“We've seen customers in the beta test group save about 60% of their time. And that translates into about 16 hours or more a week for the customers that have a large volume of transactions.” — Gene Jaeger, Senior Product Manager at ServiceTitan
Service businesses depend on accurate financials to ensure they can purchase equipment and hire technicians, yet a flurry of overdue invoices combined with accounting mistakes can leave businesses with insufficient funds in the bank.
For a 2023 Pantheon session titled “Accounting Made Easier: Auto Batching + Transaction Hub Best Practices,” ServiceTitan’s Mike Songloke, Product Manager, and Gene Jaeger, Senior Product Manager, introduced new features to simplify accounting on the ServiceTitan platform and previewed some additional features slated for launch in 2024.
“With a lot of the features that we came out with, the accountants didn't have a home at ServiceTitan,” Jaeger says. “Technicians have a tablet, other teams have their Marketing Pro screens and their dispatch screens, but the accountant really just had the batching screen, which wasn't great.”
Read on to learn about Transaction Hub, which centralizes all invoices, payments, and bank deposits into a single dashboard, and Auto Batching, a new feature that automatically assigns transactions to batches based on customizable rules.
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In accounting, batching refers to the process of grouping similar transactions together for efficiency in recording and processing. Rather than recording individual transactions, businesses often collect and process them in batches.
Yet, as companies scale, batching becomes more complex, and ServiceTitan’s initial batching feature proved clunky and time-consuming for accounting teams.
“The batches were not really made to be this avenue for requesting revenue or emailing invoices,” Jaeger says. “It was meant for the sole purpose to get transactions out of ServiceTitan and into your accounting system.”
Jaeger says users spent countless hours manually batching transactions. They reported that batching results were inconsistent, and finding a specific invoice, payment, or credit was a real nightmare. All of these issues increase the time from sending the invoice to collecting revenue.
“Customers that were manually batching were taking more than 27 days to export,” Jaeger says. “Imagine as an owner or a GM, you only know your financial health from about a month ago. That's way too long of a gap in knowing your financial health.”
While 27 days seems like a stretch, Jaeger says when they looked at ServiceTitan customers who use QuickBooks, they found companies taking as long as 196 days to move transactions into the accounting system.
“The longer that it takes you to batch and export, the longer it's going to take your GM or owner to see those financial analytics,” Jaeger says.
Before the launch of Auto Batching, users saw a massive list of transactions in the accounting section of ServiceTitan. Auto Batching reduces the clutter by automatically assigning each transaction to a batch on a two-minute cadence, based on the transaction type and date.
“This makes searching for a batch a lot easier because all you need to do is type the date into the search bar and you'll immediately find the batch related to that time, or you can just look up transaction type and that will also immediately make it easier to find,” Jaeger says. “If I create a transaction right now using today’s date, within two minutes it will automatically bring that into a batch, and then any other transactions I create throughout the day will be included into the batch.”
Jaeger says ServiceTitan research shows users on average spent three seconds per click on manual batching, adding up to around 250 hours per year.
“We've seen customers in the beta test group save about 60% of their time. And that translates into about 16 hours or more a week for the customers that have a large volume of transactions,” Jaeger says.
With more time back in their day, Jaeger says, accounting teams can focus on collections.
“Think about all the things that you want to do but you don't normally get to do because you're spending time batching. That's the value Auto Batching provides,” Jaeger says.
ServiceTitan’s new Transaction Hub serves as a go-to resource to fast-track accounting operations, visualize real-time data, and gain complete financial transparency.
“We often see owners or managers where accounting may not be their strong suit, and they just want some high-level insightful information very quickly,” Songloke says. “That’s what we're trying to do with Transaction Hub, just bringing all of it to life.”
Songloke says ServiceTitan developed the feature because companies frequently relied on internal email to send invoices for approval, causing many to become lost and slowing down the time to invoice the customer. Businesses were losing unapplied credits and taking weeks to reconcile bank accounts. There was also no easy way to filter by invoice status or bulk send outstanding invoices.
“We've centralized all of your invoices, payments, and bank deposits into one screen,” Songloke says. “And a big reason around this is, for the longest time, the accountants always felt like they had to jump to 30 different places to try to find anything, whether it’s a job audit trail or the invoice page. So, we wanted to create a central place for you to do all of this.”
Accountants can now see all invoices from the accounting screen broken out by review status, so they can quickly find and review what they need to and then move on. They also gain the ability to bulk send invoices via email or print multiple invoices with one click.
You can customize and apply filters to different fields in the Transaction Hub, so users only see invoices that apply to their jobs. More granular filters allow you to drill down further to see invoices by job type or technician, and view invoices that were sent but not opened by the customer.
“You can resend these invoices, and even redo the body copy to say something like, ‘I saw you haven’t opened the last email,’” Songloke says.
The “invoice aging” tab shows all invoices from the previous 30 days or 60 days and sorts them by “sent” or “not sent.” Songloke shared an example showing a user with nearly $12,000 in unsent invoices.
“That's a lot of money that’s just sitting around doing nothing and somebody forgot to do their job,” Songloke says. “Transaction Hub provides a quick way to send out those invoices.”
Users also gain the option to automatically apply late fees, either as a percentage or flat amount, to unpaid invoices.
“We saw in the beta of Transaction Hub how users that really adopted these processes were able to reduce their time to send by about 40%,” Songloke says. “One of our users said that it saved them over 13-plus hours during peak season with their billing process.”
Songloke says the Bank Deposits feature, part of Transaction Hub, is intended to simplify the reconciliation process and make it easier to track the status of bank deposits in ServiceTitan.
“We wanted to introduce a way to track this because we would hear when users try to reconcile at the end of the month or year, sometimes there's a little delta. There's one or two payments that you can't find and it's really difficult to find within the batching screen or after it's been exported,” Songloke says.
Rather than using batching to keep tabs on bank deposits, users can now track them based on the different bank accounts added to ServiceTitan. From the dashboard, you can quickly view all open deposits along with their review status, as well as the review status of deposits over the previous 30 days.
Additional Accounting Features
Jaeger and Songloke closed out the session by mentioning some forthcoming accounting features including:
Accounting Periods: Accountants can establish guardrails that prevent anyone from creating, modifying, or deleting transactions within a certain period.
Audit Trail: Provides a complete picture of all financial components for a given job, including employee touchpoints.
Invoice Review: Allows the user to hide or show different information in a customer invoice, and also remove previous invoices in the portal to avoid confusion.
Invoice Print Customization and Controls: Enables the user to customize the look of invoices, hide or remove specific fields, change messaging, and more.
Auto Batching and Transaction Hub are currently available for ServiceTitan customers. Additional accounting features will launch throughout 2024.