Today, we are sitting down with Bruce Coombes and Richard Formoe from QuickFee to explain how you can use their products to get paid faster. QuickFee provides quick and hassle-free payment options for your clients to help you can increase sales, build better client relationships, and improve cash flow.
“One of the partners there was sharing that their firm no longer has an overdraft thanks to using our payment plans” - Bruce Coombes
The finer details of this episode
Jamie Nau: So today we're going to talk with QuickFee and we'll talk about this in the podcast. But the question I have for you is, you and Jody seem to be professionals at looking through all the spam emails we get and finding great providers. So I want to talk a little bit about that. How do you distinguish the good emails from the bad emails and how did we find QuickFee?
Adam Hale: Well you know, we're a little bit nuts when it comes to new shiny objects, whether it's services or tools. So it starts with just curiosity. I know it's a bit overwhelming. You do get a bunch of junk in your email and people want to connect with you, and you see a bunch of stuff every time you open up your web browser. But it really is just curiosity. We hear all the frustrating things from our team. We hear all the frustrating comments that clients make. We have that ear to the ground whenever it comes to what those pains are. So whenever I see a solution that looks like maybe it's got things kind of dialed in, at least like gets me to, you know, like I said, I have kind of have attention deficit disorder, so it only takes me like a couple, you know, I'm always clicking on stuff and kind of viewing it really fast and that's really all I give it if I think that it's worthwhile. I don't really waste my time doing a ton of investigation. I might read a couple reviews, watch a 30 second video on something. Other than that I go right to scheduling a time, or I push it back onto them and have them put some time on my calendar. Then I just hear them out, you know, just listen to people for 15 or 20 minutes. It really only takes a few minutes to realize if that's what I thought it was going to be or not. If not, I say thing like sorry, I thought this was something different. You know, I'm pretty honest because I don't want to deal with the constant follow up. So there are some of those and we save you from those. I think the biggest thing is it's probably less about us just being lucky at what we find and more about being curious on the front end and then, you know, just hearing a few of them out. Every once in a while we get some duds. We spare them from you, that's kind of our role.
Jamie Nau: I think I'm good at when we have a problem. If there's a problem we are having, I remember that I have emails from providers that I can reach out to. But I think where you're really good at is anticipating future problems or thinking about a question that was asked six months ago, like, oh yeah, this is something that we might be able to use now. I think that's just kind of the tip for our listeners. That's a skill to develop and a skill to work on, because I think it's something that both of our owners are really good at. I get emails all the time, but I'd say 80 percent of the time when you guys say that, it's something we end up using or something that's being really good. So a tip for our listeners out there.
Adam Hale: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that QuickFee is one of those that, you know, whenever I first saw what they did, I can't remember what really caught my eye. But it was something more of like this kind of services available in the medical space or a couple other different areas. But it's not really for professional services, which is kind of weird. I guess they just assume since everything's B2B, people can just pay for it, which is not the case. I mean, I think that's kind of the big misnomer. But a lot of people are like oh, yeah, if it's to an individual we have that payment plan options. But whenever it's to B2B they just assume everybody can just write big checks back and forth and we know that under the hood for a lot of companies that's not the case. So I thought it was a really kind of intriguing type service. Then I took a look at their website and kind of looked around at some of the tech and could tell that they spent a ton of time on making it pretty. So it was interesting to talk to the guys. I think whenever you meet them and talk to them, I think you'll see how cool the product is.
Jamie Nau: Yeah, I'm excited for this interview. Let’s get into the guys at QuickFee. Hello and welcome to today's podcast. I'm really excited for today's topics. We're going to talk about something that every business is thinking about. How can we get paid and how can we get paid more quickly? So, you know, as a CFO firm, this is a question we get all the time. This is one of the first things we talk about with our clients. This is a question that they're bringing to us almost monthly or weekly, especially early on in the relationship because cash is king. The more you have, the better you are. So we can we can give solutions, we can give answers. But what we found is having a provider that can help get money in a little quicker is something that our clients really appreciate. So we've connected with QuickFee here and decided to bring them on to the to the show. So we have Bruce Coombes and Richard Formoe. So basically we're going to have them talk about their company and talk about their background and also go into what their platform brings. And then of course I'm joined by Adam Hals as always, so I'd like to get started. So Bruce want to give us a little bit of background on the company.
Bruce Coombes: Absolutely fantastic, Jamie, thank you for the opportunity. As you can probably guess from my accent I was not born in Mississippi, in fact, not born in the United States at all. So we started our business 12 years ago in Australia and we provide payment gateway services for any type of professional services business, and add a twist to that, we're not compliance painful, but if a client needs time to pay, we'll actually front up the money. So we are providing a buy now, pay later what we like to call advance now, pay later service for any type of professional services. So whether that's an accountant, a lawyer or a design agency, an architect, an engineer or any kind of profession where you're serving, we're here to help.
Jamie Nau: Awesome. So Rich why don’t you go into a bit on kind of on the programs you have and what you provide, and exactly how you're able to do these services for people.
Richard Formoe: Look, I think first and foremost, every firm, whether they be large or small face billing issues or issues winning new business. So the unique part that QuickFee brings to these firms is we offer a suite of products. So our traditional or core product, as we like to call it, is really a no credit check financing product that allows the clients of accounting or digital agencies the availability to finance their invoice over 3, 6, 9 or 12 monthly installments. From anywhere from zero to a million dollars in payment plans. Then our second product is really is focused on more of a tool to win new business. This product is called QuickFee installments, and this actually allows the clients to leverage their existing lines of credit that they have on their credit card to pay in four monthly installments.
Adam Hale: So on that one, you know, obviously no limit, but what you're saying is for that one they're kind of limited to whatever they're available credit is right? Because you do pre-authorizations in order to set up those payment arrangements. Still same similar payment arrangements, but you're just making sure that they have the full amount accessible, you know, whenever I start the engagement. So these would be for like smaller things, obviously. So if I've got an engagement that's 5 or 10 or 20 thousand dollars and they have, you know, 20 or 30 thousand dollars available on their credit card, you're basically just asking for that information and then you're using that credit card to make the monthly installments over whatever period of time they selected. Is that right?
Richard Formoe: Yeah, that's correct. So one of the most powerful things about this tool is a lot of these folks come to us and say, hey, look, we don't want to open a new line of credit or we don't want to go get a new loan, but we want to pay four monthly installments. We want to conserve, conserve our cash. Right? So they have their credit. They have their open line of credit that's available to them that they've earned. And now we get to really allow them to beat the bank in a sense. They get to utilize their line of credit that the bank issued them and never pay them interest.
Adam Hale: So how does that work then? What's the fee to me, like, if I want to do this and I've got a client where they've got like a 10 or 20 thousand dollar deal. Let's just call it 10 thousand dollars for fast math and they say, hey, I can't really afford to pay this all at once. Is there anything you can do to spread things out or what have you? It's like, sure, here's a pay later option. What's my fee versus the client fee? What should we expect from a fee perspective?
Richard Formoe: Yeah, so for the QuickFee installments product, which is again, this is typically for your smaller invoices from really zero to 5 thousand, our core traditional financing product the fees are different. So I'll kind of walk you through both of those. But the smaller one QuickFee installments, it's interest free to the client. So again, they get to leverage their bank for no interest. So these clients get to enjoy the flexibility of paying over four months and not pay a dime for it. However, that does cost the firm only 4.99 percent. So a lot of firms like to look at it this way. They're already paying three percent for the cost of credit cards today, right? So what is an additional one 1.99 percent to really win that new business? So that's the really powerful way to look at it is, yes, it's 4.99 percent. But if you really want to win new business, if you take that lens off, you're only paying 1.99 percent if you're already accepting credit cards. The second product, which is our traditional core product that firms like KPMG and BDO and some of these larger top one hundred accounting firms or law firms are using, we charge a small rate depending anywhere from 3 to 12 months. So for 3 months, it's only 2.95 percent, which, as you know, today is on average a surcharge for somebody to surcharge their credit card is anywhere from 3 to 4 percent. So it's cheaper for our clients to take 3 months to pay their invoice at 100 grand than it is for them to put it on their credit card. Then all the way up to 12 month installments. So the 12 month installments allows them a full year to pay their professional services fees for only 8.95 percent. That is the most popular month that that folks choose for whatever reason. I think it's probably because the statistic that recently came out is that the average amount that small business owners said would be life changing for their business was 50 thousand dollars. These 50 thousand 100 thousand dollar invoices are a punch to the gut, right? But if they get to kind of spread that out over 12 monthly installments for only 8.95 percent, that's why the majority of all of our payment plan users are coming back and doing it again.
Adam Hale: So if I've got a client that is like, in order to help me win this business I've got a 100 thousand dollar project that's at hand. Client wants to know if they can pay over time. The option is, we can get paid day 1. Client can have a 12 month payment plan. But just again, fast math rounding stuff. The client's going to pay like 109 thousand dollars over the course of the 12 months.
Bruce Coombes: Exactly. That's exactly right, Adam. So just 8.95 percent for 100 thousand dollars, the client's going to pay back 108,950 dollars. So if you think of a design agency going out there doing a campaign that's really going to transform that client's traffic to their website, sales performance, that revenue growth and all that. Essentially by paying over 12 months they're actually getting the benefits of the hard work of their adviser into their bank account as they're still paying it off. So it starts to actually pay for itself over the latter part of the of the fruits of the engagement. So it's pretty, pretty affordable to put it in context. Our biggest client on that product, when we started in Australia, our biggest client on that is KPMG and our biggest client in the United States, who we've been for nearly 5 years is BDO. So we've got some pretty big brand names using in that traditional product so their clients get the essential advice they need and pay for it at no cost to the professional advisor.
Jamie Nau: So you've talked a lot about some of the new clients. So what about the existing clients? And what if we have a customer that has one hundred thousand dollars outstanding and they're just not paying us? How does that go about working?
Bruce Coombes: Yeah, that's a great observation, Jamie, and that's an enormous part of our business. What is happening there is instead of the advisor calling up the client and say, I need my hundred thousand dollars. or I'm sending you to collections or other bad things might happen, we are actually turning that collections call into a good news call. You can ring up your client and say to them, hey, would a 12 month payment plan help you out? They say yeah, that'd be great. I'm just coming out of COVID. I'm rebuilding. I'm doing this. I'm doing that. That'd be a great help. Thank you very much, Mr. or Mrs. Advisor. And the advisor then says, look, we're a professional firm. We're not a bank but our friends at QuickFee can help you out with the one hundred thousand for you, and it gets back to servicing instead of chasing for money.
Jamie Nau: So you guys get involved pretty quickly there, right? So I can make the initial call then you guys would jump in and help set everything up directly with the client? Or what would my interaction be at that point?
Bruce Coombes: There's three ways to do it. The first one will get involved. The second one, we can put it right there on your website. We can even put on your invoices and let the clients choose how they want to pay.
Richard Formoe: That's right, I was going to just stress that a bit, which was the most successful thing we've seen with these firms, is the ones that truly get involved in terms of putting it on their invoice, the links on their invoices, putting a make a payment button on their email signatures is a true best practice. We also offer something that's pretty unique, Jamie, that nobody else really does out there. That's called a quote generating service. What a lot of firms will do at the end of the month they'll send us a list of clients that they'd like us to generate a quote for that could possibly be interested in taking a 3 or 12 month payment plan. We'll do all the work for them, will generate it will save those controllers and all of the firm admins just tons of time. And we'll actually deliver those payment plan quotes to these clients on their behalf. And we've seen just a tremendous acceptance rate and very, very happy clients because of it.
Jamie Nau: We did a demo with you guys a couple of days ago. It kind showed us the website. It was pretty cool. You know, it looks just like you would see on any company's website of pay now, and it was all integrated. I asked how long does that take to set up and you said not long at all. So can you just talk about that real quick? About how long it takes to set that up? Then let Adam jump in with this next question.
Richard Formoe: Yeah. So what we like to see, Jamie, is a firm set up within 48 hours, believe it or not. So from the time they send us all the remaining things that we need, our client success team and our account management team are pretty proactive in working with the firm and getting them up live and accepting payments within two business days.
Jamie Nau: Wow, that's great.
Adam Hale: Yeah, my only comment was I was just going to drive home the fact that a good way to get started is factoring is an alternative some of our clients do as well. Where they have to turn in those invoices in order to turn that into cash. And obviously, the person that pays that price ultimately is the customer, the service provider, not their customer. But, you know, you're the one doing it. You know, the service provider has to pay for that factoring. So what you're able to do is kind of flip the script a little bit and put those payment terms and those fees back on to the client. And of course, if you wanted to, you could always share in that fee, like you could discount the invoice a little bit to cover some of the cost. However you want to, you know, figure out that fee split or whatever to in order to improve the cash flow and get it going. So I see this is a great alternative to, you know, folks that are considering, you know, going down that route of factoring, which can be a slippery slope for a lot of companies.
Bruce Coombes: Absolutely, it's an expensive business and a lot of people don’t like perhaps what might be regarded as the historic stigma around the fact that an invoice, certainly used in our solution, you're giving your clients something compassionately. If you want to share in that at this time or any time, then that makes a lot of sense. Most service providers like to deliver a service to their clients. You want to share in the fee? Great. You want to get them into the payment plan? Great.
Adam Hale: So if somebody wants to work with you, is there a monthly fee or anything for the set up just because it sounds like what best practices is just to have this, you know, just inherent in all of your invoices. Like there's really no harm to you as the provider just to always have this option to spread payments out. Use it as much or as little as possible. Is there some kind of requirement or fee or setup fee or anything on our end?
Richard Formoe: You know before we get into that I want to interject quickly if you don't mind. So an important distinguisher here, factoring really is there when the client is lost, right? You've already lost that relationship with the client and really you're never going to see that client again. Our option is there to help maintain the relationship and improve their relationship with decline by offering them another flexible way to pay. So we are similar to a care credit if you will, where your client just needs help. The last thing we want to do is be considered similar to factoring just because we really pride ourselves on helping these firms maintain and grow their relationships with their clients.
Adam Hale: Yeah, I mean, I guess my experience with factoring is the client doesn't even really know that you're factoring anything because you're basically just taking the burden on yourself. But the reality is, I extended you a 60 day payment terms because you're used to 60 day payment terms. But I can't really afford to give you five days’ worth of payment terms. You know, quite honestly, I got to make payroll next week, so I need the cash today. So I'm going to just like, go ahead and sell your invoice and you might not know it, but I need the cash today. But I take a pretty big hit and a haircut on that money. I mean, you know, if I obviously if I had traditional lending resources, whenever you compare the money that you pay in factoring fees to what you pay for, if I was just borrowing from a line of credit, it's way more expensive. But again, me is the provider. I'm the one taking a huge haircut if I ever have to do factoring. Now, what you've been able to do in this one is still speed up my cash flow terms, but then put that burden of the financing in its rightful place, which is the client, because as you mentioned before, we're not the bank. You know, we're here to provide the service. If you need extended payment terms, fantastic. Not a problem. As you mentioned, we partner with you to be able to provide that care credit type of a service for our clients, which I think is great and much needed for this industry.
Bruce Coombes: Absolutely, Adam. I mean, we've got we've got one particular CPA firm I was chatting to about three months ago and one of the partners were sharing that their firm no longer has an overdraft thanks to using our payment plates. And of course, that's come at absolutely zero costs. Not only does it cost them nothing to use our payment plan, they now no longer pay an interest on a one million dollar overdraft that they used to have. Now, that's transformational. He was telling me that that partners took a super drawer one because the overdraft actually went into and they got an extra bonus drawing. And that's a nice story, right?
Adam Hale: That's huge. I mean, this is pretty revolutionary for I mean, you know, again, medical professionals have been doing it because they know whether it's a hearing aid provider or veterinarian, I mean, it's very similar whenever we have these big ticket items that people can't just afford, you know, all at once. So I think definitely a welcome opportunity.
Bruce Coombes: Even like malpractice insurance, like every attorney and CPA, et cetera, et cetera, you have to pay your malpractice insurance. Now premium funding has been out there in the United States in the 150 billion dollar industry. It’s exactly the same thing. You just turning something that's a one off payment into something that's easier in monthly installments. We’ve done over 300 million dollars of these. So you know that clearly people love it.
Jamie Nau: I think the best thing that was said earlier is about the message. I think the way you guys delivered it is exactly what you want to do as a consultant. You want to come in and say hey, look what I found for you guys. This is what we can do. This is the payment terms we can set up for you. We want to help you out. I think that's the best way to come to someone that's having difficulty paying versus going to them and being like all right, guys, we're going to start imposing fees. We're going to do all these things. You start doing bad guy versus good guy, which is what you guys are proposing, which I think is really important for anyone listening to this to know there's a way to have this conversation that makes it really valuable.
Adam Hale: Well and I think even more than that, because even whenever you think about that, it's like, hey, I found you something that's going to cost you money. I think the really cool thing about it is the technology that you have embedded, you know, the website and being able to put it on every invoice because then it's not even a conversation. It's just a, hey, you're expected to pay this invoice. But, hey, we've got options for you too. But then they can kind of self-select in, you know, it's not like they're like, oh, I just got that ten thousand dollar invoice. Sorry, Jamie, I can't pay you because I don't really have the money. It's like, oh well you didn't see the link. We provide other options, you know, it's like, you know, you don't have to have those conversations because it is integral to your delivery and every month they see the same invoice because a client can do that over and over. If I hit him with a ten thousand dollar invoice or five thousand invoice this month and another one a couple of months from now, they can continue to do that with each individual invoice.
Bruce Coombes: Absolutely.
Jamie Nau: Yeah, that is really good. So one thing that I want to talk about before we kind of get to the wind down of the show here is obviously you guys are in a business where long term relationships are important. You know, it sounds like once you get someone signed up, they're successful. Can you guys kind of talk about those relationships you've had with your customers and clients and how long they usually stick with you?
Bruce Coombes: We've got firms that have been dealing with us for over a decade, you know, offering payment plans to their clients and using our payment gateway, et cetera. But one of the most interesting things is once a client of the firm uses us to pay one invoice, 70 percent of the time they use us over and over again each time they get an invoice. So it's not just the firms that are really enjoying the benefits. The clients love it. In fact, in a survey of people that used our payment plan. 92 percent of people said in future the availability of payment plans would be part of the decision making process in choosing another service provider.
Richard Formoe: That's exactly what I wanted you to touch on. Look, I think we have taken a lot of time to build an outstanding reputation with, you know, with the firms we serve service. Something that's most important to us is providing an exceptional experience to these firms, always providing them new updated invoices or templates they can use to have conversations and make conversations easier with their clients. So it just goes to the point of the, you know, like you alluded to, the longevity that these folks are really just sticking with us. I think that the testimony you've probably seen it, but the KPMG testimony that's out there floating around, it's a true test testament to why these folks really appreciate QuickFee and the value we provide.
Jamie Nau: Yeah 70 percent that's impressive. I didn't know you'd have that number offhand, but that's a great answer because, again, I think that's what the testimony to the type of work you do is how many people use you long term and how long they use you for. So that's a great statistic.
Richard Formoe: I didn't get to answer your question, Adam about the fee. It's actually free. So if you jump on and shoot us a note and you mentioned that you heard about us on this podcast, we'll give it to you for free.
Adam Hale: Yeah, that's pretty cool. I mean it seems like a kind of a no brainer, I guess. What's the drawback? Right now I'm not feeling like there's any kind of worries with, you know, just going ahead and getting started. It's not going to cost me anything to do it. I'm giving my clients permanently just this option to be able to pay. I assume some of this is recourse, though right? Back to me then. It's not like a credit card per say. Does this come back on me if clients can't fulfill their payment term, how does that work?
Bruce Coombes: On the on the big ticket ones with QuickFee finance product, there is a very limited recourse arrangement. Essentially if you think about it this way, you've done some work. You've sent an invoice to a client and you want to use this as a way to get paid today for work you've already done. All we ask is that should the client fail to pay us, which means there were never going to pay either, that you make us whole only on any unpaid principle. If we get halfway through a contract and they decide they don’t like what their service provider has done, or that they're upset because the IRS is doing an audit or whatever it might be. And they decide I don't feel like paying little old QuickFee, then we think it’s kind of fair that, well, you share that with us and you just make a toll on the unpaid principal. On the small product where the firm actually paid 4.99 percent there's absolutely no recourse whatsoever. No credit risk whatsoever on that product. We wear that risk, we manage that risk with that technology.
Adam Hale: Wow, that's great.
Jamie Nau: That makes sense. So now we're kind of winding down on time here. Any final thoughts for our listeners that they should know? And then obviously, how can they get hold of you guys? Because I'm sure they want to take advantage of the no fee that was offered there.
Richard Formoe: Yeah, so they can visit www.QuickFee.com, and just click to request a conversation with us, or they could even just request a chat in the chat box and we'll respond within minutes and be happy to set them up very quickly.
Jamie Nau: Awesome. Any final thoughts Rich?
Richard Formoe: Oh no, look, first of all, Jamie, Adam, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to come talk about QuickFee a little bit. Bruce, thanks for joining us all the way from down under there in Mississippi.
All: Laughing [in audible]
Richard Formoe: So thank you.
Jamie Nau: How about you Bruce – any final thoughts from you?
Bruce Coombes: Again that is www.QuickeFee.com. Rich is the chief revenue officer. He's driving up all our growth in the United States. So speak to Rich if you need anything. Happy to help.
Jamie Nau: Awesome. Well, definitely appreciate you guys coming on the show. Adam, any final thoughts from you?
Adam Hale: Yeah, I just think that collections is a constant conversation that we're having. As you mentioned, you know, the cash is really the oxygen of the business and that's how we survive. I think that, you know, it's a small price to pay on those smaller engagements. Whenever you're taking that little piece of haircut, we talk about different methods of being able to pay and giving clients discounts to prepay. This is an opportunity where you're kind of giving him a discount and you're still getting your money, but then you're offering them a benefit as well. So it just seems kind of like a win situation. If you can make it really hassle free, because that's really important to me as well, just give me something that's easy. If they have an easy way that it attaches to everything, then, you know, the technology kind of makes it, you know, in my opinion, if you have any kind of AR kind of a no brainer to investigate this kind of a service.
Jamie Nau: Yeah, it makes it look very smooth and very professional. Like I said, I was very impressed with the demo we got yesterday. So again, appreciate having you guys on.