Challenge — Needing a transparent and functional option to realize international payments to external contractors
With Springboard’s team of mentors spanning across 30+ countries, the company found it difficult to streamline transactions. Eva-Marie Costello, Mentor Operations Manager, expressed frustration with the old system, “It was really awful. We paid mentors through 6 ‘ different vendors.” Every month they had to segment mentors based on the payment channel and then pay accordingly. Depending on what country they were located in, they would use a combination of PayPal, Transferwise, Gusto, and other local bank wires. “It was difficult to operationally manage and there was no way we could have scaled with the system in place,” said Costello.
In addition, the mentor operations team had limited visibility and access to the payment tools. due to internal restrictions, “it was obviously a very inefficient way to manage the process,” claimed Costello.
Further, Springboard lacked a system that would proactively let management know when someone was payable. The lack of access into the system on a routine basis worried Costello who was concerned that mentors would feel frustration if they they were not promptly compensated.
“We really wanted to have one single home that could pay mentors regardless of where they were based and Shortlist was able to do that.”
Springboard was looking for a platform that could help them increase their operational efficiency around mentor payments, with two key attributes:
- Versatility: They sought an offering that could enable payments in each country they hired in. After considering other solutions like Stripe and Transferwire, they realized the limitations of those platforms wouldn’t allow them to make payments to every country which would prevent them from achieving their goal of having a single home for payments.
- Transparency: They needed to see which of their mentors were completing onboarding. Due to the number of bank, tax and other information the company collected in order to initiate payment, they needed a system that was accessible by multiple team members.
With Shortlist, they now get email triggers when someone completes onboarding and can check, at a glance, to ensure new mentors have submitted all onboard paperwork. If a mentor manager needs access to this information, they can now check for themselves which speeds up response time. “We should be able to give a mentor an answer as soon as possible and Shortlist has allowed us to do that,” says Costello. Further, while the team now has the ability to input and schedule payments, necessary safeguards are in place to prevent payment triggers by anyone but the manager.
Shortlist has provided Springboard’s mentor management operation the much-needed transparency to oversee outgoing payments. They can now view real-time information on any changes or additions where previously, they had tracked this info in Excel, making it difficult. Team members can add a new expense without pinging a manager which gives more autonomy for the team to manage payments. Eva-Marie can then directly see any additions in the month regarding a mentor’s job hours that might have appeared.
“They’ve been very flexible with the communication with me and my team.”
– On help from Shortlist’s support team
Eva-Marie recalls that her accounting responsibility at the time was time consuming but necessary because the process called for it. Since implementing Shortlist, she has now been able to focus on more meaningful work to improve the quality of the mentors that Springboard offers. “I’m now able to do more strategic work instead of dealing with payments issues,” she says. Being able to offload that has been helpful for her and the team. ”I’m now able to work on longer term projects like how we scale into the best mentor community in the world.”