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More time, less stress

How using A2X helped Cardology build its business

Cardology does anything but your standard greeting cards. The company designs and produces clever, laser-cut cards that transform into 3D works of art – and the concept has proved incredibly popular.

With his wife and sister, David Falkner co-founded Cardology in 2014. In just seven years, the business has gone from strength to strength, selling a huge range of wholesale cards through Amazon, Etsy and their website. And despite COVID restrictions, the business has continued to grow – taking on new staff and gaining an exclusive licensing agreement with Warner Brothers, expanding its product range even further.

As a result of this growth, the business is no longer as small and straightforward as it once was. David manages the back-office functions and is always looking for tools to help him cut out manual work – and focus on business building. That’s where A2X came in.

“For me, the fun thing about being in business is growing said business, landing the big deals and talking to the right contacts to see how we can grow the business. So, when I’m looking to pick my software, it’s really what’s going to cut down on the amount of time I’m spending doing the routine stuff,” he explains.

More platforms, more work, more time

Cardology started selling through its Shopify website to wholesale customers. Later, it started selling on Etsy, then Amazon too. At first, when selling relatively low volumes and using fewer platforms, David could manage the bookkeeping on his own – but it quickly became unwieldy as sales increased.

Each platform has a different way of managing sales reports, taxes, refunds and other details, making it difficult to manage manually at large volumes. As the business contemplated its move to Amazon – notorious for inscrutable monthly sales reports – David realised they needed help.

“I was looking for something to speed up what we were doing on the Shopify side, and I knew with Amazon that we needed something in place,” he explains.

David investigated various solutions, looking at feedback, user ratings and playing around with trial versions – before settling on A2X. The onboarding experience quickly confirmed that he had made the right decision.

“It’s been far and away the best onboarding experience that I’ve had in business, absolutely incredible,” he says.

He started setting up on his own, and found the app straightforward and intuitive to use. When a message popped up offering an onboarding session, David jumped at the chance to learn more.

“It meant that literally within about three days of loading the software, I was completely comfortable,” he adds.

Freeing up time – and brain space

Before working with A2X, David was spending roughly two working days a quarter reconciling their business accounts. Although A2X came in before they pivoted to Amazon, he estimates it would have taken a day or more a month to manually process those transactions too.

With A2X, the work of checking, double-checking and reconciling those accounts now takes minutes. The app integrates seamlessly between Xero and the various sales platforms, automatically posting accurate sales summaries that reconcile perfectly. As David explains, it’s been a game-changer.

“We’ve found Etsy quite difficult to make the numbers add up at the end of the month – and I thought I was very numerate! So yes, this has just kind of revolutionised what we’re doing, on Etsy in particular.”

Freeing up time is a huge benefit, but the reassurance that the sales data and tax information is being handled correctly may be even better.

“There’s something quite nice about going to bed at night and going, ‘I’m not worried about whether I’ve got my VAT return right’. I can see that it’s logical. I can see that nobody’s going to come after me for something I’ve filled in by mistake, and that’s just transformational,” says David.

Better tools, better business decisions – and ongoing growth

As a rapidly growing business, Cardology needs all the help it can get. It’s taking on new staff, expanding its product line, selling more and juggling multiple sales platforms. As David puts it, it’s “quite manic at the moment.”

For Cardology, working with A2X has meant reducing the stress and time investment involved with bookkeeping. Because the business is using multiple online platforms, reconciling its monthly sales and tax information is a major job – and as it continues to grow, that’s only going to get more complicated and time-consuming.

A2X cuts out the human-error element, giving David more time and mental energy to spend on the really important stuff.

“Obviously, the time savings are good. But for me, it’s just the kind of mental headspace. I can get on with making good business decisions, rather than worrying about stuff that, frankly, should take care of itself with the right tools, but often doesn’t,” he says.

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