During my time at Beanworks, I researched, wrote and designed several case studies as marketing collateral. For the first case study, I interviewed Fatigue Science CEO Sean Kerklaan and was able to produce a compelling narrative from our talk about how his company had benefitted as a Beanworks customer.
Fatigue Science Achieves Full Visibility Across their Accounts Payable Workflow with Beanworks
Fatigue Science is a pioneer in occupational fatigue risk management and athletic sleep science and performance. The wearable technology they have developed quantifies fatigue based on objective data and provides specific insights into how fatigue currently affects workplace safety, performance, and productivity. Their clients include professional sports organizations, companies in construction and transportation, and the military.
As a Vancouver-based company founded in 2006, Fatigue Science has expanded geographically over the last decade, with three offices and 50 employees, most working remotely across North America. Looking at his growing team, CEO of Fatigue Science Sean Kerklaan saw a storm approaching in terms of their paper-based accounting practices, which were already a costly burden.
For two and a half years, Kerklaan’s team processed their invoices manually, incurring hundreds of dollars each month in printing and mailing costs. As CEO, Kerklaan also struggled with the lack of real-time visibility into his company’s payables. “Accounting software, from my perspective, is a very complicated piece of technology. I don’t need any of that. I need to know what our cash balance is, what we owe, and what we are owed,” said Kerklaan.
With a paper-based system, Fatigue Science also lacked clear tracking across the invoice approval process. In order to find out whether a particular invoice had been paid, Kerklaan would have to contact his accounting team at the Vancouver office, so that they could physically search through the filing cabinets to retrieve the invoice and check its status. Signing checks was another major hurdle, as the company’s second signing board member also worked remotely. Each unsigned check required couriering to get two signatures, and that back and forth could take a week or two, which was inefficient.
When it came time to find an AP automation solution, Kerklaan made it a project for his accounting team, who started researching their options. “We went through a pretty rigorous review. It was cost-conscious, and we didn’t want an overly complicated system,” said Kerklaan, who set out the parameters for the search. “They reviewed what was available on the market and decided Beanworks was the solution of choice.”
Initially with Beanworks, there was a question about the cost of the solution, and whether automation would truly be a way for the company to save on its processing costs. These doubts were put to rest as soon as the solution was fully functional. In fact, the transformation was a game-changer for the business as a whole.
Not only have their invoice processing costs been cut substantially, there have also been added benefits to company data security and disaster recovery. As a cloud solution, Beanworks makes security simple. “With our accounting software, we’ve invested so much money into redundancies, offsite backups, firewalls and all kinds of encryption problems,” Kerklaan explains. “I don’t have security issues anymore. I don’t have to worry about someone breaking into my office, or my office burning down. All I have to do is buy another laptop.” Best of all, the implementation process was simple and straightforward thanks to Beanworks’ dedicated Customer Success team. As Kerklaan notes, he has not seen this kind of improvement across any of their other tools.
“From a CEO perspective, it’s magic. I don’t need to understand accounting software, and I can instantly search what purchase orders we have approved, and how today’s cheque run draws down on those POs,” says Kerklaan. “Beanworks is brilliantly simple. It includes an excellent hierarchy structure for a simple approval or rejection process, allows for digital approvals, and saves thousands of dollars on printed paper.” For Fatigue Science, Beanworks has solved major headaches by simplifying and standardising accounts payable across the business.