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Case Study: Miracle-Ear – Associated Hearing of IL and MTK

June 22, 2011

If Miracle-Ear franchisee Peter Gaspary's bookkeeper hadn't resigned, he never would have discovered an easier, less expensive way to pay his bills. LogohomeME  

Gaspary, the owner of Associated Hearing Aids of Illinois, in Elmhurst, is one of Miracle-Ear's franchisees, with 27 hearing aid centers across the state. For many years, Gaspary used a full-time bookkeeper to keep track of his finances on QuickBooks. "Every week, I spent at least an hour approving and hand-signing 30-40 Logo_M checks for utilities and rent for my centers and for office and medical supplies," Gaspary said. "Now I do it all with Bill.com and it only takes me five minutes."

Gaspary's shift to Bill.com was not planned. Although his "old-fashioned bill paying system of printing out checks and sending them through the mail," was time-consuming, Gaspary would have continued using it. But one day, his bookkeeper suddenly left. Gaspary had met Jeremy Kiecker, a CPA with the Edina, Minnesota accounting firm Moquist Thorvilson Kaufmann Kennedy & Pieper LLC (MTK) at conventions hosted by his franchisor, Amplifon, of Plymouth, MN. "I called Jeremy to help me write an ad for a new bookkeeper," Gaspary said. "Instead, he came back with a whole new proposal."

One of MTK's practice niches is the hearing industry, and Kiecker suggested that Gaspary do away with his bookkeeper position and hire MTK as its outsourced accounting firm. Kiecker also proposed that Gaspary try using Bill.com, a new system that synchronizes with QuickBooks, to pay his bills. "I saw a demo that explained how Bill.com works and it just made so much sense that I wanted to try it," the franchisee said.

"Now I just go into the accounts payable section of Bill.com," Gaspary said, "and make check marks next to the bills I want paid. Then I hit a button and, that's it. Bill.com takes care of the payment and syncs details with QuickBooks."

Those payments can be electronic transfers directly into the recipient's bank account, or checks sent out by Bill.com. Sarah Bader, a supervisor at MTK, said that only about 20 percent of all vendors paid via Bill.com for the accounting firm's clients opt for electronic payments. "Once people see how easy e-checks are, they will gain in popularity," she predicted.

In the meantime, Gaspary is pleased to be saving time and the expense of a bookkeeper's salary. The new system is even paying unexpected dividends. Because Bill.com is Internet based, Gaspary can check whether an invoice has been paid when he's on the road, visiting his many centers. "I have a better understanding of what's happening on a cash flow basis," he said, "because Bill.com’s calendar acts like a whiteboard, telling you what needs to be paid this week, plus three weeks in advance. And there's a certain comfort," he said, "in knowing my accountant is handling my books. Coupled with Bill.com, I’m confident that my bills are being expensed properly."

Now that Gaspary has had such success with the online bill management system, Kiecker is introducing it to other hearing aid center owners. Miracle-Ear has over 1200 franchised locations and Gaspary plans to tell his colleagues about how Bill.com has made his life easier. "I am so glad we happened into Bill.com and MTK, now I have more time to focus on business and helping my customers" he said.

Download a PDF of the Miracle-Ear / MTK Case Study here.

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