoho Books progresses."
Leduc opined, "We now have a standardized system that is effective and efficient and all the credit goes to Zoho Books." He went on to list the benefits of the program, including the centralized system, user-friendly interface, and integration ability.
With ready to use features and standard templates, it is easy for inBe to create initiatives aimed at enhancing their tools. inBe also makes considerable use of timesheets and projects. The team can easily keep track of accounts received and send reminders using aging reports.
Another feature that has greatly assisted the team is the bank reconciliation feature. They can use it to check that transactions made in Zoho Books correspond to transactions made in their bank account. The cash flow statement supports them in understanding where the money comes from and how it is spent. With the help of Zoho Books, inBe is able to have "clean books" at the end of every month by customizing the report to compare the cash flow for the current fiscal year with the previous one.
There are minimal to no discrepancies, and it is much faster to identify the sources of such discrepancies, like 'What invoice created a $20 mismatch in our cash flow?' With Zoho Books, we are currently getting close to being experts at managing our billing and bookkeeping. Ultimately, we are very happy and satisfied with the product, which is why we continue to use it. — Sebastien Leduc, partner, inBe
By using Zoho Books, inBe can obtain financial statements instantly rather than waiting for their accountants to enter everything into their legacy software thus reducing their workload. The team was relieved of the need to crunch data in Excel and wait one to two months for the information to become available. By utilizing the advanced reporting and the connectivity with Zoho Analytics, the team was able to create their own dashboard after switching to Zoho Books. This was extremely adaptable, simple to use, featured lots of graphics, and allowed them to optimize their productive time.
Leduc stated, "Zoho Books helped us streamline our business processes, especially with the complete integration between Zoho products. For us, the product fits together beautifully, and other business owners should find it to be the same. I heartily advise other decision makers to check out Zoho Books."