AJ Tutoring offers test prep and academic tutoring services that transform education for students in the Bay area.
Automate processes and connect systems to allow AJ Tutoring to scale with business growth.
Invoiced’s automation workflows combined with platform connections accelerate payments and increase visibility.
AJ Tutoring’s accounting team achieves a 20% productivity increase and maintains 97% collections efficiency.
San Francisco, CA
When Aaron Andrikopoulos and Joe Niederman formed AJ Tutoring in 2005, their invoicing and billing processes were like many small businesses - limited and simple.
“We started out as a really small tutoring group focused on SAT prep,” said Aaron. “Paper invoices and payment contracts suited our needs well at the time.”
Since its inception, AJ Tutoring has grown to over 300 tutors in 16 locations who work with students on SAT, ACT, AP, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT test preparation. And beyond that, AJ Tutoring now offers tutoring in subjects like math, science, history, and foreign languages.
As the company grew, the team at AJ Tutoring added tools to support the back-office processes required to manage their burgeoning operation. A time-tracking system for tutors, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform for sales staff, and accounting software for the finance team were among the additions.
These tools met specific business needs, but they weren’t all connected. And when it came to invoicing, AJ Tutoring was left with a lot of repetitive, manual work.
Disparate systems + manual processes = wasted time
In order to set up a new customer, an AJ Tutoring sales director would have to create a custom contract and payment terms inside the CRM. The sales director would then download the contract and email it to the customer, who would then need to print it out, sign it, scan it, and bring it to the first tutoring session with a check or credit card number.
Credit card payments proved a real challenge to manage. AJ Tutoring did have a secure, PCI-compliant way to process them, but customers had zero visibility into this system - with no online access to paid or outstanding invoices.
The AJ Tutoring finance team had to key in credit card payments manually for any given transaction. If a credit card was declined, the finance team’s only recourse was to call the customer directly for a new card number. “With many people in our area working during the day, it was quite difficult to reach customers and obtain a new card number,” said Kathy Graham, Director of Accounting at AJ Tutoring.
For customers with recurring payments, there was no automated way to charge credit cards. During each biweekly cycle, AJ Tutoring’s finance team of 4 would divide up several thousand payments and process them each separately.
And as if all these manual processes weren’t enough, there were limited connections between all of AJ Tutoring’s disparate systems. The time-tracking system synced directly with AJ Tutoring’s accounting software, but data from roughly 29,000 customer accounts had to be manually transferred from the CRM to the accounting software.
Invoiced connects platforms and automates manual tasks
During the process of switching their merchant account, the team at AJ Tutoring ran into a roadblock. The new merchant account they were evaluating didn’t have the ability to integrate with AJ Tutoring’s accounting software, so they were referred to Invoiced.
“We were really impressed with Jared and the Invoiced team from the very beginning. Their knowledge of our accounting software and ability to listen to how our back-office procedures worked, and propose a flexible integration, really sealed the deal for us,” said Aaron.
Over the next 6 months, Invoiced built and implemented the following functionality for AJ Tutoring:
- Integrations between AJ Tutoring’s CRM, accounting software, and Invoiced
- An online signature workflow for AJ Tutoring’s customer contracts
- A secure, PCI-compliant billing portal for AJ Tutoring’s customers
- Automated workflows for credit card payments (both recurring and standalone)
- Dunning management tools for declined/expired cards
Fast, low-effort collections + an improved customer experience
Today, AJ sales directors enter customer data directly into the CRM, and an automated workflow takes care of the rest. The CRM sends a call to Invoiced that triggers an online signature request to the customer, which includes a form to enter credit card details. Once completed, contract signature is passed back to the CRM, credit card payments are processed by the merchant account, and payment status is recorded in both Invoiced and the accounting software.
Customers are able to log in to the billing portal remotely or at one of AJ Tutoring’s 16 locations to gather historical invoice data, make payments, view invoices, and update credit card details. Payments are processed automatically based on each customer’s contracted schedule. Expired or declined cards are managed through an online workflow that pings customers for new card details via email.
Since launching with Invoiced, AJ Tutoring has seen the following results:
- Accounting staff are 20% faster than they were before.
- AJ Tutoring is able to maintain 97% collections efficiency.