Matthew White, Principal Partner at the financial planning firm, White and McGowan, talks with us about how MoonClerk not only provides his firm with a convenient way to accept payments from his clients but how MoonClerk’s security protocol helps him meet his firms compliance standards.
Can you tell us a little about your business?
Our firm does financial planning and asset management specifically for physicians and dentists. Within our team of advisors, one is a physician and the other is an attorney, which allows our firm to look at each client situation with a unique lens. Dr. Blake McGowan has a clear understanding of the challenges facing our clients in healthcare, and how each will impact a physicians’ income today and future financial planning. Also, with working for more than 15 years as a partner in a large clinic and in a clinic of his own, Blake has volumes of wisdom when it comes to running an efficient practice and knows how to effectively structure the business so that it helps you with your personal financial planning as well.
Another advisor, Aaron Black, has many years of experience running multiple businesses and an invaluable understanding of the legal landscape as an attorney. Legal Anatomy is a law firm that was specifically created to help White and McGowan clients with a variety of needs such as estate planning, contract review, and asset protection through entity creation. Not only is Aaron able to do financial planning for clients, he’s able to draft the needed legal documents through Legal Anatomy. Estate planning and asset protection are rarely addressed by many financial planners and, even when it is, it’s a recommendation that many never follow through with because it involves meeting yet another professional at a different time. Physicians and dentists are incredibly busy and many of our clients feel it is a major advantage and convenience to receive multiple services and perspectives at the same time.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
My day is normally divided between two activities, client engagement and administrative oversight, which includes compliance and the overall management of the organization.
How did your business get its start?
You can read the story here at KevinMD.com, but to give a brief summary – I had been working as a financial advisor for quite a while with a focus on physicians and dentists when I met Dr. Blake McGowan. As I worked with Blake on his personal financial planning, we struck up a strong friendship, and over time, it became apparent that Blake had a personal interest in finance, was an excellent teacher, and could be a strong mentor to other young physicians coming out of training. After discussing it for a while, we decided to start White and McGowan.
What have been some key factors in your business’ growth?
I think our growth is due to a few variables but if I had to narrow it down to two, I would say it’s the unique background and experience of our advisors, coupled with a level of comprehensive planning. Our team isn’t just telling you to max out your 401k plan. We dive into specific strategies for debt repayment, go over a variety of options, and discuss how each choice would impact the clients’ net worth 10, 20, and 30 years down the road. Our team creates a budget infrastructure for each client, which is a system of established recurring transfers between a variety of bank accounts and investments accounts to regulate spending, automate a savings plan, the timing of certain contributions, and the payment of certain expenses. Those are just a couple of examples, but I believe the depth of our comprehensive planning has been a contributing factor to our success.
What do you use MoonClerk for?
Our organization decided to use MoonClerk so our clients could pay financial planning fees and consulting fees through a secure online portal on our website. Cybersecurity is incredibly important in the financial industry and we needed to find a vendor that checked all the boxes as it relates to compliance. MoonClerk and Stripe provide full SSL encryption and all PCI compliance. All card numbers are fully encrypted on disk with AES-256.
Stripe is the payment processor, which is PCI compliant and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification available. All credit card numbers are encrypted. MoonClerk doesn’t store any of the card data, and our organization doesn’t have any access to the card information either.
Before MoonClerk, did you use another payment system?
Prior to MoonClerk, our clients could not pay through an online portal. Fees were paid by check or by credit card over the phone with a third-party processor. It was very inconvenient for clients and made fee collections for planning services cumbersome. Now, clients can go to our website and easily pay by credit card or bank draft at any time without my involvement.
What do you like about MoonClerk?
Not only is MoonClerk able to facilitate a secure transaction and meet our compliance standards, but MoonClerk’s embed code provides an aesthetically pleasing layout for our website, and the steps to process a payment are very simple. While we do have a payment form on our website, some clients would rather not search through the entire site to find out how to make a payment. So, MoonClerk also gives us the option to customize a payment form for a specific client and send a unique link to them by email. This is helpful because we can paste the link in an email and, when the client clicks the link, it automatically directs them to the checkout page. The checkout page has the client’s name at the top with a description of the fee, both of which we can customize.