Datasharp has built a well-oiled accounting and payments machine by integrating GoCardless with Sage 50.
faster billing and payment runs.
saved per annum.
Payments at the sharp end
Datasharp provides managed telecoms, IT and photocopying services throughout the UK, Dubai and Germany. It is proud to be one of the biggest independent businesses in its industry.
It is also relentlessly focused on growth, explains Joe Dowling, Finance Manager, Datasharp: “Our mission is to grow as much as we can in as short a time as possible.”
The company recently overhauled its accounting and payment systems to allow it to scale while keeping costs under control. Out went overengineered, underutilised software packages; in came Sage 50 integrated with GoCardless.
“Our accountancy package was way too large for our requirements,” said Joe. “Sage 50 streamlined everything. We’ve gone from having 10,000 nominal codes that left the team with no idea where to post anything, to less than 150.”
This success paved the way for automating Direct Debit collections using GoCardless to drive further accounting efficiencies.
“When I joined Datasharp, I wanted to simplify everything as much as I could and the GoCardless integration with Sage was the key selling point – no one else could provide that,” said Joe.
The GoCardless support team was there every step of the way during the implementation process, migrating mandates from Datasharp's previous Direct Debit provider to GoCardless, and quickly mapping these to Sage to begin charging customers.
Half of Datasharp’s customers now pay their monthly bills via GoCardless and the wide-ranging benefits of the Sage integration – from lower staffing costs to rapid reconciliations – mean the company now enrolls every new customer on Direct Debit.
“Since integrating GoCardless with Sage one employee has left and we haven’t had to replace them,” said Joe.
The team has also been freed from the hassle of wrangling Excel spreadsheets and troubleshooting formatting errors.
“Before we had to extract Excel spreadsheets as part of our billing and reconciliation runs, and you’d always find weird formatting issues,” said Joe. “Now we literally press one button and payments are marked off against all customer accounts. Our billing and payment runs are 50% faster, probably more.”
Digital mandates improve cashflow
The elimination of paper Direct Debit mandates and all the back and forth that went with them has made customer sign-ups faster, leading to accelerated cash flow.
“Now it’s one email and we get confirmation as soon as the mandate is signed,” said Joe. “What used to take a week or two is now nearly instantaneous with GoCardless, and if there's an invoice to issue, we can get that sent out right away. This benefits us massively in terms of getting that money in as quickly as possible.”
The ease-of-use of GoCardless extends into payment cancellations and failed payments, leaving Datasharp with far greater visibility than they had before.
“We get email notifications if someone's cancelled their mandate or there's a failed payment, so there's no need to get a BACS report anymore,” said Joe. “And there are no more confusing error codes – GoCardless actually just tells us what the problem is. It's so much more user-friendly.”
The integration of GoCardless with Sage 50 has allowed Joe to achieve exactly what he set out to do: transform Datasharp’s accounting and payment functions into a well-oiled machine.
“Our whole aim was to reduce time spent on accounting and credit control, to give us more time to get the management accounts produced for the leadership team, get cash flowing and get invoices paid quickly,” said Joe.
“GoCardless has helped deliver this, especially with the automated reconciling of customer accounts. And because it's literally a case of setting up the customer mandates and then leaving the rest to GoCardless, we don’t have to worry about credit control anymore. That’s allowed me and the team to focus on helping to grow the business.”
Finally, we asked Joe to summarise GoCardless in a single sentence. “Efficiency, cash in the bank, a great product,” he said. That sounds like mission accomplished.