Building The Perfect Team with Shoeboxed and Bench: A User Success Story

Find out how a creative director living in San Diego uses Shoeboxed and Bench together to save time and hassle with bookkeeping and accounting.

With Shoeboxed, there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after processing over a billion dollars of expense data since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

Forrest Wright 3Introducing: Forrest Wright

Profession: Creative Director, Page 90, Inc.

Location: San Diego, CA


LinkedIn: Forrest Wright

“I was not very good at being my own bookkeeper. Right before Bench, I had hired a bookkeeper who would come in every quarter but now Shoeboxed and Bench keeps things up-to-date in near real-time. No more quarterly meetings.”

-Forrest Wright

Shoeboxed: Hi Forrest! Thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us– we know how busy you are directing your next production!

Forrest Wright: Absolutely! Thanks for taking the time to interview me.

SBX: We’re glad to have you. To get started, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

FW: I started my career working in production and development for the film industry. When I got my MBA, I noticed an overlap between screenplay story structure and branding. That’s where I found my sweet spot – brand storytelling. With Page 90 I get to do something immensely rewarding: help individuals and brands simplify their story, and then share that story in a way that captures their audience’s attention.

SBX: Have you always wanted to run your own business? How did you get started?

FW: I haven’t always wanted to run my own business as much as I have always wanted to be part of a great team. When I’ve worked for large companies in the past, sometimes I found myself on a great team, sometimes not. Running my own business, I get to assemble a dream team for each project and this has given me access to amazing talent.

SBX: A great team is definitely a must! What is your favorite part of your job, and what is the most stressful?

Forrest on set for a shoot
Forrest on set for a shoot

FW: My favorite part is the discovery phase. A lot of clients hire us to help with idea generation and clarifying messages. When I facilitate a day or two of idea generation it’s not your traditional brainstorm. We essentially set up a creative play day. You’d be amazed at how much thoughtful, practical content emerges when you break the rules of business-as-usual and have fun with the marcomm/branding process.

The most stressful work: delivering pitches on behalf of clients. I’m a bit of a showboat so on one level I enjoy this, but I still get nervous before a big pitch. Your whole job is to influence the audience and you know right away whether you’ve succeeded.

SBX: I like the sound of a “creative play day!” Now, let’s jump in. How do you use Shoeboxed and Bench to manage your business? What is the best part of using them together?

FW: Shoeboxed and Bench are my solution for managing my business’ finances. I’m one of those people who found QuickBooks to be a cumbersome tool that took way too much time away from my actual work. Now I upload and itemize receipts from my phone at point of purchase, Shoeboxed stores and shares these with Bench, and Bench takes care of the rest. Then, once a year at tax time, I correspond with my guy at Bench (Luke is awesome) and we get it done. This saves me a lot of time and I’m no longer hoarding receipts.

SBX: How did you handle your bookkeeping before you started using Shoeboxed and Bench?

FW:  See #4. I was not very good at being my own bookkeeper. Right before Bench, I had hired a bookkeeper who would come in every quarter but now Shoeboxed and Bench keeps things up-to-date in near real-time. No more quarterly meetings.

SBX: Can you tell us a little bit about the features of Shoeboxed you use (expense reports, storing receipts for tax purposes, etc.)? What’s your favorite one?

FW: My favorite feature is the mobile app, and being able to categorize my receipts. This insures that Bench has the information they need to do their job.

SBX: Would you say that we make it easier for you to stay organized and up-to-date with your accounting? How so?

FW: Absolutely. My company’s accounting process is now streamlined to capture > tag > send. Shoeboxed + Bench = automated accounting for my business.

Robert DiIorio 1

SBX: Do you have any helpful tips for other small business owners that are trying to get organized?

FW: Use your time, energy and passion to do what you’re great at. Outsource the rest.

SBX: Well spoken, Forrest. We couldn’t agree more! Thanks again for sharing with us today!

FW: My pleasure!

Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Emily at for more information.

Until next time, stay tuned… and stay organized!


How to Make Your Accountant Love You

A good accountant is crucial to the success of any small business. In this post by our friends at Outright, you’ll find some ways to let your account know how much you appreciate them. Just a few simple changes will make your books (and their lives) easier!

This guest post is brought to you by Outright, the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

Your accountant does so much for you every single day. You might not be great with numbers, and you definitely do not have time to deal with every minute change in tax law. That’s why you hand your books over to a professional. If you’re like most small business owners, from time to time you call your accountant up in a panic over something and they quietly assure you everything will be okay – then they make it okay.

So, we say now is a great time to give back. Let them know how much you appreciate them by doing a few simple things to make their lives easier. Not only will they love you for it, the changes will actually help them make your business run more smoothly.

Get Organized

Think back to when taxes were due in April. Did you walk into your accountant’s office with a huge box full of receipts and other paperwork with a wide-eyed look on your face? Many business owners have done this in the past, and accountants are used to it.

However, they shouldn’t have to be used to it, and it certainly won’t endear you to them. It’s time to get organized! If you don’t have a system for filing your paperwork, get one started now. All your receipts need to go together in different folders for easy access – receipts for materials in one, others for gas in another one, so on and so forth.

Another great idea is to use Shoeboxed to digitize all your receipts throughout the year. Shoeboxed then integrates with small business bookkeeping app Outright, which will sort your expenses into handy digitized reports. No (actual) shoeboxes required!

Don’t Hold Back

Nobody likes to hear bad news– or to deliver it either. But if you’re deliberately withholding information from your accountant, it’s your business that gets hurt in the long run. Also, it makes your accountant’s life harder which means their “love level” will drop.

Of course you may be leaving stuff out because you’re just not aware of it. Sometimes we get so bogged down as business owners the world around us disappears. You don’t realize how much money has come in and out because you’ve constantly got your nose to the grindstone.

So if your accountant tells you that you overspent on printer paper, don’t tell them they did anything wrong. You might just not know the whole story. If you know ahead of time you spent way more money than you wanted to (even after they told you last month to cut it out), don’t lie and say everything’s fine. They’ll find out!

Prepare Ahead of Time

You’re busy, but your accountant is likely doubly so. After all, they don’t just deal with you; they have tons of other clients who are just as frantic and worried about their money as you are. So when you walk into their office and only have half the paperwork you need, they’re going to lose their mind

Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. If you’re unsure what to bring, call them up or send them an email so you can get a list. If you think you’re bothering them, think of how much more “bothered” they’re going to be when you come rushing in with “extra” paperwork on April 14th.

Lastly, when you end a meeting with your accountant, ask them if there’s anything you could do for “homework” that will make their lives easier. They’ll surely be able to think of something you can do that will make the process smoother. If not, they’ll at least appreciate you thinking of their needs.

How do you make your accountant love you? Let us know in the comments!

Image via Flickr