COVID-era SMB Boom Spurs Neat Company Expansion Into Bookkeeping and Invoicing

At a time when pretty much everything seems to be happening on the go, The Neat Company’s two new record-keeping initiatives are no exception.

In the wake of the company’s launch of NeatBooks and NeatInvoices Wednesday (Sept. 1), CEO Garrett Baird told PYMNTS the dual solutions help small business streamline invoicing and facilitate digital payments.

“We are serving both the COVID-emergent side hustles and businesses that have existed for many years,” Baird told PYMNTS, noting that the cloud-based and mobile-first capability allows small business owners to organize records and gain insights on the go using a tablet or mobile phone.  “There has been a COVID boom of new business starts with a new generation who are mobile-savvy,” Baird noted.

A Foot In The Door

Many small business owners already know The Neat Company from its 20 years in business, where it has sold millions of physical scanners and offered cloud storage for files.

“We’ve been known for years in the digital documents space,” Baird said. “Serving small business is in our DNA. As we looked at what additional value we could offer, we saw bookkeeping and invoicing.”

Compared to legacy small business accounting packages, he said there’s a great need for streamlining right now that can eliminate outdated processes that have become unnecessary in the age of digital banking and intelligent data management.

For example, automating the reconciliation process by securely syncing a small business’ bank information and matching categories, then presenting a visual analysis of indicators and insights, can keep solopreneurs and the like aware and up to date.

In-app guidance and expert support via phone, email and chat are also now expected, especially among younger digital natives.

“When I owned a small business, I saw that receivables would start with a paper statement, go to QuickBooks, print that out and make checkmarks,” Baird said. “I knew there was a better way.”

A Better Way

The new offerings address problems commonly faced by small- and medium-sized businesses. Recent PYMNTS data found that electronic invoices cost 81 percent less than their paper counterparts and that 82 percent of the SMBs that close their doors do so due to cash flow management issues.

As it stands now, Baird said sixty-five percent of solopreneurs and emerging small businesses rely upon homegrown spreadsheets to keep their books and inform tax preparation.  To that point, the company found that most small business owners see no benefit to bookkeeping beyond preparing numbers for tax filing.

But when those necessary bookkeeping functions are automated and streamlined, small business owners get an entirely new level of real-time visibility and business intelligence.

“My wife owns a marketing consultancy,” Baird said. “She billed customers with a Word document attached to an email and then waited for payment to arrive sometime. She became one of the first users.”