How to Run Your Business With Azlo Pro


    Presented by Leonardo Shapiro — VP of Growth at Azlo


    Presented by Michael Smythe — VP of Finance at Azlo

In our latest webinar, Azlo’s VP of Growth, Leonardo Shapiro and VP of Finance, Michael Smythe, discussed how to run your business with Azlo Pro. They explained how to budget finances and organize your money with Azlo Envelopes, and why you might want to set up recurring invoicing.

Below, check out an edited transcript of the Q&A session: 

What's the difference between having Envelopes and setting up multiple accounts? 

Michael Smythe: With all Envelopes, everything is still in your single bank account. It's one bank account with one bank account number. So it's not multiple accounts. But it creates the ability for you to isolate and organize your information within one account, without having all the overhead that comes from having multiple different accounts, with multiple account numbers. With Envelopes, you can do a number of the things that you want to do, very often with the Profit First methodology, or other ways to put some money aside. You don't need a lot of accounts to do that. Just ways to isolate that money just into one Envelope, and then move it back into your main account when you need it. 

So it is different from multiple accounts, but hopefully, it gives you as much flexibility and freedom in terms of understanding what you're doing with your business. 

Can Envelopes function like a consignment account ledger? I need a percentage of certain sales to be paid out to respective members.

MS: That's a great way to think about using Envelopes. So let's say you're a small partnership with two people, and every time you get money in, you need to distribute some to yourself and some to your partner, and there's a percentage that you have. I think Envelopes is a great way to organize money as it comes in. You can move a portion of it or a percentage of it into an Envelope. And that way you can track and hold that money in your account but know that it's been allocated for this particular payout to respective members at whatever time you choose. 

If I charge something to my account, will it be automatically deducted from Envelopes? Or do I have to take the money out of the Envelopes and into the main account so that the charge can be processed? 

MS: Charges will come out from your main account. Let’s say you’ve been saving taxes for a number of months in an Envelope and you have $5,000 in your tax account, ready to pay that, you then release that money back to your main operating account. Then you can transfer that money out of that account. 

What an Envelope is effectively doing is putting a hold on those funds to hold the money in those accounts. If you try to go in and do a debit card transaction, for example, with the money in the Envelopes, if you don't have money in the main operating account, it will decline that debit card transaction. So it's important for you to keep track of that, and know that the money that's in an Envelope does have to be moved by you into the operating account in order to release it or send it as a payment or money to transfer.

How do Envelopes work with the Profit First methodology? 

MS: It was one of the drivers for how we thought Envelopes could potentially be used. So the Profit First methodology really asks you as a business owner to organize your cash in a particular way. To really set up these accounts and be very diligent about setting up profit accounts, tax accounts, expense accounts, and then the money you pay yourself. 

One of the things that we think Envelopes really helps you do is create the infrastructure to support that methodology. So when you get paid from a customer, you can very quickly say this money goes into profit, this money goes into owner's pay, and this money will go into operating expenses. It really is set up to do exactly what you need to do with Profit First, and we think it goes really hand in hand with that methodology.

What kind of features can we look forward to related to invoicing? 

Leo Shapiro: We're going to keep iterating on the invoicing platform on Azlo so that it can be a time saver for our founders. So kind of traditionally, it’s about sending an invoice and then  managing the lifecycle of the invoice. So we’re going to be putting effort into automating the process of the lifecycle as well. Everything related to reminders and payments, it’s something that we’re thinking about. 

What are some of the best ways to use tags associated with the invoicing tools? Can you give me some examples of how you might use that? 

LS: The Azlo tagging infrastructure is built on the same philosophy of everything we’re doing at Azlo: We want to be as broad as possible. We don’t want to kind of just narrow anybody to a particular use case. The tagging infrastructure allows users to create custom tags. 

If I want to tag a particular transaction with a customer name or tag a section with a project or want to tag a particular transaction with a category, I can do that. Azlo will remember the different tags that have been created in the past. So the selection of the tags is the first thing that I’ll do, and then the allocation, it's pretty easy. The Azlo platform will give you filtering capabilities, so you can sort transactions via a particular type of filter and kind of export that information into a CSV file to be used in some sort of different analysis.

Are Envelopes and advanced invoicing the only two things that make up Azlo Pro?

MS: No, there are a number of other features. We have Accountant and Bookkeeper Access as another Pro feature. There are some discounts that you get for our money movement. If you want to do Instant Transfers and you’re a Pro member, those costs are discounted. There’s a number of other features that go with Pro, and we’ll be adding more features over time to make it an increasingly valuable product to our customers. (Here are the features included in Pro.) 

Is there a limitation on the number of Envelopes you can have?

MS: You can have as many as you want with Azlo Pro. Without Azlo Pro, you can have one Envelope.

Can Azlo replace other more sophisticated invoicing tools?

LS: I think the answer to that question depends. There are businesses that require a very sophisticated mechanism for invoicing, the need to calculate different types of taxes. We’re not trying to go in-depth into those types of systems—if your business is in that scenario, then Azlo pretty much connects to most of the very sophisticated invoicing tools. If it’s less complicated, the Azlo platform will probably be a good option for your invoicing needs. 

Can Azlo Pro be used to organize the dispersals into different Envelopes based on different invoices? And can you organize that? 

MS: I think that stuff we're working on right now, these more complicated rules engines, which allow you to create different rules for different types of deposits or from different invoices, that’s something we’re working on now. 

What are the reporting capabilities of Azlo?

LS: Azlo is not currently creating any particular report, as it is right now. But you can pretty much export the information that is produced via the ledger and with the tagging capabilities. And also you could actually connect Azlo to any kind of third-party system that is built to create more sophisticated reports.

What are the fees for Azlo Pro? 

MS: Most of the features that we've been talking about today are all part of the Pro package. The Pro package is $10 a month, and all these features are associated with that package—including the advanced invoicing, scheduling, all the multiple Envelopes, the scheduling of payments, the auto scheduling of money moving in and out, and the discounts for instant payments. 


Hi there! This post exists to offer you (hopefully) useful information but it cannot take the place of personalized professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert if you have questions about your business. Also, Azlo doesn’t endorse any third-party sites that are linked here.

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