This consulting firm had previously been using spreadsheets to manage their projects, Harvest to track hours worked, and Bill.com to pay their consultants, contractors, and freelancers while managing contracts in Dropbox and Work Orders in Google Docs — and a few other platforms for other tasks.
The Managing Partner said, “Even with our processes operationalized, it was still a challenge to easily see who had worked on specific projects, what state projects were in, and when payments needed to be made.”
With a large bench of external team members who worked on consulting projects in teams or individually, it had become a burden to manage contracts, work orders and payments. The Chief of Staff said, “It was taking hours and hours to manage the visibility of projects and payments.”
Simplifying and streamlining systems and processes
The Managing Partner, COO, and Chief of Staff were thrilled to find Liquid for managing contracts, work orders and payments for all of their vendors, consultants, contractors, and freelancers. The COO said, “Liquid makes it all so effortless. With all the time we’ve saved and all the SaaS fees we’ve been able to eliminate, we’re easily saving $4K per month in overhead.”
As a premium plan user, this consulting firm was able to add their customized Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) and Proprietary Information and Inventions Assignment Agreement (PIIA) into a customized onboarding process to be automatically used with all consultants, contractors, freelancers, and vendors — along with a W9 form for US consultants and vendors and W8 form for overseas freelancers and contractors.
Their Chief of Staff shared, “I can’t believe it takes less than a minute to onboard new consultants.” She added that it used to take her team hours to get each person onboarded — to send off the contracts, get them added to Dropbox upon executing, ask their outsourced bookkeeper to make a secure W9 request, request payment information in Bill.com, etc.
When it came to Work Orders, the consulting firm was already familiar with the importance of using Work Orders. They were comfortable writing detailed Work Orders with clear milestones and deliverables. But by switching their contractor Work Orders process to Liquid, they were able to save time getting Work Orders agreed to. The COO said, “It’s great to have all work orders in one place. Now we have clear visibility into who is working on what project and how much has been invoiced against each project.”
Better financial controls
The outsourced bookkeeper and accountant is delighted with Liquid’s Work Order to Invoice matching feature. Before using Liquid, the bookkeeper had to manually check invoices against Work Orders while keeping a separate spreadsheet to manage total costs against each project. After Liquid, the bookkeeper could quickly see if an invoice included out-of-scope hours or additional line items and then reject or investigate further if necessary. The accountant said, “Liquid automates the invoice to work order matching process and automatically alerts me if an invoice is out-of-scope.”
Moreover, Liquid worked with the Managing Partner to set up an approval process where invoices had to be approved by each Account Manager (the person overseeing the work) before the bookkeeper would initiate the payment. Also, Liquid helped this consulting firm set up an additional approval process so that any payment above $5,000 would automatically require the Managing Partner’s approval. The Managing Partner added, “Liquid’s automated invoice approval routing and process is groundbreaking.”
The firm was able to use Work Orders to gain additional clarity into cash forecasting. By using Liquid’s built-in Work Orders, the COO is able to instantaneously see how much has been invoiced and paid against a specific Work Order — and generate reports for cash forecasting. The Chief of Staff shared, “Liquid helps us get immediate visibility into project cost estimates — making our budgeting and financial planning more accurate.”
Saving accounting hours
Additionally, the consulting firm deployed the Liquid – QuickBooks Online integration to connect and match their vendors and invoices to their QuickBooks Vendors and Chart of Accounts. This has removed the need to create duplicate data entries in both QuickBooks Online and Liquid. The Chief of Staff added, “The Liquid – QuickBooks Online integration is terrific.”
Improving vendor relationships
On the vendor side, the freelancers, consultants, and contractors were thrilled with the new system. A design freelancer shared that the new tax form submission process was much smoother and safer. Another consultant shared that the onboarding process was fast and seamless. And a UI consultant shared, “The UI/UX is simple and intuitive — it breeds trust.”
New, streamlined approach to operations
Working with Liquid makes it easy for the consulting firm to quickly onboard new freelancers, engage freelancers for projects, and manage invoice reviews and payments. The company now has the scalable, flexible, and streamlined operations support that it needs to effectively work with its external team of 750 freelancers.
Consulting Firm with 750-Vendor Network
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