Why I'm joining Relay as the Accounting Community Advocate

Oct 27, 2021

It's Blake Oliver here. You might recognize me as the Co-Host of the Cloud Accounting Podcast, remember me from a CPE webinar you once took, or you might even know me as the Founder & CEO of Earmark.

Today, I'm excited to introduce myself as Relay's Accounting Community Advocate!

I'm thrilled to take on this role and to work with Relay's community of accountants and bookkeepers. But first — in case you're the audiovisual type — the Relay team and I recorded an announcement video that you can watch on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Why I'm joining Relay

I started my accounting career back in 2012 when I founded Cloudsourced Accounting, an online bookkeeping and cloud integration firm. Back then, our approach to bookkeeping services may have seemed new and unusual — maybe even a little bold. We served clients 100% remotely, insisted on working with a specific "stack" of cloud apps, and were one of the first Xero bookkeeping partners in the United States. Back then, it felt like breaking new ground. Today, it's a standard way to run a practice.

A similar change is taking place in business banking. And it's long overdue.

It's easy to forget just how bad the state of business banking today actually is — it's been so bad for so long, we just begrudgingly accept it. During the pandemic, I went through a terrible banking saga of trying to open a traditional bank account without visiting a branch. It took me almost two months — and the bank eventually just admitted that they basically don't have a way to serve me. But advisors deal with even more issues. As accountants and bookkeepers, we chase clients for bank logins and 2FA codes. We constantly deal with broken bank feeds. And we spend so much time cleaning up poor-quality bank data.

Relay has set out to solve everything you hate about your client's traditional bank, and I'm very excited to join them on this mission.

I've been a Relay customer for a long time. I opened up a Relay account when I started Earmark. David Leary and I use it for the Cloud Accounting Podcast. And I've moved a client away from an overwhelming enterprise AP solution to Relay's integrated bill pay. I believe that Relay is how business banking should work.

What is my role at Relay?

My role as Relay's Accounting Community Advocate is two-fold. On the one hand, it's to help educate accountants and bookkeepers about how to get the most out of Relay's business banking. But on the other hand, my role is about talking to the accounting and bookkeeping community, collecting candid feedback about how Relay can serve you better, and helping communicate that back to Relay.

So, if you have feedback, input, ideas — or want to share anything else that could be better understood by someone who has walked in your shoes — please reach out! My inbox is open: blake [at] relayfi [dot] com. I'm eager to create a more consistent and open feedback loop to ensure that Relay truly addresses the needs of accountants and bookkeepers.

Let's make banking as easy as cloud accounting.

Blake Oliver, CPA

Accounting Community Advocate at Relay

Founder & CEO of Earmark

Co-Host of the Cloud Accounting Podcast