Gary DeHart caught up with with Jusef West from Relay at their booth at the recent Xerocon 2022 event in New Orleans.  

Gary:                   Hi, Gary DeHart here with Insightful Accountant, I am at Xerocon 2022. I’m at the Relay booth. With Gary, I said it right.

Yusef West:         You said it right you got it.

Gary:                   Yusef West, at Relay and just really just want to learn a little bit about what you guys are doing, what you’re doing here, what’s coming up in the future product, all that good stuff. So, your background, what is your background that Got you here?

Yusef West:         I’ve been working in like SMB tech, or like FinTech, for most of my career progress. I was at Hubdoc, and like marketing there. And this was kind of an offshoot of some of the problems we saw accounts and recruiters facing when it came to getting access to client’s bank information.

Gary:                   Okay. So, found a problem, find a solution. Right.

Yusef West:         Exactly. So, you know, when you think about financial visibility, and like the core promise that has been made to small business owners in the last 10 years is that you have like this cloud, small business ERP. And even if you’re really good at the whole, like real time financials, kind of workflow, you’re still looking in the rearview mirror. Most small business owners, what they end up doing is they look at their bank office, like, hey, how much cash do I have? Can I purchase this inventory? Can I hire this person? Can I pay for these Facebook ads, or I guess, not Facebook ads any more.

                But so, we all know that that bank balance isn’t actually tell the whole story. And so, when we thought about like access to financial information, we all know that like challenges with bank feeds, and like getting access bank statements and all this stuff, and then thought about what the challenge is on the small business side is they want financial visibility. And where do they go to try and find it. They go to their bank.

                Because we thought, what if we built a bank that was like, deeply integrated into the small business stuff. That made it easy for the accountant, bookkeeper and the small business owner to collaborate. And actually, gives the small business owner financial visibility and financial confidence. And so that’s, that’s where it all started.

Gary:                   They might like that.

Yusef West:         They might like, it turns out, they do.

Gary:                   They really like it.

Yusef West:         Yeah, they love it.

Gary:                   So, so our audience is primarily public accounting professionals, very heavy on the QuickBooks ProAdvisor side, but also Xero, advisors and others, but so where did they fit into that mix? Like where’s the public accountant fit in?

Yusef West:         Yeah, so the challenges is that firms come to us, right, our bank feeds that break all the time, you know, they to FA codes come up, something happens with a feed, you got to reconnect it to get all these duplicate transactions coming through, there is a ton of extra work, so that’s one issue, two, is actually like, they end up sharing bank logins for more clients, right, they hold on to the bank log that takes on a lot of financial, like liability, it’s kind of terrible. And then three is the quality of the information when checks are deposited version of it comes to his mobile check deposit or remote check deposit.

And so, from our perspective, we’re like, how do we solve that in the technology view. And so accounting bookkeepers that use us and recommend relate to their clients, they actually saved 50% of their time closing the books, because what they get is a partner portal similar to QBO, a or zero HQ, where they can switch between relay client accounts really easily manage South access, read only as an example, to they get bank feeds that sink every three hours and never send across a duplicate transaction, and they control the feed.

And then three is they get quality information, when a check is deposited into and out of Relay, they can see the check name, the vendor, the memo, and even the check in. So, it makes it really easy to do to bucks.

Gary:                   And then and the small business owner, what am I getting?

Yusef West:         Yeah, so we actually had a dinner with some local small business centers in New Orleans that, that used to Relay, [unclear] [0:03:32] which is really fun. And we’re like, hey, what do you love about it? Like number one, amazing customer service. But predominantly, like the core thing that they care about is financial visibility and be able to see everything that’s happening inside their bank. When you log into your, you know, your Chase account, your bank, America, they’re like, Oh, here’s my bank balance. Right. But like with Relay, you can see a new set of different accounts. You can manage different cards, you have control over your finances, it changes the narrative, and for them that’s really, [Inaudible] [0:03:55]

Gary:                   You’re doing anything here at the show or anything ongoing from a promotional standpoint. Any offers or how do people find out more?

Yusef West:         Yeah, absolutely. So, we actually just launched a really certification program. So, Council bookkeepers that want to learn more, it’s like 90 minutes. It’s run by Blake Oliver, you all know, from the cloud accounting podcast. And it’s really great and helps you think about banking as part of your tech stack, and how you can use it to be a true adviser. And I know that word is used a lot. This is actually how you go. So, that would be my recommendation you go check out the relay certification program. And we’d love to get you on board.

Gary:                   And that is relay.com?

Yusef West:         BankwithRelay.com.

Gary:                   BankwithRelay.com.  Very good. All right. Well, thank you.

Yusef West:         Thank you. Cheers.

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