Retrieve a document in your TOCO archive: it only takes a few seconds

Retrieve a document in your TOCO archive: it only takes a few seconds

Hi, I am Evelien, Product Owner on the TOCO Platform.

In the past blogs we explained how easy it is to upload documents on the platform and forward them to your accountant. In this blog I want to show you that it takes only a few seconds to retrieve any document stored on the TOCO platform. A purchase invoice to invoke your warranty f.e. Piece of cake to find it back!

OCR

Ok, this paragraph is a bit technical, but it helps you understand why you can retrieve your documents so easily on our platform. If you open an image, for example an invoice uploaded on the TOCO platform, on your PC, you can read the text, but a computer does not recognize words in an image. That’s why we use OCR technology. OCR is the abbreviation of Optical Character Recognition. OCR looks at each line of an image and attempts to determine if the black and white dots represent a particular letter or number. In other words, thanks to OCR a picture with text is turned into real text. That’s what we need, because once we have the real text we can easily search on text in or linked to the document. The OCR scanning starts as soon as you upload your document and by the time it finishes we have stored each word of your document in our database. 

Tags & Comments

When you upload documents on TOCO you have to complete 3 mandatory fields: file name, type of document and payment status (all are pre-filled or have a default value). But for retrieving a document it is the 2 optional fields that matter most: ‘Tags’ & ‘Comments’. By giving tags you can categorize documents. F.e. use the tag ‘insurance’ to tag all your insurance related documents or use the tag ‘loans’ for all your loan installments. Or even further, use tags to link invoices to different departments, such as ‘Human resources’, ‘ Accounting’, ‘Sales’ etc. You can enter several tags per document. To separate tags use the ‘Tab’ or ‘Enter’ button.

Notes are mostly used to add additional information to the document which is relevant for you and/ or the accountant. F.e. PC of Jane or ‘paid by credit card’ or page 1 is a company expense, but page 2 is a private expense’.  You can enter as much text as you want.

How to retrieve documents?

Each view under the ‘Documents’ menu offers a search functionality. You have a search bar on top of the ‘inbox’, the ‘Send to accountant’ tab and the ‘Archive tab’. Additionally, you can also search in the tab ‘Company files’.

As explained above, each word in a document is stored. You can therefore search in 3 ways:

  1. On every word of the document

  2. On a particular tag

  3. On comments

If you search on a particular word, tag or comment, the document list in that view, f.e. the ‘sent to accountant’ tab will be reduced displaying only those documents that match the entered search word. If the search word is found in the content of a document, that document will be shown in the correct line with the search word highlighted in yellow.

What does multi-tenancy mean in a platform like TOCO?

What does multi-tenancy mean in a platform like TOCO?

Hi, my name is Sven Beauprez and I am responsible for all things technical of the TOCO Platform.


As you could read in previous blogs, TOCO is a platform for the SME where he can centralize all his company related administration, such as invoices, company files, insurance documents, financial transactions (automatically imported from the bank, details will come in a future blog), etc. This alone is already very powerful for the SME and in the coming weeks there will be a new release where the SME can even communicate with his accountant not on the platform.

But we also see that most accountants are open to TOCO when one of their clients is using TOCO for his administration, which unlocks the full power of the platform for that SME. When the accountant is using one of the supported accountancy packages and/or reporting solutions, the SME gets automatically updates from the accountant when something is changed in his accounting records.

To make this happen, an accountant is set up as a tenant on the platform. Think of the platform as a business ecosystem where different business occupy its own space within a high-rise building. This building is a multi-tenant building with many tenants. In a strict multi-tenant platform such as Shopify, each shop is a tenant and each tenant is in fact an isolated website. Users have a seperate login for each tenant, even if a user is a client of multiple shops. This is of course the idea of Shopify and this model works perfectly for them.

In TOCO, an accountant can manage his clients on the platform and when a user logs in for an SME, he will be connected with his accountant. But in reality a user can manage/have more than one SME and each SME can be linked to a different accountant, or even be on TOCO without a connected accountant. Having multiple logins would be a bad user experience.

To make this happen, the authorization model is setup in such a way that a user can easily switch from SME and automatically ends up in the new tenant when doing so. In other words, a user can have 1 login to manage different SMEs with potentially different accountants.

This multi-tenancy setup underneath opens the door to new use cases where cross-tenants, such as banks, notaries, auditors, etc. have SME clients over the different tenants on the platform.

By building upon the architecture above, we have a very flexible platform for all use cases where SME communicate and share data with different kind of parties with a different involvement on the platform.

TOCO join forces with other Belgian fintechs to accelerate PSD2 implementation

Belgian fintechs join forces to accelerate PSD2 implementation

Interest group A78 founded to provide consumers with the service they are legally entitled to

As of today, A78 unites Belgian payment institutions licensed by the National Bank of Belgium. As a result, the new payment institutions, mostly so-called fintech companies, now have their own interest group.

Press Release

The association, of which the full name is “Association of 7 and 8”, unites all Belgian payment institutions licensed by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) for services 7 and 8, respectively the new payment initiation services and account information services. Hence the name A78.

Rapidly changing banking landscape

The new interest group exists alongside other sector organisations such as Febelfin, which has been known since 2003 to represent the interests of the financial sector in Belgium. In practice, these are mainly traditional large banks.

However, technological and legal innovations have shaken the sector up considerably in recent years. Among other things, the European PSD2 (Payment Service Directive 2) regulations, which became applicable on 14 September 2019, opened the doors to new, mostly technological, players on the market. These players often have different needs and interests than the traditional players. A78 will represent and defend these interests vis-à-vis the government, national regulators, European or supranational institutions, traditional financial institutions and consumer organisations. It will also inform and advise its members and act as a spokesman to the media.

Joining forces for PSD2 implementation

A first important topic that will be addressed is to collect all the problems of the members concerning PSD2 connections with the Belgian banks and discuss them bilaterally with the banks and with the NBB. The so-called APIs (digital connections that the banks have to provide) often fall short. As a result, the customers of these new payment institutions cannot get the service to which they are legally entitled.

The interest group was initiated by Cake, the free banking app that will be launched this year and which allows users to manage multiple accounts from 1 app, gives advice and cashbacks and allows users to earn a penny by processing their banking transactions into insights for businesses. After consultation with the NBB about the faltering implementation of PSD2, Cake took the initiative, at the request of the NBB, to join forces with other fintech players in order to form a single point of contact for parties such as Febelfin and the NBB.

“More than 4 months after the PSD2 deadline for the banks, we are still experiencing problems connecting to the APIs of several Belgian banks. Consumers are therefore still unable to make proper use of the services of Cake and other new players even though they are legally entitled to do so. We hope, with A78, to reach a constructive solution with the banks soon.” says Davy Kestens, founder and CEO of Cake. 

“The Belgian consumer will be the primary victim of poor implementation of the new banking regulations.”

Open association

A78 was set up as an unincorporated association. The aim is to connect all players working under license 7 and 8. In the course of the coming months, A78 will be converted into a non-profit association. Then all payment institutions (including those with permits 1 to 6) will be able to join.

For the time being, the chairmanship is in the hands of Yves Bovin, Head of Legal & Operations at Cake. Once the association is fully on track, an independent chairman will be appointed.

Our Mission

A78 was created in January 2020 and aims to unite all Belgian payment institutions licensed by the National Bank of Belgium for services 7 (payment initiation services) and 8 (account information services).

A78 will represent and defend their interests vis-à-vis the government, national regulators, European or supranational institutions, traditional financial institutions and consumer organisations.

The members of A78 are Accountable, Cake, Digiteal, Exthand, Ibanfirst and Toco.

Forward documents digitally to your accountant: only 1 click

Forward documents digitally to your accountant: only 1 click

Hello, my name is Jonas, Lead Analyst on the TOCO platform. TOCO is the abbreviation of 'Together Connected' and that's exactly what TOCO stands for: easy collaboration with your accountant. In the next blog I would like to tell you how you can forward your documents to your bookkeeper in just 1 click.

Inbox

In the previous blogs I already described how to easily upload your documents to TOCO: via the upload button or via your TOCO email address. As soon as they are uploaded you will find them in your inbox under the menu ‘Documents’ > Accounting. The inbox shows the list of uploaded documents that have not yet been sent to the bookkeeper. Which characteristics of the documents are shown, depends on their status. If they have been received by email, you have not yet filled in data such as ‘type of document’.

It is mainly the ‘type of document’ that is important. We send the type of document along to the accounting package. More specifically, we have several digital mailboxes for each type of document. This way, your bookkeeper can easily process the documents. Purchase invoices must be processed differently from sales invoices and so on.

Forwarding to your bookkeeper

On a document in your inbox you can perform 3 actions:

  1. Send to accountant

  2. Move to company files –> will be discussed in one of my next blogs

  3. Delete

Tip: If the ‘send to accountant’ button is greyed out, the file is larger than the allowed file size of your accounting package. Try to reduce the size of the document.

As soon as you have forwarded a document to your bookkeeper, the document will move from the tab ‘Inbox’ to the tab ‘Sent to accountant’. In the tab ‘Sent to accountant’ you will see the status of your document.

  1. Sent: document has been successfully sent to your accountant.

  2. Failed: document was sent unsuccessfully. Try again via the ‘Resend’ button.

The status of your documents

As soon as the document has the status ‘sent’, the document is delivered to your file in the accounting package of your accountant. Your accountant can now start processing your documents. From now on you know exactly when your accountant has processed your documents, because TOCO gives you back the status of the processed documents. In the tab ‘Sent to accountant’ you can see that the status of your document has changed to:

  1. Booked:document has been booked by your bookkeeper.

  2. Refused: document has been refused by your accountant, e.g. because it was a private payment

To consult the booking number of a document, open the document (by clicking on the document name) and then you will see the status and booking number from your bookkeeper’s accounting package on the top right.

Your bookkeeper doesn't work with TOCO yet?

You can of course also use TOCO if your bookkeeper has not yet taken the step to TOCO. How to do so will be explained in one of our next blogs.

Save time: upload invoices via your TOCO email address

Save time: upload invoices via your TOCO email address

Hi, I am Evelien, Product Owner on the TOCO Platform. The key word of your financial administration is documents. Luckily, more and more counterparties allow you to receive your documents in a digital way, but how to forward those digital documents from your mailbox to TOCO? That's where this blog is all about.

Where to find my TOCO email address?

Before you receive your TOCO email address, you need to whitelist the senders of the documents. Why? For security reasons. Invoice fraud is a hot topic at the moment, therefore we want to prevent that persons or companies which are not indicated by you as ‘safe’ can forward digital documents to your TOCO inbox. That’s in short what white-listing means.

Under the ‘Documents’ menu you will find a wizard  at the very top that will guide you in creating your TOCO email address. You click on ‘add email address’ and enter 1 to 5 allowed sender(s). These can be your personal email addresses, but also the email address of one of your most trusted suppliers, so they can send your purchase invoice directly to TOCO. As soon as your TOCO email address is created, the wizard is no longer visible and instead your email-address is shown. Managing allowed senders is of course possible at any time via the ‘settings’ icon just behind the displayed email address.

Why such a 'cryptic' email address?

We care about our customers, and as explained above we want to assure only allowed documents are received in your TOCO inbox. Adding complexity to the email address makes it more secure and very hard to ‘guess’. But, fortunately, you don’t have to type or remember the email address. If you hover over the email address it is automatically copied to your  clipboard. Add it once to your address book/ contacts of your email provider and you can forget about it forever so to speak.

How to forward the PDF documents?

As of now, forwarding your PDF documents is a piece of cake. Go to your email inbox, choose ‘forward’ and select your TOCO email address. Just a little later the document(s) will arrive in your TOCO inbox, ready to be processed.

How to persuade your clients to collaborate in a digital environment

How to persuade your clients to collaborate in a digital environment

You are convinced about the benefits of working in the cloud and have already decided to introduce CODA files, OCR technology or a cloud CRM in your internal ecosystem.

You know this is the best way to move forward. Automation is required nowadays to enable new tasks in your firm with more added value than basic input processes. You know, and mentioned often in several media, that accountants are becoming more and more the Trusted Advisor of entrepreneurs.

However, you’re still struggling to persuade clients to collaborate in your new digital environment and don’t really know how to proceed with invoicing of new types of services. In the last month, we heard so many accountants adopting for instance a scanning solution but still collecting paper documents and asking the collaborators to scan themselves the documents before being processed. Where is the benefit for you? Digital maybe but no time or efficiency savings.

Clients adoption to new technologies is key and this blog will try to give you some tips to enable the onboarding of new clients in your digital journey.

Step 1. Find the early adopters, those future ambassadors

Every accountant has a least a few “IT-minded” clients ready to embrace new technologies.

These are good candidates!

You won’t need to educate them on the benefits of working digitally. They will see the benefit of pushing their documents on a portal and being able to pay them directly with a QR code, to share them with you or get their instant financial results. They will find it valuable, embrace this process within a week and will talk about it around them.

Those who adopt as soon as possible each new smartphone model, gps for bike, electric car or connected devices in their own house.

A second type of early adopters are those who are a bit more sceptical and slower to persuade. They are not against it but need to see the added value for them. They are equipped in terms of devices, the latest pc or mac, they have a scanner and/or a smartphone.

What would be the benefit for them to collaborate with you in a portal? What will be the impact on your invoice? Be prepared to discuss the benefits for your clients and the impact on your invoiced fees!

Then there is the new client. Why not putting in place a new digital process that is mandatory for every new client? To onboard them directly with best of class digital processes enabling more efficiency and customer’s satisfaction. They will probably be surprised but this is maybe a necessary resolution to make things change.

Lastly, keep in mind and accept that not every client you have will be a good fit for a digital way of working. This is part of the game.

Step 2. Endorsing the sceptics

This particular group of clients probably represents the majority of your clients.

Supporting them by first providing some advice on how to become more digital themselves might be a strategic decision.

What would be the benefit for them of working with a digital platform where they can store and share documents with you?

Consider installing for them one of the easier to use scanner directly connected to an online drive account or an intelligent digital platform.

Some of those digital platforms offer extra services like OCR or direct payment of invoices. They can also be directly connected to financial services to provide bank statements and some cash and bookkeeping reports.

They are probably used to drop that shoebox every quarter, in last minute, even if you have sent 3 reminders.

Just consider case by case what could be the benefits per client per category. Those with heavy needs in invoicing, those who have a lot of expenses, those who have cash flow issues and require more insight on their daily business.

Focus on first instance on the benefits for them. It will become automatically a benefit for you as soon as they start sharing their scanned documents with you!

Step 3. How to move forward

Once you’ve decided which of your clients are the best candidates to enrol in a digital collaboration mode, the first thing to do is to setup a meeting with them

The best way to manage this meeting is to focus on every benefit the client can get from following your advice and adopting new tools or working processes. What’s in it for him – this is the key element to succeed in this transformation journey.

In this explanatory meeting, don’t forget to mention the security topic. Data protection remains central and possibly a major fear for some of your clients. Don’t hesitate to ask your suppliers to inform you in advance on how data are secured on their datacentre so that you can provide all necessary information to your clients.

There are solutions on the market offering an all-in-one platform for less money than a meal at Mc Donald’s.

Another key topic to mention is related to budget. How much will it cost? We are all the same. We don’t like to spend money when we don’t see a real benefit or added value. However, there are solutions on the market offering an all-in-one platform for less money than a meal at Mc Donald’s. Present the cost options and see if the value proposition is there. Do they feel that they would be getting value for the money? Let the client decide whether the move is right for them and give them an idea of the steps involved.

To be very effective in this process, think about mentioning your ambassadors list. Your existing clients that are real testimonials. How are they improving their working process, how are they saving time and money by listening to your recommendations?

To help you position yourself as a trusted advisor, and discuss the real benefit for them and for their business, we offer a checklist infographic that could help you defining your customer needs and accelerate digital adoption.

Step 4. Stay up to date yourself!

The business software industry is evolving fast.

Major players are bringing new technologies in their current products, new international players are joining our market or new revolutionary and modern solutions are launched by start-ups companies who have a much contemporary vision of the digital way of working.

Whatever your choice, make sure to follow the right trends and to onboard your clients in order to move in the right direction. Make sure you have all the answers to any questions your clients might ask, especially in terms of benefits for themselves!

Connect with your clients

Start for free with TOCO!

Upload all your purchase invoices (or other docs) in just 2 clicks

Upload all your purchase invoices (or other docs) in just 2 clicks

I am Evelien, Product Owner on the TOCO Platform. The key word of your financial administration is 'DOCUMENTS', therefore I would like to explain to you how easy it is to upload your documents in our platform.

Where to upload?

The upload button can be found both in the top menu bar and under the ‘Documents’ menu. Clicking this opens Windows Explorer or Finder on your Mac.  Select one or several documents and confirm via ‘Open’. Oh yeah, we also support uploading multiple files at the same time!

Our upload modal is shown immediately and in the background we instantly start scanning your document(s). Why it is so important that we scan? We love to share that with you in one of our upcoming blogs.

Upload modal

Your (first) document will be shown in the upload modal. This is also the place where you enter and complete relevant document data.

  • Document name: pre-filled, but you can change it ofcourse

  • Type of document: we distinguish 6 types of documents: purchase invoice, purchase credit not, sales invoices, sales credit note, receipt and other

Selecting the right type is not only useful for yourself, but especially for the processing of the document(s) by your accountant. Accounting packages recognize the type of document and book and categorise them accordingly.

  • Payment: per default unpaid, only for receipts we pre-fill paid

  • Tags: add tags for easy retrieval later on

  • Notes: add notes to clarification

 If you have uploaded multiple documents you can either enter the data per document or choose ‘apply to all files’. Of course, the type of document and the tags will be the same for all uploaded documents, but you can easily adapt. Usefull if you want to upload all your sales invoices or receipts at once.

Confirm you entry via ‘save’ and your documents will be available in your inbox. You can view the details of a document by clicking on the name of the document or just anywhere in the document row. Then the document will be shown with the details of the document on the right.

What is the current status of the TOCO platform?

What is the current status of the TOCO platform?

Hi, my name is Sven Beauprez and I am responsible for all things technical of the TOCO Platform.

October 2019 was an important milestone for TOCO. This was the first production release of the platform and it allowed our first users to test and grow the platform. Since then quite some users onboarded and use TOCO together with their accountant, fully integrated with the accountancy system of the accountant.

To give more insights into the platform and all the features we have today or that are expected in the near future, we start a blog series around the product and the architecture underneatch, the latter being more technical. In the coming weeks, Evelien and Jonas – our Produt owner and Business Analyst – will talk about documents, accountancy packages, bookings, payments, bank transactions, reports and much more to explain how to work with it in TOCO.

Next to that, I will elaborate on the architecture of our multi-tenant platform, the security, the availability, the business continuity, the different integrations, etc. to explain how we tackle different non-functional requirements and what we have done on a technical level to get a PSD2 license from the NBB (National Bank Belgium).

Just to give you a taste already, I’ll leave you with the webinar we recorded just after releasing into production. Lieve gives an overview of the platform in a demo environment, explaining some of the features that were available already in October 2019 (in Dutch). Know that we have worked hard since then to extend the platform with a lot more interesting features, which you will get to know in the next few weeks/months.

And THAT is how you go paperless, welcome in 2020!

And THAT is how you go paperless! Welcome in 2020!

A human being is a creature of habit, and yet...

At the start of each year we launch some good intentions: we want to do more sports, drink less, eat healthier, spend more time with the family, …

Easier said than done, it usually turns out around summer.

We let technology make our lives easier in so many ways and yet there is still a barrier to trying something new.

Let 2020 be the year in which entrepreneurs say in full: ‘now I’m going for it, now I choose TOCO’. The late evenings in front of the computer will be part of the period for the year change.

Do business consciously and leave administration to the technology. Always have access to your complete administrative file, find documents very quickly, pay in just a few clicks, follow up payments, communicate with your advisor about a document, deliver your invoices in the accounting software and get immediate feedback about your company.
Reduce the workload of your accountant and opt for quality. Connect with your trusted advisor.

We wish you a warm 2020, a year in which you make time for what really matters.

Become TOgether COnnected and make time for those good intentions!