Insightful Accountant Publisher Gary DeHart caught up with with Matt Darner of CollBox at their booth at the recent Xerocon 2022 event in New Orleans. (The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.)

Gary DeHart: Gary DeHart with Insightful Accountant. I am here at Xerocon 2022 speaking with Matt Darner from CollBox. Good to see you again.

Matt Darner: Yes, likewise, Gary.

Gary DeHart: Can you tell our audience what CollBox is?

Matt Darner: CollBox is accounts receivable done for your clients. We pick up and make phone calls and emails, resend invoices; we handle all of the past due invoice management for your clients on their behalf for a low monthly fee. And they keep 100% of what gets recovered. It just takes all the unfun part out of getting paid. We can follow up on those past due invoices and take care of all of that for them.

Gary DeHart: It’s a monthly subscription/annual subscription?

Matt Darner: Yes. It’s month to month. We have options for annuals if that’s interesting for the clients. We give a little discount also, but it’s really month to month. We build packages based on how much help that client needs. 

We have a variety of packages, from little businesses to big enterprise businesses—we can scale up with them. It really is something where we work with you and the client to figure out what package is needed, and then we get in there and start recovering.

Gary DeHart: Is that based on the number of invoices they send out a month or on the front end? What’s that work look like for the accountant?

Matt Darner: For an accountant, we have functionality that makes it really easy to understand which clients have AR issues and who you need to have a conversation with. We have great functionality for the firm partners as well. You can get in there and identify the issues before they become a crisis and talk to the client. 

In terms of setup, we have a conversation with the client or you do. It is about how many customers that client needs help with. We build packages there. It’s based on the number of customers per month they want us to help them with. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many invoices there are, each customer could have one or 1,000. 

We don’t bill based on that. It’s just about how many customers they need help with; we’ll build a quick package and get them taken care of.

Gary DeHart: Our audience is mostly the public accounting profession—either QuickBooks, ProAdvisors, Xero Advisors, Sage [etc.]. Outside of working with them and the client, is this the tool they would bring into their business? They pay you a monthly fee across all of their customers. Is that an option?

Matt Darner: Great question. We price per client. Each client would have their own subscription, but we do have a partner program. We do it a little bit differently, whereas a lot of businesses out there, kind of follow that classic model based on the number of subscriptions you bring to us your bronze, silver, gold. 

We’re really interested in empowering the firms on visibility into AR. We have a really nice dashboard that helps the firm see what their clients’ AR looks like. From there, they can jump in and help solve those problems.

We actually base our partner program on how many connections you’ve attached to your firm account. That doesn’t bother the client. It doesn’t cost anything; it’s free for the firm. The more clients you add to the dashboard, the more AR you can actually keep an eye on right effectively. That will get you the bronze, silver, or gold. 

Next, we do a revenue share back to the firm if they refer us to a subscription to that subscription product.

Gary DeHart: Any other training as part of that partner program?

Matt Darner: Absolutely. I personally worked with all our friends on the firm side, so you’d be working with me. Essentially, we’d set up an appointment where we get to know each other a little and understand your firm’s needs. We want to help you position AR management as a new offering for your firm because this isn’t something most firms have today. They have clients asking them all the time about the past due invoice help. What do I do about bad debt write-offs? 

We can actually take things from end to end, early-stage invoice follow up all the way to collections, and ultimately write off if that’s necessary. We’ll do a little consultation between CollBox and the firm—to help give you guidance on how to price this, how to build for it across your client base. And then, of course, we’ll discuss CollBox pricing and things like that.

Gary DeHart: We’re at Xerocon, so, there’s a Xero integration, right?

Matt Darner: Absolutely—Xero integration and QuickBooks Online. We also integrate with FreshBooks and a few Sage products. We also just rolled out a Stripe integration, so if you do have startup customers that are billing through Stripe, we can now take care of them as well.

Gary DeHart: Anything in the pipeline that you can share?

Matt Darner: Right now, the big thing we’ve done is this. We are already live where you can see all the client AR in one place, which helps get a grasp of it. We’re going to be rolling out proactive notifications very soon when a client’s AR is getting off track. So you don’t have to be logged into CollBox all the time to see this, it’s very easy to do that today. 

We want to start notifying you and your staff members when a client is reaching that danger zone. This will help you step in, and save them and get them back on track—be the hero and. We all know that if clients are getting paid what they’re owed, they’re going to be happy and healthy. They’re going to stick around as clients for a good long time.

Gary DeHart: And pay you.

Matt Darner: And pay you. So you don’t have to call CollBox.

Gary DeHart: Anything that we haven’t shared that you want to address?

Matt Darner: The main thing  is that AR management as a service is pretty new to this industry. We work with a lot of firms already. It’s a big opportunity. A lot of firms have traditionally shied away from AR management as a service because, let’s be honest, you think you’re going to have to make those paths to follow-up phone calls and emails for your clients. That’s just not true. 

That’s what we’re here to do. Give us a call. Reach out to me directly. I’d like to share my contact info and explore it together. I guarantee you those clients have AR issues that aren’t getting solved today. And that’s something we really want to change.

Gary DeHart: What’s your website?

Matt Darner: We’re at collbox.co.  We have an accounts page you can reach out and ask for information anytime.

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