CAP Advisory saved 90% of their time by automating manual tasks with bluesheets

By setting up an automated workflow for processing financial data with bluesheets, CAP Advisory provides the best experience to their clients through thoughtful, analytical accounting consultation.

90% faster

replacing manual tasks with bluesheets automation

Revenue ↑

by serving more clients and facilitating higher value consultative work

Clientele ↑

in approachable industries as a result of simplified processes

CAP Advisory is a service-first accounting firm for emerging brands and businesses. With 25 years of expertise and knowledge in accounting and finance, they provide modernised accounting solutions incorporating new technologies and industry best practices. Its mission is to empower brands to grow confidently without worrying about their books and staying compliant.

Background

When Charles and Jonathan took over CAP Advisory, they knew growth would be a challenge. At that time, the company was bogged down by time and manpower-consuming paper processes. As the new CEO and COO, they knew they had to work with technology to find a solution to eliminate manual data entry work.

While traditional optical character recognition (OCR) worked for a while, they soon outgrew its capabilities. Charles shared, “OCR was good for us in the early stages of our digital transformation. However, as we got more familiar with the technology, we saw the downside of what it couldn’t do.”

Challenge

Growth limited by technology

Traditional OCR helped CAP Advisory remove much of the human data entry work, and they witnessed initial growth early on. However, as the company grew faster and onboarded more clients, it became evident that OCR alone wasn’t enough.

Charles explained, “We realised quite a bit of limitation to everyday OCR software, which is, they only let you do one thing - read your data. Given the type of SME clients we work with and the sheer quantity of data we face daily, reading data alone is insufficient. We needed something more.”

“We needed to make sense of the extracted data as quickly as possible. And I think that’s when we realised that reading alone is not enough because we had to manually put this data in the right place in the accounting system, which essentially brought us back to square one. So a pure OCR software couldn’t do it for us.”

Jonathan Lau

Director of CAP Advisory

Moving fast and breaking everything

The team at CAP Advisory realised that while a manual process could work temporarily, this was not sustainable and represented a band-aid relief rather than a long-term solution.

Jonathan recalled, “Previously, we were handing a client with about 3,000 invoices a month. Clearly, we would have reached our entire team capacity with just one client if we were to do it by hand.”

“These days, we deal with invoicing, POS reports, e-commerce reports, and inventory movement reports. With the increase in complexity, there’s also an increasing strain on our operational requirements.” Charles added.

The leadership team knew that productivity and morale would suffer if this continued.

Frustrating self-service support experience

The last straw came when they tried to navigate a self-serve support system around their previous OCR software.

“The support team plays a huge role for us. We tried navigating through knowledge bases and meddling with the previous system and it didn’t work for us. The trial and error process is frustrating and time-consuming.” Jonathan reflected.

“That was when we realised our original tech reliance is insufficient for us to take on more interesting clients and keep up with the pace of growth. And that's how we came across bluesheets and the founder, Chris,” says Charles.

“When we first heard about what they're doing, I immediately got excited. I think this is something that we have been looking out for because it allows us full control and flexibility to design the systems for our clients in the most elegant way possible.”

Bluesheets is integrated with 100+ platforms, helping businesses save 90% in cost and 30+ days per year on average.

Solution

Frustrating self-service support experience

CAP Advisory had been sourcing for an automation software with the ability to process data.

“The good thing about bluesheets is not just their OCR. It's about manipulating the data after the OCR operation and the ability to process it before pushing it into the final format on the accounting platforms.”

Jonathan Lau

Director of CAP Advisory

What sets bluesheets apart from OCR-only software is its accounting-centric approach.

Jonathan added, “What we like about bluesheets is they are more sensitive to the accounting treatment of the data than any other platforms we tried. We work with many clients, and the potential to customise data output is a crucial part of accounting. It is important to track the data and point them to their corresponding entries in their respective accounting portions. Bluesheets definitely nailed that.”
Bluesheets enable customers to direct the output of their data specific to where it’s required, allowing true automation.

Customising what others cannot

"What previously needed an entire physical team to achieve can now be directly pushed to the accounting software with 100% precision.“

"The significant difference for bluesheets is their customisation capabilities,” says Jonathan.

"And being able to automate account receivables is one of them."

He continued, “bluesheets allows us to do drawdowns and reconcile the figures for our F&B clients, which saves us a ton of work. And they are the only company I know of who is capable of this."

Charles added, “With bluesheets, we sleep better at night. We now get more control over what goes where and higher confidence that the compliance portion is always there."

Jonathan gave another example of the customisation capability that impressed him with Xero.

“There are certain barriers when we do data importation to Xero because of software limitations on Xero’s side. And I am talking about manual data entry work for millions of transactions!
We couldn’t jump over that hurdle with other software because they are all rather rigid in their document processing and output format. However, with bluesheets, we overcome that challenge with their data-push customisation and easily reconcile the items.”

Jonathan Lau

Director of CAP Advisory

A stellar support team

Jonathan also appreciated the patience and guidance of bluesheets’ support team. The personal touch is a crucial factor that elevated blueSheets to a different level from other startups.

“Our account manager, Valerie, made a significant difference for us. She helped communicate our requirements to her tech team, and they were very sensitive to our business needs."

Charles added, “We know the accounting side of things, but we are not tech people. So it requires a certain level of expertise for bluesheets to train their team to understand what we are trying to communicate and, more importantly, actually listen to it and improve the product for us, the users.”

Results

90% time saved

As a result, Charles estimates that he saved about 90% of the time they would have taken without bluesheets.

“Overall, bluesheets saved us about 90% of our time compared to manual input. In most instances, the bulk of work is in the initial set up.”

Jonathan Lau

Director of CAP Advisory

The team is now investing more time doing higher-value work. Instead of mundane tasks, they can now spend their time building relationships with clients and giving consultative advice to improve their businesses.

“Our time is now spent on checking the accounts. We also devise SOPs around that rather than doing manual processing. Which is great because that's what we should do in the first place.” he says.

Revenue increased, expansion enabled

Having bluesheets ‘under the hood’ also unlocked new opportunities for CAP Advisory, giving the team new confidence when approaching prospective clients.

Charles explained, “We're approaching the frontiers of new companies. It sounds crazy, but we’re getting live-streaming clients and e-commerce companies on Lazada, Shopee and even Shopify. We even approached construction companies as well. We’re doing inventory management that we otherwise wouldn’t. We have the confidence to go in and work it thanks to bluesheets.”

“Without bluesheets, we would be very hesitant to approach the industries we are doing now because there would be too much to process,” he added.

Bluesheets automates the workflow behind the scenes after a quick setup, allowing accounting firms to expand their customer base confidently.

Finding a growth partner

Knowing that they have the support of a technological partner who listens to them is an invaluable asset for CAP Advisory. And because of bluesheets knowledgable support team, the firm feels much more assured about stepping on the growth accelerator.

Jonathan elaborated, “They absolutely made a difference with their support team. It gives us much more confidence to do what we do. It is this trust that allows us to grow.”

Would CAP Advisory recommend bluesheets?

This is what Jonathan has to say:

"Yes, I think they’re the future. The role of automation and AI is going to grow exponentially. Bluesheets helps us harness that power to eliminate busywork, freeing us to do the tasks that matter most to our clients."

And Charles’ answer?

“No. We will just use it for ourselves because it’s our secret weapon. Bluesheets is our competitive advantage, and if everyone else starts using them, we lose our edge,” he said with a smile.

Without bluesheets, we would be very hesitant to approach the industries we are doing now because there would be too much to process.

Charles Chen

Managing Partner, CAP Advisory

CAP Advisory is technology-focused accounting firm helping hundreds of small businesses automate their financial processes.

Business Type

Accounting Firm

Location

Singapore

Company Size

1-50 employees

Bluesheets feature highlights

Intelligent data capture
Process automation
Plug and play integrations

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