From XU Magazine, 
Issue 32

How Wilder Coe Automated Their Client’s Approval Processes with ApprovalMax

Learn how London-based accounting firm, Wilder Coe, worked closely with a large 53-entity client to automate their approval processes.

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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About Wilder Coe

Established in 1972, Wilder Coe have cemented themselves as one of London’s leading accounting firms. During this time, their goal has always been to relieve companies of the stresses and strains of business accounting. Along the way, they have worked with an impressive set of companies from various industries, including, renewable energy, charities, hospitality – the list goes on.

But accounting has changed a lot since the seventies, and cloud-based accounting technology has become the gold standard. Thankfully, Wilder Coe are very familiar with the cloud accounting space, and they consider it a valuable part of their service to help their clients adopt cloud-based solutions.

We sat down to chat with Faye Thompson, Head of Cloud Accounting at Wilder Coe, to learn about Wilder Coe’s cloud-accounting journey and how one of their large clients adopted ApprovalMax.

“We cater to a broad range of clients across the spectrum and have helped these clients overcome the many challenges they face in collaborating business ideas with cloud-based software.” - Faye Thompson

Let’s look at Wilder Coe’s accounting app stack and learn how it has helped their large client.

How Wilder Coe’s cloud accounting app stack sets them apart

Wilder Coe’s team prides themselves on marrying technical and digital knowledge with their rich experience in the accounting industry to deliver outstanding business acumen. And they do this with just three apps at the core of their work.

Xero – Wilder Coe adopted Xero’s accounting platform almost 15 years ago to ensure they always delivered world-class service to their clients.

Dext Prepare – Wilder Coe have been long-time users of Dext, adopting the tool when it was called ReceiptBank.

ApprovalMax – The team at Wilder Coe see so much value from ApprovalMax that they have recommended it to multiple clients.

“Cloud accounting is a necessity – not a niche!”

What are the key benefits of using Xero, Dext and ApprovalMax together?

By choosing an integrated cloud-based tech stack, Wilder Coe have simplified their and their client’s accounts payable and receivable processes to the point that it runs like a well-oiled machine. The native integration between Xero, Dext Prepare and ApprovalMax means that Wilder Coe can automate the entire invoicing process – from data capture to invoice approval, to payment, while ticking all the boxes for tax compliance.

Let’s look at how Wilder Coe have used their preferred tech stack to set up an automated AP process for one of their larger clients.

How Wilder Coe implemented approval automation for a 53-entity client

When Wilder Coe acquired a client in the renewable energy industry, made up of 53 companies, they knew they needed an automated approval process to give them and their client complete visibility over their financial documents and statuses. This presented the perfect opportunity for Wilder Coe and their client to flesh out a detailed approval matrix and explore different options for approval software to fit into their accounting app stack.

Let’s dig a little deeper into how Wilder Coe’s client actioned approvals before they started using ApprovalMax. 

The client’s process before using ApprovalMax

When Wilder Coe first began working with their new client, the client used SharePoint as their document management system. Their approval process was prone to errors, delays, and manual interventions; it was a time-consuming headache and they needed a dedicated app stack to resolve issues and modernise their approval process.

Wilder Coe worked closely with their client to find technology solutions that met both parties’ needs. Not long after, the client moved to Xero for their accounting platform and ReceiptBank (Now Dext Prepare) for data capture. To complete their tech stack, ApprovalMax was selected as the perfect solution to integrate between both systems and streamline the client’s purchasing and invoice approval process. 

“When Wilder Coe took over the client, we knew that Receipt Bank was going to be used for the data capture and Xero for bookkeeping – but we needed an approval app to slot in between both systems to manage the approvals process.”

How Wilder Coe’s client uses approval automation

By setting up a multi-tier, multi-rule approval matrix within ApprovalMax, Wilder Coe were able to simplify the entire approval workflow and create visibility for their client. So how does it work?

Let’s keep it very simple:

Invoices of £3k and under are sent to two approvers who are responsible for approving the general ledger (GL) code. 

If the invoice is over £3k, it’s sent to the designated director and a second approver. 

All the changes are documented in the audit trail report, helping with tax compliance and real-time visibility. With this feature, auditors can complete audits quickly and easily at the end of the financial year.

ApprovalMax developed a bespoke complete business report that allowed the client to see an overview of their financials (with 53 companies, this makes a lot of sense!). This report gives Wilder Coe and their client total visibility over their automations and helps highlight what is working well and where they could update the process.

When asked about the benefits for Wilder Coe and their client, Faye said: “The biggest benefit for all parties is being able to track where an invoice is in its journey. Being able to use different devices and the app to approve invoices on the go has been great. Seeing who has and has not yet approved invoices has also been a huge benefit.”

Why Wilder Coe chose ApprovalMax for their business and clients

With features like multi-tiered approval workflows, audit trails, and an easy-to-use mobile app, Wilder Coe’s client uses ApprovalMax to bring valuable efficiencies and visibility to their entire approval system. But the benefits reach beyond just the one client – Wilder Coe has taken this experience and implemented approval automation across a number of their customers while also using the workflows within their own business.

The Wilder Coe team are dedicated to nurturing their client relationships and delivering business acumen derived from years of experience. They want to help their clients flourish, grow, and exceed expectations, and they do this by giving clients access to the tools to succeed – tools like ApprovalMax. So, of course, it makes sense that Wilder Coe would use ApprovalMax in their own business too.

“Our team completely understand how small businesses work, and we focus on nurturing relationships whilst ensuring our clients achieve their goals. Whether their goals are maximising profit, reducing costs, or giving them the added value of time, we aim to relieve them of the stresses and strains when it comes to the accounting part of the business.”

You’ve read a lot about the benefits of automated approval workflows, from time savings and faster payments to better visibility and pain-free audits – but do you know how much you could save with ApprovalMax? Find out with our simple savings calculator. 

Final words from Wilder Coe

“Our clients are extremely happy with ApprovalMax. The software has exceeded their expectations, and our expectations too.”

Why leave it there?

To find out more about ApprovalMax

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