TFB Spotlight: Yoseph West of Relay – Virtual Bookkeeping & Online Banking

We’ve long been saying that virtual bookkeeping is what we all need to be offering to our clients, and now more than ever this is true, thanks to COVID-19.

In this TFB Spotlight we caught up with Yoseph West of Relay (more on that later). He shares a very candid view into how “work from home” is affecting the operation of even online companies.

Take a half-hour break and have a listen to this interview and learn not only what likely many of your clients are going through, but also some tips on how you can help them on the road ahead.

Download the audio version here. (40 mins)

Interview Highlights

Yoseph’s first entrepreneurial experience was fresh out of school where he and a partner started a company with an online product for DIY investors. The product was offered for free, supported by ads. That didn’t turn out to be a good idea. So they ended up joining Wave Accounting via acquisition. This was how he was introduced to the bookkeeping profession.

From there in 2014 he joined Hubdoc, since he knew them from the Toronto tech ecosystem. Toronoto is where many small business accounting software companies seem to be clustered for some unknown reason. After Hubdoc got acquired by Xero, Yoseph went on his own again.

Relay, his latest venture, was born from a notebook of ideas, looking at the poin points small business owners face. So he jumped into doing the research to find out what would make accounting professionals and business owners recommend a business bank account.

He heard the requests for a partner portal, staff access, direct bank feed into the accounting system. So he and his co-founder realized that this was an idea they could run with. They also did a deep dive into talking with small business owners themselves door-to-door in Toronto. They heard how cash and unerstanding what’s happening in business is a big deal.

The solution that has resulted in Relay!

What Relay is:

Small business banking made easy, including secure collaboration, payables management, and managed business spending with multiple business debit cards. These are FDIC insured business bank checking accounts specifically designed for small business needs. It solves the pain points that most people have surrounding small business banking.

What types of business are a good fit for Relay? 

They’ve seen early popularity among e-commerce businesses (and other types of online businesses), as well as consultants, real estate, health and wellness, non-profits

What types of business is NOT a good fit for Relay?

Cash heavy businesses (such as local retail) and businesses that deposit a lot of paper checks

What about for Profit First businesses?

It’s a great fit because there are no monthy fees, no minimum balance and you can have up to 10 free accounts!

How can we get clients to switch bank accounts?

Yoseph recommends that you treat the word “switch” like a four-letter word! Instead, focus on your clients’ pain points. Are there specific workflows or functions that Relay could solve with a separate bank account? It usually starts with a use case, such as Accounts Payable or expense management. (HINT: Another big one would be if your clients receive a PPP loan and need to easily track how the money is spent!)

Based on experience, client usually migrate based on positive experience over time.

How does it help for bookkeepers offering advisory services?

Beyond being a great bank that works with Profit First methods, they also go the extra mile with passing through check information and passing it through to QuickBooks or Xero to make mundane bookkeeping faster and easier so we can focus our time and expertise on supporting clients with advisory services.

What Additional Features Are Coming?

Gabrielle asked Yosepph specifically about ways to automate receiving bank statements, including notifications. This may be just one of several new features coming soon!

Listen to the interview to get specific stories and more info on all the benefits that Relay brings to both the bookkeeping and small business owner’s experience. We also cover how Relay makes money when there are no fees or minimum balances.

Yoseph also shared his best advice on how to best navigate these challenging times in which we now find ourselves.

Click Here to learn more about how Relay online business banking can help you and your clients. Highly recommended as a way to track any Payroll Protection Program loans your clients may receive to help assure the maximum tax-free forgiveness.

Would you like to have us do a webinar with Yoseph to demonstrate how bookkeepers can use Relay?  Please comment on this blog post to let me know!

If you’ve been looking for ways to expand your bookkeeping service to include premium advisory services as well, this is the perfect time to get your feet wet and truly help your clients succeed win-win style! If you’d like to learn exactly HOW to do that, join us this month for the TFB Premium class entitled:

“Simple Systems for Providing Advisory Services to Your Bookkeeping Client” 

TFB Premium Membership


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About Gabrielle

Freelance bookkeeper, trainer and consultant who works with internet savvy business owners and bookkeeping professionals to maximize cash flow and support true win-win business success.
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8 Responses to TFB Spotlight: Yoseph West of Relay – Virtual Bookkeeping & Online Banking

  1. Deborah Seaman says:

    Great interview with Yoseph. I loved hearing about Relay and their forward-thinking business for the online world. I would love to see Relay in action and hope this will be coming soon. So, my answer is…yes, yes, yes!! That would be great:)

  2. Glenn Schnabel says:


    Enjoyed the conversation you had with Yoseph.
    This is the first I have heard about Relay.
    I have been using Quickbooks for my clients.
    Importing data has been interesting when banks provide that.

  3. Doug Slowiak says:

    Hello Gabrielle,
    Enjoyed video. Interesting system. Especially, bank feeds when/If they work.
    No fees/min multi acct s. A plus!

    • Gabrielle says:

      Thank YOU, Doug for your feedback. Yeah, I certainly haven’t found another business checking account like this one. And it’s easy / quick to get it set up too. I’ve been using it myself and with clients. It works well if you’re doing advisory with your clients because it becomes another tool you can recommend that helps them get the results they really want more easily.

  4. Michael Cook says:

    Hi Gabrielle,
    The interview introducing Relay Financial was most relevant. Love the concept of “bank feeds that actually work,” having statements available online, and your request to take it a step further and obtaining notifications when statements are available. Definitely a step in the right direction, because (1) banking transactions are central to what we do as bookkeepers, and (2) a bank committed to solving the day-to-day cash flow pain-points of very small-businesses is a welcome change. I definitely would welcome a more in-depth walk-through presentation. Thank you.

    • Gabrielle says:

      I couldn’t agree more with you Michael on all the points you mention. And if we can have Relay integrate with SmartVault, we would definitely get notifications when the statements are available too. Thanks for your vote for us to dig deeper on this!

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