Latitude Bookkeeping Services is based in Plattsburgh, New York, and provides bookkeeping services to over 25 business clients.
Latitude was founded by David Perry in 2018, after serving as an associate pastor at a local church for eight years, where he was also in charge of the bookkeeping. David soon found out that many ministry leaders, including his own, were often occupied by dealing with their ministry's financial aspects, rather than dedicating their full time and attention to doing what they loved - being there for their congregation.
Later on, David found out the same is true for business owners, who spread themselves too thin trying to juggle the bookkeeping needs of their business, and were distracted from pursuing the dream they founded their business for in the first place.
That is why Latitude was founded with the purpose of taking the financial handling off their clients’ hands and minds, so their clients can focus solely on their mission.
Founder of Latitude Bookkeeping Services
"It’s amazing that people don’t realize there’s another, simpler way of handling Accounts Payable. We’re adding value to our clients by offering them that simple solution."
When he started handling Accounts Payable, David encountered clients who still relied on sending paper checks, “people were writing their own checks. There was one where I was actually printing checks and then bringing them over to the client to sign. It takes so much time and it’s frustrating. They had no idea there’s something out there that can help them do it faster and better, David adds. “It’s amazing that people don’t realize there’s another way of doing that.”
Other clients were using Accounts Payable software which was extremely expensive, with $30-50 monthly fees just to use the software and added fees for adding accounting team members and approvers on the clients’ end. It would add up to $200-$300 in monthly fees per client. It was just not sustainable.
David realized he had to find an Accounts Payable solution that will provide real value for his clients, while being simple enough to use, without the inflated costs. And so, he rolled up his sleeves and went into extensive market research: “I looked into ten to fifteen different apps. I did a lot of demos, had conversations with company representatives, all to find the best solution which is also cost-effective”.
After exhaustive research, David found that the only app that offered a real solution to the needs of Latitude and their clients was Melio. “The first thing that stood out was the simplicity of the platform”, David says. “Melio was by far easiest to navigate. With other platforms, I would get overwhelmed, and I’m pretty tech-savvy, so my clients will definitely feel the same.”
As he does with all new software, before starting using it for his clients, David set a Melio account for himself and started using it to pay his bills, and had Melio send checks for him. It was almost no time before David decided to move his clients onto Melio, and it’s been a game-changer for him and his clients.
Since Latitude started using Melio, they’ve seen an immediate improvement in their daily workflow, increased efficiency, and saved hours a month on every client. The easy-to-use dashboard and the seamless Quickbooks Online sync do the heavy lifting: “I upload everything into QuickBooks and it syncs with Melio,” David says, “so everything I set out in the front end goes to Melio as a bill. Once a week we go into Melio, we pay the bill. The client gets an email, approves and that’s it.”
David estimates that sending out ten payments for a client used to take anywhere from 40 minutes and an hour and a half. Now, with Melio, it takes just 5-10 minutes overall, which reduces payment handling time by up to 90% and saves between 3 to 8 minutes on each bill payment.
Added to the considerable time-saving is the fact that Melio has zero subscription fees, and all basic transactions are also completely free. Clients can pay their bills with either an ACH transfer or their debit card, and Melio sends their vendors a check or a bank transfer, per their choice, free of charge.
Adding team members and users with different approval levels is also completely free. “That’s just a huge cost-saver”, David says, “not just for us, but also for our clients. We’re saving hundreds of dollars a month per client. We’re talking $200-$300 a month per client, that we would have to pay with another app”.
David also found Melio’s vast payment options as a tremendous benefit for his clients’ ability to increase payment flexibility, and use Melio for virtually all types of business bills. “People still insist on getting checks” , David says. “Most landlords will not accept rent payments with a credit card”.
Melio offers the perfect solution: the ability to pay any bill with ACH/Debit card or any credit card (even if the vendors don’t accept credit cards), and having Melio send out checks. “With Melio, a client can use a credit card to pay rent and Melio will send a check or ACH. Same thing for utilities. It’s great to have all these payment options available to us not only on the payable side, but also for whoever is receiving the payment, and we can tailor it to their preference.”
Being able to pay with a credit card, together with the ability to schedule multiple payments ahead, also helps Latitude in managing their clients’ cash flow. Latitude has clients who regularly use the credit card feature with various bills from rent to utilities, since it helps them defer payments to the next billing cycle and increases their float.
Latitude and David view what they do for their clients as a true partnership: Helping them with their financial challenges, so they are free to invest themselves into the other aspects of running and growing their business.
David holds the same approach when it comes to their tech stack. “We look at the software that we use as a partnership” he says ,“we know we can have a conversation with Melio and we know they’re listening. Companies like Melio become part of our support network and they’ll allow us to find more solutions to potential challenges.
We couldn’t agree more. Supporting Latitude, David and their clients realize their dreams by taking care of bill pay for them and helping them with their financial management is part of Melio’s mission.