HealthDay Subscribes to Healthier A/R with Anytime Collect & QuickBooks

HealthDay has been producing award-winning health news since 2001. Its editorial staff – comprised of more than 50 seasoned journalists and medical writers – has won numerous journalistic awards including the Pulitzer Prize. HealthDay has grown to be the largest syndicated health news service for the Internet. Currently, it provides content to more than 5,000 websites a day.

Some of the world’s largest media companies, managed care organizations, health-related government offices, and hospital systems rely on HealthDay’s articles to provide credible, research-grounded health news to their customers.  “On the consumer end, we create medical news articles that our client’s publish on their websites,” explains Carlo Marinozzi, Accounting Manager at HealthDay.  “Each article that we generate has to reference at least two sources a pro and a con, to ensure integrity.  We take detailed medical journal articles geared toward doctors and medical professionals and translate them into everyday language so anyone can understand them.

“We supply them to online media clients like Yahoo Health, US News and World Report, iVillage, Everyday Health, and MSN Health. We serve hundreds of hospitals and hospital group websites such as Seton, Aurora Health Care, and Sentara. And governmental agencies like and MedlinePlus,” said Marinozzi. “We provide 30 articles a day for consumers and professionals.  We also create custom content for clients.”

Invoice Overload

Supplying more than 5,000 websites with content means there are a lot of invoices going out to a lot of clients.  Those invoices need to be collected in a timely manner to ensure the company’s cash flow is the best it can be.  And that’s where Carlo’s job comes in.  HealthDay uses QuickBooks Premiere as its main accounting package. While HealthDay finds QuickBooks largely satisfying, a few years ago Marinozzi found himself looking for a few improvements. “At that time QuickBooks was not set up to send out batch invoicing by email. So, instead, each time I had to send out an invoice to a client, there was this collection process:  I had to open Acrobat, create a PDF invoice, save it, go back to my email, attach it – so it was this whole thing with several steps just to set up an invoice – one invoice – to be sent to a client.”

Invoice Delivery

Marinozzi found himself seeking web-based accounts receivable collection software to streamline and automate the entire collection process. “And Anytime Collect was what I found,” says Marinozzi. “It satisfied the criteria which led me to look for accounts receivable collection software in the first place. With Anytime Collect, I could send out 30 emails or more within a few seconds.”

Collections Workflow

Marinozzi explains how it works for him and for HealthDay. “In QuickBooks, you have an accounts receivable aging report. When an invoice is due on July 30, if it’s unpaid on July 31, it goes into an aging report for invoices 1-30 days past due. That report lets me see the invoice is now starting to be aged and past due. Depending on the balance and the number of days past due, I might have to get in touch with the client and ask them, for instance, if they received the invoice or if there’s some other issue we can help them with. Anytime Collect gathers all the accounts receivable information from that QuickBooks aging report – including all the customer contact information.”

Marinozzi said, “So let’s say you have Customer A, and they have four open invoices. Anytime Collect automatically creates each invoice as a PDF file and allows you to send  them all in one shot – and you can do that not just for Customer A, but for multiple customers at once –  each customer getting their own PDF invoice. It’s really efficient how it does it; it goes really quick. And it’s sure better than me sitting there creating a PDF file one at a time. And that one feature meant I could start spending more time on sorting out problem accounts instead of just spending all my time just preparing those invoices and emails.”

All of this adds up to significant time savings. “The old process took me a tremendous amount of time,” Marinozzi said. “With Anytime Collect, I’d say that over the course of a week, that saves me three or four hours, maybe more.”

Managing A/R Disputes

Another feature that Marinozzi has found invaluable is Anytime Collect’s ability to append information to accounts and use that information in management reporting. For instance, Marinozzi explains, out of $1 million in aged accounts there may be $100,000 that can be segregated as disputed invoices. In that case, he says, “You can go into Anytime Collect and say, ‘OK, these twenty invoices that make up the $100 thousand, I don’t want to see them in my aging reports.  I know about them and have documented them; they’re just accounts with issues. I want to see a real aging without those balances.’”

“In Anytime Collect,” Marinozzi continues, “you can omit disputed invoices from the aging report but you can bring them back at a later date. You’re not deleting them, just omitting them from a report – and that’s the point. I can easily give a pretty accurate real-time aging report to management regarding cash flow – and I don’t have to manually recalculate balances.”

Cash Flow Forecasting

Marinozzi also uses the tagging feature to record expected payments. “When I call a customer, and they agree that they’ll mail me a check in seven days, I can record that in a tag in Anytime Collect. And then it pops up in seven days as ‘expected cash.’ And if that expected cash doesn’t arrive, it’ll tell you what you have to do next. So it lets you know how much cash you expect which is great from a cash forecasting and planning perspective.”

Integrated Email

Marinozzi also appreciates other time saving features in Anytime Collect. “Much of HealthDay’s business is done by email – for instance, I’m constantly getting emails from writers in foreign countries and all over the United States. So when I’m working on accounts receivable,” he explains, “Anytime Collect can identify and segregate collection emails so I can find them quickly, saving time. Plus, it can attach all my emails to a given account, so I have a real history of what’s going on right in front of me.”

Web Accessible

HealthDay employees often work from home – which wouldn’t really be possible without the Anytime Collect’s web-based interface. “We like to work from home from time to time,” said Marinozzi. “And we can easily get to our email at home. But we can’t access the accounting database from home. For security reasons, our CFO doesn’t want that happening. But Anytime Collect allows me to go in – even when I’m at home – and see all my accounts receivable information and all my contacts and check the status of my collection efforts. Not only can I work from home, I can work from almost anywhere.”

Measurable Results

In the end, it’s Marinozzi’s job to reduce aged invoices, increase on-time payments, and to increase the company’s cash flow because in this current economic environment cash is king – so it’s Anytime Collect’s job to help him do that. And Anytime Collect has delivered. “We’ve reduced the number of invoices that age to 120 days or more by at least 10%. Anytime Collect helps me so I can catch items before they get to that stage. I prefer to be proactive as opposed to reactive with collections so if I catch something at two or three month stage, I can manage the collection issues better for a resolution.  For instance, I might have the salesperson contact the client and work out a new agreement or revise the agreement we have and make adjustments accordingly. I’m the first line of attack and finding out what the problem is upfront helps resolve the issues much faster and improve our company’s cash flow.”

Overall, Marinozzi said, Anytime Collect has significantly reduced aging accounts and dramatically increased HealthDay’s efficiency in respect to collections.  “And that’s why I work here – that’s one of the important tasks I manage. That’s the point. Cash in the bank is always much better than cash on the street. One of my jobs as the Accounting Manager is to collect that money as quickly as possible. So I appreciate every advantage Anytime Collect can give me to save time so I can concentrate on identifying and solving issues with accounts and work on running the Accounting Department instead of just preparing invoices and emails to go out.”

Trusted Partnership

Marinozzi appreciates the relationship he has forged with e2b teknologies. “e2b is just great,” he said. “It’s like a partnership. If I ever have an issue, they’re on it immediately. As soon as I report a problem, they’re either on the phone or in a web meeting with me, or sometimes they can supply a roadmap of how to work it out in an email. But they’re right there. It’s almost like we work together. If I find something that could work better, they listen.”



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