Improving Accounts Receivable With Garima Shah Of Biller Genie | Soar Payments LLC

Improving Accounts Receivable With Garima Shah Of Biller Genie

Accounts Receivable (A/R), invoicing, and bill presentment/payments are all crucial processes for businesses. Not getting paid in a timely manner, and efficiently, can have more significant consequences for SMBs.

Once again, technology, and specifically a SaaS solution, offers up powerful results. Garima Shah, President of Biller Genie; an award-winning Accounts Receivable (A/R) platform and e-invoicing solution that automates bill presentment, follow up, online payments, and reconciliation for SMBs, joins to discuss.

Payments & Fintech Insights In This Episode

  • Why AR is critical to all businesses, particularly SMBs.
  • How Biller Genie helps businesses see increases in bill payments and AR time reductions.
  • What Biller Genie’s philosophy around integrations is, and why it’s a critical item to focus on for many fintechs.
  • How Biller Genie focuses on friction reduction to give a quality user experience.
  • Garima’s thoughts on the future of A/R technology, payments, and what’s next for Biller Genie.
  • With so much more!


Scott: Hey, everyone, Scott here with you, and welcome to yet another excellent episode of “PayPod: The Payments and Fintech Podcast.” On today’s show, we are going to be talking about something that any business, but particularly small and midsize businesses, should really give consideration to, and that is accounts receivable. How consistently are you getting paid? How easy is it for customers to pay you? How smooth is your invoicing process?

These types of processes matter and, fortunately, technology offers a path for improvement. Joining me to discuss how and why is Garima Shah, who is the president of Biller Genie. Biller Genie is an award-winning accounts receivable platform and e-invoicing solution that automates bill presentment, follow-up, online payments, and reconciliation for small and mid-sized businesses. These are the exact kinds of tools that can offer really huge benefits. So let’s jump on in and find out a bit more. Garima, welcome to the show.

Garima: Thanks for having me. Really excited to be here.

Scott: Yeah, thank you for being here. As I said, today, we want to talk about accounts receivable, AR, and really the power of e-invoicing and payments themselves. But before we dive into all of that, I always like to start with a big question. Garima, why is AR something that is so important for small and medium-sized businesses to really focus on and work on improving? Or putting it another way, why does AR matter?

Garima: Sure. You know, I know we all want to talk about accounts receivable so often because it’s such a sexy thing, right? But when it comes to accounts receivable and why it’s important, it’s really the lifeblood or the cash in a business. Before being at Biller Genie, I had been in payments my entire life, you know, merchant services payments. And I didn’t realize the pain that’s felt by over 55% of the businesses in the world that are waiting to get paid after they perform a service or deliver a product.

And you think about every bill that you receive and how long it takes to either get that or pay that and you think about the business owner, and that is their cash flow. And we look at how many businesses go out of business every single year, and most the time, it’s not because…I mean, actually 82% of the time, it’s not because their product wasn’t good or they didn’t have revenue. It was simply because they had cash flow issues. So really managing someone’s accounts receivable process and ensuring that they have the right cash flow at the right timing in their business is a make or break for 82% businesses in the world.

Scott: That’s incredible. And I would imagine too it becomes a little more significant if you aren’t necessarily a massive, gigantic business, if you’re more in that SMB space, right? I mean, that can just matter a bit more.

Garima: Absolutely. I mean, the average SMB has 27 days’ worth of cash on hand. So if you just think about that, you think that they have 27 days worth of cash to run their business, and an average invoice is net 30 terms which means they can be paid in 30 days, and the vast majority of invoices are paid late. Just think about what that does to a true SMB out there that doesn’t have the money to continue to do things like pay their rent or pay their employees, but they have so much outstanding from people who need to pay them on those invoices.

Scott: Right. So I mean, at best you can be harming growth opportunities and things like that, and then at worst, you’re risking going out of business and having some real problems. So, okay, we’ve established it is crucial. And fortunately, though, Biller Genie presents some unique solutions for bill presentment, follow-up, online payments, and really more. For those who are unfamiliar, can you break down a bit of the story behind Biller Genie and really how you help, I guess, address these issues?

Garima: Sure. So when you think about a small business, and you think about how they handle accounts receivable today, what they’re doing is…and again, according to the “Wall Street Journal,” 90% of all businesses in the world still handle accounts receivable manually. That doesn’t mean that they’re using an abacus or a pencil. It does mean though that there is human intervention in the process of accounts receivable.

Scott: Right.

Garima: So what are they doing today? Let’s just say that you have a landscaper. That landscaper is going to your house. They’re mowing your lawn. They’re doing all your work for you. And then they’re going into QuickBooks and they’re creating a line item that says, “Scott owes me $100.” Then they’re going to Adobe, and they’re making this invoice, making it pretty and putting their logo on it. And they’re either putting it in an envelope and sending it to you or they’re emailing it to you.

In order for you to pay that invoice, now you’re either sending them a cheque, you’re calling them with a credit card number over the phone, maybe you’re writing your credit card number down, maybe they’re sending you to a website where you can go and you have to log in, put in all your information, and you’re making that payment. After that’s happened, once that collection is completed, now that business owner is having to go back into whatever they used for collections, if they deposited it in the bank, if they took it through merchant services, they’re having to take that information and go back into QuickBooks, close up that invoice, put in the tender amount, and actually send you a confirmation of receipt. That’s a pretty arduous process for most business owners, especially if you think about how many key hours that takes, right?

Scott: Yeah.

Garima: So we fully automate all of that. Everything that I just said we automate. So the landscaper, with Biller Genie, goes in like he normally would. He goes into QuickBooks. He writes, “Scott owes me $100.” The moment he does that, he clicks Save, and we take over. We send out that invoice for him with his letterhead, his logo, his verbiage. When you receive that invoice, on the bottom of that invoice, it says, “Pay via credit, debit, Apple Pay ACH.” You click a button, you make that payment. Once we have that collection, we go back in to QuickBooks, we close out that invoice, we send you a receipt, and we ensure that their books are right and the money is in their bank account. And that all happens without that landscaper ever having to lift a finger.

Scott: That’s incredible. And you can see just right away how powerful that can be. I’m reminded a while ago, a long time ago, I was running the books for a business that I worked on, and I had to do invoicing and things like that. And one of these days, I’m kind of closing out the accounts, and I realized that there was a customer that was really, really late. We’re not talking just 45. We’re talking 90, and all these unpaid invoices. And I was the one person who discovered that. And so then we had to kind of run around and try to get paid and all that. But you see where that sort of automated aspect could make it so much more helpful.

Garima: Absolutely. I mean, we have business owners come to us all the time that have hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid invoices, and some of which they’re just going to write off at the end of the year because it’s too much work for them to continue to follow up and get that money in their business. We turn on Biller Genie, and sometimes we’re able to collect like 90% of that within the first few days. So it really is changing the way businesses do their business.

Scott: Right. I guess pursuant to that, if you could kind of expand a bit more on the real business benefits that folks can expect when they start working on automating their invoicing solutions and more, what kind of increases, whether in bill payments or just AR reduction times, might they see and why is that, I guess, so effective?

Garima: Sure. So our subscribers see an average of a 40% reduction in outstanding invoices. And I want to be really clear about what that means. That doesn’t just mean that they were going to get paid on this bill at some point anyway, but they got paid a little bit earlier. No, it’s actually truly reduction in the amount of unpaid or overdue invoices.

I’ll give you an example. We had a company that does yacht repair. And when our team wants to do the integration, which takes us 10 to 15 minutes, when we had to do the integration, we said, “Hey, Mr. Merchant, just so you know, you have over a thousand invoices open and some of them are from 2008, 2009, 2010. Would you like us to turn the system on because we’re a computer, the moment we turn this on, it’s going to start sending out invoices?” I mean, that’s just how it works. “Oh, no, no, it’s fine.” He also changed the verbiage in the template to have his own cell phone number in that invoice.

So that night, he turned on the system. The next morning, he calls us livid because his phone had been blowing up, his e-mail has been blowing up, people have been calling him like crazy. And he was like, “Well, I don’t know what you guys did.” And we said, “Well, not to say ‘We told you so,’ but, you know, all these invoices went out. We should have closed them out first.” He’s like, “Ah,” you know, whatever. Two hours later, he calls us with his tail between his legs to apologize because he had collected over $300,000 for invoices that were over 10 years old.

Scott: Oh my gosh.

Garima: And it wasn’t because…I mean, if you think about it, someone’s getting their yacht repaired, they’re not trying to get out of a bill. They’re not trying to not pay him.

Scott: No.

Garima: They just didn’t even remember that they had that, right? They had no idea. So it was easy for them to pay. They saw and they’re like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I haven’t paid this guy in 10 years. Quick, let me make this payment.” And so, literally, within 24 hours, he’d collected 300 grand of invoices that were over 10 years old. So when I say a 40% reduction in past due or unpaid invoices, what I really mean is that’s found money. That’s money that they wouldn’t have had in their business otherwise, which is so exciting to see and to be able to help businesses realize that. It’s really exciting for us.

Scott: Right. And some of these businesses were prepared to just, “Well, we’re just going to write that off. We’re never going to get that,” and you can kind of turn that around for them. That’s incredible.

Garima: Yeah, absolutely. And in terms of number of days, we see that we see a reduction in like a 10 to 15 days. They get paid 10 to 15 days faster, and they save anywhere from 15 to 20 hours a week in administrative time. So if you think of time as money and you think about how much time…the value of that time that they were able to save, plus getting paid so much faster, as I said before, an average business owner will have a 27 days worth of cash on hand, so getting paid that 10 or 15 days faster is life-changing.

Scott: Absolutely. Now, you worked in payments for a number of years, so you’re familiar. We’re a payments show. I’ve got to ask about the payment side of things because you allow businesses to stick with their current payment processor for accepting those payments. Can you kind of break down how it works and why that’s such an important feature for you guys?

Garima: Yeah, and that’s a great question. So, yes, I come from payments. My entire background is in payments. I spent 17 years in the payment space. And that’s why when I came to Biller Genie, and my partner, Tom, when he was explaining it to me, I didn’t really realize that there was such a business need for it because I had never sent out an invoice because I’ve always been on the payment side. But what I did know is that I had merchants coming to me all the time asking for a way to connect QuickBooks to their merchant services, right?

Scott: Right.

Garima: Like, “I want to use you for merchant services. But how do I do this with QuickBooks and I don’t want to have these separate systems?” And to be honest, that’s where Biller Genie came from. Both my partner and I come from payments, and we had seen this need. And we tried every plugin in the market, from Verosa to NMI SyncPay, to all of these different things that were just a plug-in within the QuickBooks ecosystem and didn’t take away the pain of the entire process or workflow automation.

So, Biller Genie was created actually with payments in mind. That was at the forefront of our mind to say, “What tool could our fellow colleagues in the payment space use to acquire more merchant business, as well as to increase their margin on accounts by giving businesses something that’s of real value that integrates seamlessly into what they do?” And that’s where Biller Genie came from. And so what we do is that we work with all of these payments companies. We work with some very, very large ones. And we are their tool for invoicing and for collections and reconciliation and all of that. And we use your MID. So we use the payment processor’s MID, and we lock the system to that specific processor.

Scott: Right. Wow. And then if you think about it, for example, the yacht repair company story you were telling, whoever was his processor, all those outstanding invoices, those were all potential earnings they could have had from residuals that they weren’t getting. And so he was happy, he was getting paid, then they were processing, you know, right?

Garima: Yeah, that’s such a great point, actually. And I’m glad you brought that up because we also see this transition from anybody who we’ve worked with, who was taking a lot of checks, or Venmo, or PayPal, or whatever. We do see this movement, so much of that volume going into merchant services, which is so great for the payment processors because now their volume, their residual, their margin, all of that goes up because it’s easier for customers to pay via credit card, or debit, or whatever, now that it was for them to go find a check or something like that and make that payment. So we see this movement of where the volume is coming from in the business.

Scott: It’s so powerful. And yeah, I would much rather pay for something with a credit card than a check these days, much easier. We were kind of talking about it and you mentioned how quick onboarding is. But can you walk us through, I guess, how sign up to onboarding work for Biller Genie, how do you make the process as painless as possible for your customers and people using your tools?

Garima: Yeah, we can have someone up and running within 10 to 15 minutes. It’s literally that simple. If someone goes to and creates an account, that’s literally all they do. They put in their information. It’s about five to seven fields of information that we take. And once they do that, they’re in the system. After that, our team will work with them and we usually call them within two hours if someone is submitting information or they can call us. And our team will walk them through, “Hey, put in your username and password for QuickBooks. Okay, now we’ve got that integrated there. Okay, now we just need to get your merchant services integrated.” So we’re either receiving a VAR sheet or receiving a source [inaudible 00:14:30] pin for that gateway. And we’re able to get that up and running very, very quickly as well. So normally, we can have a merchant up and running with Biller Genie and the processor within 10 to 15 minutes.

Scott: Boom, and that is so huge, especially if you are a smaller business and you’ve got some A&R issues and you really need to get paid. Being able to kind of turn that around quickly I think would be huge. I want to talk about integrations too because they are a big sticking point for a lot of businesses. I have conversations with merchants. And if you don’t integrate with their accounting software or whatever it might be, that can be just a deal-breaker. So in general, we were talking about QuickBooks, but what’s Biller Genie’s overall approach to integrations? What are some of the integrations you’re currently supporting? And how do you go about adding new ones? Or summing all of that up, what’s your integration’s philosophy?

Garima: Sure. So we do integrations all day every day. I mean, we have a full development team and that’s what we do. On the accounting side, we are integrated to all versions of QuickBooks since 2013. So that’s desktop, online, pro, all of those things. We also have an integration to Xero, which is another accounting software, as well as some smaller companies like Accounting Suite and TherraManager that we work with as well. So we have quite a few accounting integrations, and we are looking to add more as we have seen as these market trends changing, although QuickBooks does have a huge, huge, huge percentage of the market that I know that our payment providers face a lot. On the other side, we are fully agnostic on the payment side. So whether someone’s processing with TSYS, First Data, Elavon, it doesn’t make a difference. We do work with all processors seamlessly.

Scott: Right, so bottom line, you guys really want to fit with as many folks as you can and make it as painless as possible for them to sign up and get connected.

Garima: Absolutely.

Scott: And then in terms of when you’re adding new integrations, you’re kind of mentioning, “Yeah, just looking at trends and things like that.” Is it also something where if you have one of your partners or a number of merchants asking like, “Hey, do you integrate with this? Do you integrate with this?” there’s a threshold and you’re like, “Okay, we got to get some developers on this?”

Garima: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. We’re always looking for, like, that business case, right? I mean, it’s pretty easy for us to do an integration. It’s just about finding the right business case that makes sense. So we’ve had partners come to us saying that, “Oh, we’ve got a huge deal, and for this deal, it’s, you know, a few hundred merchants or something like that for the partner, we need to have an integration to this smaller, very specific software,” we are absolutely able to do that. We’re pretty agile and a small company still. So we’re able to make those decisions and pivot very quickly and add those things. As long as there’s business case, we have no problem doing it.

Scott: Right on. I’m sure merchants listening are happy to hear that. That’s always good news. Speaking of merchants, I know from conversations I’ve had with merchants that they are constantly, and for good reason, concerned about their customer’s experience with any new tool, especially when you’re talking about payment’s side of things. It needs to be seamless, intuitive, easy to use, all that good stuff. If customers can’t figure out payment on an invoice or where to click, nobody’s happy. How does Biller Genie really approach the user experience with an eye on reducing any friction and really kind of fostering a situation where it is just so easy to pay and seamless and they know exactly what they need to do?

Garima: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I am not the most tech-savvy person in the world. I’m by no means developer. And if someone told me that I couldn’t use an iPhone and had to move to Android, I think that I would cry. I’m one of those people, I don’t want to make that change. I like the systems I use. I know how to use them very well. And that’s kind of me. So I completely feel the pain that a business owner would feel if we told them that we had to change any part of what they do today.

That’s why one of our guiding principles at Biller Genie is to automate someone’s accounts receivable without changing any part of their workflow. So integrating seamlessly into their existing workflow is one of our key driving factors. So for a business owner, they’re not having to learn anything new. They literally go in to their accounting software the way that they always have for as many years as they’ve done it, and the only difference is they have to hit the button, Save. That’s it. And we show them how to do that. Once they hit Save, we truly take over and we automate every part of their backend.

Our most important part of our conversations with business owners is asking them how they do it today and ensuring that we replicate that process in an automated fashion, so we’re not changing the way that they interact with their customers. And then one of the other questions you asked was how easy is it for customers to do that? So, for you, if you were a customer and your landscaper, whoever, used Biller Genie, you would literally receive an e-mail that says, “Make a payment. Just click here,” and truly you can click and pay via Apple Pay on that invoice. So it is extremely user-friendly. And we pride ourselves on the fact that we are not trying to change any part of the way that people currently do business.

Scott: That’s great. And I think it also highlights something that you were talking about earlier, which is just this idea of, so many people, they want to pay their bills. There’s not people out there just like, “Oh, I never want to pay any of my bills.” So, if you have such an easy way, it’s, “Oh, I forgot I had that invoice. Look, it’s in my email. Boom, there, click, okay, here’s the credit card, whatever,” and you’re done. I’ve had that experience myself, where I’m like, “Oh, okay, I completely forgot I had this bill, now I pay it.” I think that speaks to the power of simplicity, I guess, in user experience?

Garima: Absolutely. I mean, we hope so, right?

Scott: Right.

Garima: I mean, that’s really important for us. I mean, like our three words are automated, integrated, simplified. I mean, that’s what we do. So everything that we do is kind of measured against that yardstick. Are we automating something? Are we fully integrated? Is it seamless? And is it simpler? Like, are we making things easier and simpler? Because if we’re not what’s the point, right? I mean, people have done accounts receivable this way since people started sending out bills. So if we can’t make it easier or simpler for both the payor and the payee, what’s the point?

Scott: What are we even doing here?

Garima: Right.

Scott: I think that highlights too, the power of just technology itself and what we can do today, and whether you’re talking about payments, or another area of finance, where all of this is driving. With that in mind, I always like to look to the future. So Garima, if you could peer into the crystal ball, what do you see in the long term future, say 5 to 10 years for A&R, invoicing solutions, payment solutions around that? How might the landscape change? Will everything be automated? Will specific technologies potentially change how we even think about invoicing and AR? I’m just curious to your perspective.

Garima: Yeah, I mean, it does. I very much think that this is changing very quickly. I think the pandemic has actually even made it heightened and more accelerated than it was happening anyway because of this idea of contactless and so many more people not being in the office and touching paper and doing those kinds of things. So paperless, contactless, reducing friction is absolutely the way that the entire payments fintech world is going. And we see that almost exponentially accelerating over the years. I know I have, in my career, seen that change from when I first started in merchant services and you still had a huge number of businesses that said, “We don’t take credit card,” to now, not only do they take credit card, but they actually know the difference in merchant services providers, which is something that I never expected even 10 years ago.

So I think the same thing with accounts receivable, I think today we see this huge market, right, 90% of businesses that do this in a fully manual fashion. So as we see time go on, we’re going to see that adoption and acceleration curve of both accounts receivable and accounts payable solutions that are going to be more automated. And customers are going to drive this more than merchants will. Customers will want easy ways to pay and ways to manage their money and their invoices and their payment terms, and they’re going to be looking for those things. And so it’ll be incumbent upon merchants and merchant services providers to be able to provide those solutions and really be able to add value that way.

Scott: I think that’s so spot on. And I’ve found with customers, especially when you’re talking about any kind of new technology or way of doing things, all you need is, if they have a couple merchants that they experienced it this way, then when they go to their next business, when they’re paying another bill and if they don’t have that experience, they’re gonna say, “Hey, this was so much easier over here. Get with the program.”

Garima: Right, absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott: So keeping that future focus, what do you see in the future for Biller Genie, specifically? Any specific features, partnerships, or otherwise on the horizon that, of course, you can actually share that our listeners might find to be interesting?

Garima: Yeah, I think that there’s a lot we’ve got going on. I mean, we closed our seed round of funding where that happened back in April of this year. We are moving forward like crazy. We have a ton of partnerships that we will be announcing here shortly with some very, very large companies. And in terms of integrations, we’re looking at companies or looking at accounting softwares like Sage and some of those other things to add to our wheelhouse, as well as multiple payments gateways. So it makes it even easier for payment providers to work with us because we’ll be working with the gateways that you already use.

Scott: It’s gonna be exciting to see where you guys take it all. And I think it’s such a powerful solution that there’s no doubt in my mind, we’re gonna see more and more of it. So okay, Garima, we have a segment we like to end with on each and every show. It is five questions. It is rapid-fire. Are you ready?

Garima: I’m ready.

Scott: Make a prediction about the future of A&R software and related bill payments that you expect will happen in the more immediate future, say 12 to 24 months?

Garima: Sure, I would say my biggest prediction for that is I think we’re going to see more of a rise of the idea of e-invoicing and collections happening in that way because I think that people are so ready to do everything on their phones and the idea of finding a checkbook just seems horrifying. So I think we’re gonna see a very quick adoption there.

Scott: What’s one cool piece of payment or finance-related technology that you’ve come across recently, unrelated directly to your company, that impressed you?

Garima: Oh, my gosh, there’s so many. Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that because there are so many amazing technologies. We’re heading out to Money20/20 next week, and every email, every call I get has just such amazing technology that works. I think one of the things that we’ll see a lot of is data analytics, how data analytics are going to drive merchant adoption, like how will we be able to do things with the data that a merchant already has in their business to help them make better business choices. I think we’re gonna see more of an adoption there.

Scott: A hundred percent. And we’ve had a number of episodes on this show where we’ve talked about just the power of data and what that can mean for whether you’re a merchant services provider, or if you can take that data as a merchant yourself, and what can be done with that. So I think it’s going to be exciting to see. In the next five years, most people around the world will make a purchase with either Bitcoin, Apple Pay, some other thing entirely, which one do you think and why?

Garima: So I think Apple Pay is here to stay, and I think we’re gonna keep seeing that. I think it will not be crazy to have crypto within Apple Pay, like to have crypto wallets within Apple Pay. I think that that will happen soon. We’re adding crypto functionality within Biller Genie as well because I think that we do see there will be some adoption there. Probably not in the next six months for merchants, but I would say in about a year, two years, we’ll start seeing more merchants accepting crypto for even regular brick and mortar businesses.

Scott: You know, I just sent someone some money via PayPal the other day, and they prompt, “Oh, do you want to send crypto?” So I think it’s just gonna continue to snowball from there. What’s one piece of advice you would have for someone who’s considering, I guess, maybe the payments industry or the SaaS industry with a payments or fintech focus as a career?

Garima: I would just say be ready for change. Go into a position in fintech and SaaS knowing that you are someone who likes to change and like to embrace that because our industry does change so quickly. And I think that’s what makes it so exciting. And you see, the people who are very successful in our industry know how to embrace that and drive that change forward, as opposed to the ones who tried to like hold the guard. So I think that anybody who is going into this career profession, it’s a lot of fun. But just buckle up because there’s gonna be a ton of change and a lot you’ll have to adapt to very quickly.

Scott: Last question, what’s the best business advice you’ve ever received and from whom?

Garima: The best business advice I ever received was actually from my very first boss, who told me to remember the value of my time. She was just talking about how to ensure that anything that I was doing, any decision I was making with my time, understand that time is my most valuable commodity. And I think we often forget that. I know I do. So remembering that and really looking at time as a commodity and how we spend it, ensuring that that is in the very best way possible and that we are being the most efficient with it.

Scott: I’m hoping to get better and better at that. It’s still a work in process here.

Garima: Yeah, absolutely.

Scott: It is such an apt thing to end on. Garima, thank you so much for joining us on the show here, really sharing the incredible things that Biller Genie is doing and how you are really changing in such a positive way the sort of AR space and the invoicing space through technology, through innovation. That’s fantastic. And if folks want to find out more, maybe Biller Genie has a solution that could work for them, where can they do that, where should they go?

Garima: Yeah, just go find us at, and we’d be happy to help you.

Scott: Awesome, thanks again.

Garima: Thank you.

Industry Spotlight

Biller Genie

“At Biller Genie, we are a team of dreamers on a mission to provide an automated, cloud-based accounts receivable platform that seamlessly integrates existing business processes for small and mid-sized businesses.

Our cloud-based solution automates your accounts receivable from bill presentment, follow up, collection, and reconciliation – without changing your current process.

  • No new software to learn
  • Integrates with your accounting software
  • Keep your existing payment processor

The Genie integrates with your favorite accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Xero, or AccountingSuite. Our average subscriber gets paid 15 faster, reduces their overdue invoices by 40%, and save 10-20 hours of administrative work per week.”