RQ+ began in 2018 as a video subscription service providing educational teaching and training content for sports officials. Since then, the company has scaled to an enterprise model, and now provides end-to-end officiating services for hundreds of clients across the US.
RQ+ has different types of customers and a variety of offerings that can create complex financial and tax requirements. When new officials join the RQ+ platform, they receive sport-specific publications, a background check, insurance, and more. Officials are charged a registration fee to use RQ+’s other services such as video storage, text and email notifications, document management, surveys, and eligibility tracking.
The varying product offerings equate to complex sales tax requirements. Because its offerings fall into different product tax categories, it has individual tax rates and requirements. On top of that, its users are located across the US. Since each state manages sales tax differently, RQ+ needed a tax solution that could automate varying sales tax rates for its users when they join the platform. Additionally, RQ+ needed a financial solution to match its other advanced offerings already native to its officiating services platform.
In addition, both officials and administrators use its services. RQ+ needed to find a way to collect money from governing bodies and conferences in order to automate payments to officials once they have completed an assignment. It had to find a way to address both users’ needs on one platform.
RQ+ has used Stripe Payments since 2018, when it needed a simple payment solution that could be implemented quickly and support a subscription model business. As RQ+’s business needs grew, it made sense to look at Stripe’s other products to streamline its other financial processes.
As RQ+ expanded to create a comprehensive sports officiating ecosystem, it built its payments platform on Stripe Connect to streamline the payment process between sport programs and officials. With Connect, the flow is seamless between the officials providing the service and the programs paying for the service. When new officials create an RQ+ account, they create a Stripe account via Connect simultaneously.
“One of the biggest benefits of Stripe is our ability to manage the entire experience, outside of the user agreement,” said Clive Townsend, CTO of RQ+. “Everything can be completely white-labeled to match RQ+ branding. The programs are charged by RQ+ a certain amount a week. We hold those funds and distribute them to the officials’ Connect account once they have completed the assignment. It’s all managed on the RQ+ platform, powered by Stripe.”
Utilizing Stripe Tax with Connect allows RQ+ to have a comprehensive tax solution and keep its entire financial process within Stripe. “We did look at other tax solutions, but it certainly makes things easier to have everything in one ecosystem with one API, so we went with Stripe Tax,” said Townsend.
Since RQ+ is able to streamline its financial processes with Stripe’s platform, it’s able to focus on continuing to build its business while saving time and internal resources. RQ+ has depended on Stripe from day 1, and Stripe’s ease of use and comprehensive suite of products has allowed RQ+ to scale even as its offerings have gotten more complex.
Nearly $100 million in payment volume over the first two years managed by only two financial staff members and Stripe
RQ+ started as a video subscription service, but has since grown into an enterprise generating nearly $100 million in payment volume. This level of growth has been achievable with only two financial staff members, three developers, and Stripe’s complete platform.
“Stripe lets us offload a lot of our financial responsibilities and tasks. Our employee-to-payment-volume ratio is just so good with the help of Stripe,” said Townsend. By taking advantage of the Stripe offerings, RQ+ has been able to scale without having to add headcount. “We can reach a higher scale and charge our users less because we can manage the financial aspects with less staff.”
Seamless tax compliance for multiple product offerings with Stripe Tax
Understanding the challenges of tax compliance, RQ+ relies on Stripe Tax to automate tax calculations and collection for its users. RQ+ doesn’t have to worry about managing tax on individual items, or how it should tax a digital good in one state or tax jurisdiction versus another. It’s all managed within Stripe.
“Stripe Tax breaks down the product types, uses the user’s billing address to get localized tax information, and then charges the correct tax amount. Once you have all the relevant information in your Stripe account, tax compliance gets much easier,” said Townsend.
One tool for payments, platform integration, and tax
The efficiency of having all of its financial tools in one platform is a huge benefit for RQ+. Not only is it convenient, but it means its developers only have to learn one API and have been able to harness a deep understanding of Stripe’s suite of offerings. “If we had to use other integrations for multiple tools, we would not be able to achieve the same level of scale that we have with Stripe,” Townsend said.
One complete platform also means that RQ+ needs only one set of documentation, one account executive, and one customer support team. RQ+ knows exactly where to find help instead of having to track down resources from multiple providers. Across the board, RQ+ has been pleased with the Stripe experience. “Having it all within Stripe has been very impactful, plus the product is easy to use. The Dashboard is intuitive, and the customer service we’ve received has been incredibly helpful. When you reach out to the Stripe team, you get a clear answer to your question,” Townsend said.
He added that when a user signs up for RQ+, they are set up in the platform’s Stripe system. The payment information and tax compliance data is all housed within Stripe, enabling RQ+ to focus its resources on scaling its businesses and supporting its customers even more.
We’ve used Stripe for payments since the beginning, but have been able to grow by taking advantage of additional Stripe products. It’s a huge benefit to have all our financial tools on one platform.