As with all software solutions, the idea that implementing a solution will streamline the process, automate where possible and deliver value through insight, reducing overhead and driving efficiencies. In the accounts receivable arena, e-invoicing has been discussed, but it really comes in a variety of flavors.

For some people it means just sending electronic invoices, which on their own cut down on mailing costs and delivery time, reducing DSOs. To others it includes online payment acceptance and processing – which also reduces both mailing costs and DSOs.

However, the real question is whether these are fully automating the process. The reality is that looking at the entire chain of events, the creation of an invoice is only part of the process, and while it may be the most important, it’s also not the most time consuming. What we’ve found is that two major factors determine how efficient an accounts receivables process is. The first is speed of communication between the customer and the vendor and the second is the speed of bookkeeping on both the vendor and client side.

From a speed of communication position, not only is sending the invoice a huge factor, but so is dispute resolution and payment processing. Dispute resolution tends to slow down the collection process significantly and drastically increase the DSOs, while payment processing also tends to increase mailing costs and time to collection.

From a speed of bookkeeping perspective, matching the payments to invoices and performing the overall reconciliation can be manually inefficient, … Read more

Customer profitability is at the forefront of today’s market discussions. Primary focus is on customer profitability by addressing the revenue each new customer brings in and not the potential losses – failing to factor in the total cost of the customer. When thinking of profits and losses in terms of customers it is important to see all elements of profitability.

An element rarely acknowledged is customers that just don’t pay their bills at all. Or do not pay them within a reasonable amount of time. The impact is well known.

Every day that a dollar is not collected by your finance department, is another day that your cash flow is reduced. This may cause a reliance on short-term financing, such as lines of credit, revolvers, or just the inability to pay your suppliers and other accounts.

Bad customers can often mask themselves as great buyers —but in reality— are really bad payers. They can bump up your DSOs, often paying when and how it pleases them. There may be times when these types of customers pay only after long disputes, and questioning every item on an invoice.

Even though every dollar may have been collected; the question now becomes “what is the cost of collection?” If the cost and time required far exceeds other accounts, it might be time to consider that a customer may be costing more than they are worth. In this case, it may be time to discuss with the customer terms of continuing the business relationship.… Read more

Thoughtbot, Github and PlataformaTech shared their development flow over the past few months. Our development flow differs quite a bit as well as our Product Management process so we believe that they are worth sharing!

Flow

VersaPay development flow features:

  • 2 week iterations
  • planning poker
  • feature branches
  • CI against all branches
  • code & UX review
  • QA
  • deploy at the end of each iteration

Tools

To support our workflow, we use a couple of well known open source tools, and a few we’ve built ourselves and released on Github. We use the following well known tools:

We developed the following tools to support our work flow:

  • gitmine – A command line tool for Git and Redmine!
  • Alfred – A dashboard linking Git branches, Redmine and Jenkins.
  • viewcumber – Cucumber formatter to browse your application by clicking through your cucumber scenarios.
  • mothership – Anyone can deploy in one click!
  • jenkins-github-autobranch – Create, Run or Delete Jenkins jobs whenever a new branch is Created, Updated or Deleted on Github or Gitorious.

Each feature is described in a Redmine ticket and will live in a feature branch starting with its ticket number followed by an explicit name. We use gitmine to automate creating, checking-out, reviewing and deleting branches.

Product Management

We used Basecamp for a while. It is a great tool for small projects … Read more

VersaPay was featured on the cover of the July 12th 2011 Innovation section in the Vancouver Sun. Last week, writer Scott Simpson of dropped by our Vancouver office to interview Ryan Wilson about our success with cloud based business to business payments. To our surprise, the article was featured as a full page spread on the cover of the Innovation section.

Read the full article hereRead more

Website security

When entering private information, be sure to check that the site uses encryption to keep any data you enter on the website safe.

To tell if a website uses encryption, look for a web address with https (“s” for secure) with a lock icon beside it (as pictured below). It may look different depending on what web browser you use.

Secure URL bar

My password requirements

Length and complexity is pivotal to create the strongest possible password. A minimum of 7 characters, including alphanumerical, special characters, and is not the same as your last four passwords is required. Make it as long as possible, at least 14 characters is recommended. Your password should be changed on a regular basis, every 90 days you should be changing it or if there has been a change in personnel that had knowledge of the current password.

Microsoft suggests some smart guidelines to follow when creating passwords:
Password Example Table
Microsoft provides a password checker so you can test the strength of new passwords before putting them to use.

Some common mistakes made when creating passwords that you should avoid:

    1. Words found in a Dictionary (in any language).
    2. Words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and abbreviations.
    3. Sequences or repeated characters. Ex: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (qwerty).
    4. Using your name, birthday, driver’s license, passport number, or any other personal information someone could connect to you.

How do I remember all these passwords?

Using the Mac OS X Keychain Access application or … Read more