Founded in 2019, Lendflow set out with a mission to democratize access to credit. Founders Jon Fry and Matthew Watts aim to help SMBs find an alternative to traditional banks, allowing them faster funding. Lendflow features a lender marketplace that helps place businesses with specialized lenders that best match their specific industry needs. The result is a much smoother financial experience and quicker decisions.
Like many startups, Lendflow’s original accounting team was lean, consisting of a CFO and an accountant.There are now four full-time members and one part-time member, including Controller Shane Gaylor, whose role so far has centered around creating better processes that increase the team’s efficiency. His goal is to reduce the amount of manual work and also ensure that the team is not siloed. He wants to see seamless workflows across Lendflow’s multiple locations.
In addition to upgrading and automating the accounting processes, Gaylor is working to scale accounting functions as Lendflow grows and expands their products. Since he started, Gaylor has been working to refine each process. He says, “I work in phases to address pain points one at a time. I find the biggest pain point, address it, then move on to the next one.” He sees it as whittling the issues down until you get to small things that are a huge deal but require normal, ongoing fine-tuning to each workflow.
Gaylor says it's easy for startup accounting teams to feel like they have a million things to do within a limited amount of time. “When you don’t have the manpower, you feel like a Swiss army knife,” he says.
Lendflow initially focused on their revenue and making it automated and scalable. The accounts payable process was their next priority. The platform they used didn’t integrate well with QuickBooks, making their workflow feel too heavily manual, disaggregated, and disorganized. It was making it hard to catch errors. Moreover, it affected the month-end close, slowing it down.
The platform Lendflow used for AP felt clunky to Gaylor. He wanted something that made it easier to stay on top of things, especially as their volume of AP work increased. Lendflow also wanted to invest in a platform that could add more value than just the basic AP functions.
Gaylor was adamant about finding a better AP platform. He researched alternatives and found a number of viable options. They had begun to talk with the different platforms about their solutions when Lendflow’s CEO had a conversation with Howard at Glean, putting the platform on their radar.
Gaylor remembers clicking with Glean right away. He demoed it first and swiftly let his CFO know that he felt it was the best AP solution. He says, “When I did the demo with Glean, it was pretty night and day.”The user interface was important to Gaylor and the Lendflow team. “The user-friendliness was the number one seller for us. If I want to put my department heads on it and get them involved, it's really easy for them to understand the platform without having a lot of explanation.”
Glean met the criteria for scalability, and the insights (gleans) were a bonus.
Right from the start, Glean benefited Lendflow and improved their AP process. Gaylor noted that the AP review process saved time immediately. Glean’s AP automation delivered complete records, making it easier for stakeholders to sign off. He says, “We spend a lot less time on reviewing than we have in the past.”
The platform also helped LendFlow stay on task. Gaylor could track when things needed to be paid, and he saw a significant uptick in efficiency. But he also saw Glean add value in other ways.
Glean has helped streamline, centralize, and make Lendflow’s AP workflow more efficient. As Gaylor says,“With Glean, AP is the least of our worries.” Glean has given them the ability to do more with a small team and, as far as Lendflow’s AP function, gain more control and review for the audit side.
• AP takes the least amount of time during the month-end close.
• Bill approvals take half the time they did before Glean, and now it’s tasked to only one team member.
Having all the data at their fingertips lets Gaylor stay highly organized and make better-informed decisions. He has also been extremely impressed with the workflow and the efficiency it provides. He says, “One hundred percent, the biggest value Glean has is a really great workflow, not only for AP, but also for prepaid and payments. It's very easy for me to get my vendor payment details there and have it all in one spot — I don't have to go set it up in the bank.”
Lendflow has found Glean to be an optimal solution for their lean team. It offers excellent support and impressive integrations. Gaylor says, “Glean’s been a fantastic partner, and even if a problem isn’t solved right away, they communicate throughout.”
Gaylor noted many controllers and accounting teams look for all-in-one solutions for their accounting functions. However, he says the benefit of using a platform like Glean is that AP is their specialty. Gaylor says,“You can choose something that’s mediocre at ten things and get the job done, or you can invest in something that’s top notch at one thing.”