I’m about to tell you something that I hope will change the way you expect to see business daily. Viewpost, the company I founded a little over three years ago, has grown to over 150 passionate team members dedicated to building a one-of-a-kind B2B network.
Today, our work is focused on actively removing the inefficiencies businesses face during the exchange of invoices and payments, effectively connecting people to information within a network of possibilities. To fully understand the value of the Viewpost® network, it helps to first understand the problem it solves.
Around the world, there’s a fundamental problem with the way businesses exchange invoices, payments and information. In the U.S. alone, this problem costs businesses billions annually, not to mention the lost opportunity and waste of what everyone at Viewpost believes is most precious—time.
The problem? Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable departments, and the systems they run on, are silos—mine is for me, yours is for you, and neither talks to one another. Never mind that my receivables are your payables, and vice versa. As a result, paper invoices and checks persist—an obvious, stubborn and annoying symptom for lack of interoperability. Big corporations invest millions trying to keep up, and yet the success of these systems is utterly dependent on convincing trading partners to behave uniquely for the benefit of each of their large customers. A clear shout out to the days of “good for you” and “bad for me.” Let’s face it, the status quo isn’t scalable or sustainable due to the barriers.
Over my 20+ years in the financial sector, I’ve directly experienced these barriers with great consistency. As an entrepreneur, they have plagued me and my employees. I’m genuinely amazed that paper- and picture (PDF)-based invoices remain prevalent, and that paying our trading partners electronically requires extra work. More important, these problems are widespread. How do I know? More than 18 years ago I founded LSQ Funding Group to help underfinanced small businesses meet their working capital needs. We built our business with scalability in mind and focused on service excellence. As a result, we’ve had the great fortune of being selected by some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. to help them meet the financing needs of their small business customers. These partnerships accelerated our growth, helping us to provide working capital financing to thousands of companies. To date, we’ve processed millions of invoices and checks valued at more than $14,000,000,000.
Amazingly, almost every transaction started with a piece of paper or a picture, and ended with a paper check. It really is eye-opening.
Every client, every paper invoice, every check payment or ACH delivered without remittance information is undeniable proof that barriers don’t simply stand in the way. They pivot, they grow and they cast bigger shadows over the marketplace every day. They make business unnecessarily hard, create unnecessary cost, take a toll on the environment, limit access to data, and they burden otherwise free-spirited entrepreneurs and corporates alike. Witnessing the inefficiencies and cost of these barriers first led me to develop a technology solution that helped LSQ remove paper from its processes through scanning, uploads and data capture. Even with this great technology, we weren’t addressing the problem. Rather, we were treating its symptom—paper—and the faster we grew, the more problematic it became. So we changed tack. Instead of investing in treatments we began looking for a cure. Quickly we realized that to cure the problem we had to think about it differently, holistically. Any relevant solution needed to be compatible with any bank and any size business using any accounting software (or none at all).
Ultimately, this insight was the inspiration behind my vision for the Viewpost network. With a single connection to our secure network, any size business can exchange invoices and payments electronically with their trading partners, routing out paper at its source, improving efficiency, increasing visibility and reducing the cost of everyday business. In a later post I’ll write more about everything we offer for free—what we charge nominal transaction fees for—and the cost savings, efficiencies and opportunities we create.
For now I’m content to share how proud I am of my team’s accomplishments to democratize invoicing and payments. I’m grateful for the guidance from our board and my personal advisers (you know who you are). And I’m humbled by the support our investors have so willingly provided from the conception of Viewpost.
Here’s to toppling barriers to business, and to building something more powerful. For everyone.