Phil Pallen Collective automates payment processes with Xero and Stripe to serve 360+ global clients

Phil Pallen Collective is a brand consultancy and thought leadership business helping companies and professionals position, build, and promote their brands. The organization uses Xero, a global small business accounting platform, to create branded, automated invoices that Stripe processes.

Products used

North America


Phil Pallen Collective was founded in 2011 to help professionals leverage personal branding to succeed. It does this through thought leadership content, speaking arrangements, one-to-one coaching and consulting sessions, and brand auditing services. The company’s founder, Phil Pallen, believes that people and companies have to master their first impression to effectively position, build, and promote their brands. And he ensures his own organization reflects that commitment at every stage of the customer journey—including during the payment process.

Phil Pallen Collective collects payments by emailing invoices with links to an online payment portal, and it wanted to ensure those invoices were properly branded. But many of the payment solutions the company initially explored were templatized, and they didn’t align with the rest of the company’s branding.

“We focus on creating memorable, sophisticated experiences,” Pallen said. “I can’t, in good conscience, manage someone else’s brand, and then send them an invoice with a generic font and a small logo stamped on it.”

Beyond reinforcing its branding, the company—which is run by a two-person team—needed an invoicing solution that worked well with its other tools to optimize back-office operations. “As a small business, it’s critical that we use tools that help us run efficiently, are reliable, and sync up well,” said Lauren Moore, content strategist at Phil Pallen Collective. “We depend on vendors that allow us to work fast.”

With clients based all around the world, the need for a new payment solution became more urgent when the company’s account was frozen by its previous payment provider after an international invoice was sent from a new country. “My account was shut down and the payment was rejected,” Pallen said. “I need the freedom to travel for work and not worry about whether or not my invoicing solution can support international payments.”


To create a unique invoicing process that aligned with the Phil Pallen brand and empowered the team to get more done with fewer resources, it adopted Xero—a flexible, cloud-based accounting platform designed specifically for small businesses.

“Once we found Xero, the decision was a no-brainer,” Pallen said. “It gives you the ability to customize the look, feel, and experience of invoicing. Ultimately, we’re hired to create these experiences for brands, and Xero and Stripe enable us to offer the experience we advertise.”
Xero’s partnership with Stripe made it easy for the team to move to a new payment processor that gave the company access to a flexible payment solution and a broad network of financial solutions—including an online payment portal that could reliably accept international payments.

The team now uses Xero to customize the appearance of their invoices—including fonts, colors, and logos—and to build custom messaging to send along with its invoices. “We want to maximize every opportunity to give people a branded experience,” Moore said. “At the end of the invoice email, for example, we thank our clients for their business and add, ’We sincerely value you’ as the sign-off. It’s a much nicer, heartfelt experience than getting a robotic, automated message.”

Behind the scenes, once a client receives and pays an invoice, their payments are securely managed through Stripe Payments. They can also simplify their payment experience by setting up autopay.

By consolidating invoicing and payments with Xero and Stripe, the company has also reduced the number of tools it needs to service its hundreds of clients. “We sell a variety of services that require invoicing, but we also sell things through our website,” Moore said. “It’s awesome that all we need for our payments are Stripe as our payment processor and Xero as a way to send invoices.”

With the two platforms combined, Phil Pallen Collective can reliably conduct business around the world. Setting accurate currencies and accepting payments from anywhere, at any time, has helped the company work more easily with international clients.


Branded invoices that accurately reflect Phil Pallen Collective

With Xero and Stripe, Phil Pallen Collective now has the ability to have a custom, branded invoice that aligns closely with the company’s mission. “Xero was the only tool that we found that enabled us to have the kind of customization we need as a brand consultancy,” Pallen said. “Now our invoices have the same look and feel as our website, our email signatures, and all of our content. That consistency is super important to us.”

360+ customer accounts managed by a two-person team

With Xero and Stripe, Phil Pallen Collective serves more than 360 clients across 34 countries. Using templates for recurring tasks reduces manual work for the small team. “I can set invoice shortcuts in Xero to save templates for our different services,” Moore said. “It saves me so much time not having to manually type something out every time.”

Over two hours of reporting work per week eliminated

Having all of its invoicing and payment information in one place means that Phil Pallen Collective can run and review internal reports in minutes. Saving more than two hours of reporting work per week has freed the team to review that data to optimize the business. “I appreciate being able to run reports based on invoicing due dates and payments,” Moore said. “By reviewing that information with Xero and Stripe, I realized we needed to start sending out invoices automatically 10 days before their due date to improve our on-time payments.”

It also gives the company new ways to support its client experience. “One client wanted information about every invoice we’d sent her two years ago,” Moore said. “Normally, I’d have to manually comb through invoices to find that. But with Xero and Stripe, I could run a report in minutes, send the info, archive that email, and go on with my day.”

More consistent, reliable payments to scale the organization

With autopay available through Stripe Payments, the team can now collect payments at scale as the business continues to grow. “No matter how many clients we onboard, I can set up repeating 30-day payments, automatically send a reminder email 10 days before it’s due, and we can continue to deliver services at speed,” Moore said.

The company relies on this function for both new and existing clients to create a scalable invoicing system—one that has processed a total of more than $3 million so far. “We have one client who’s been on autopay for four years,” Moore said. “I set that up when she started, which means I’ve not had to manually send 47 invoices.”

A consistent way for the business to collect payments means the business has a predictable cash flow, making financial planning easier. “Our clients are comfortable and confident in our ability to serve and in our payment provider,” Pallen said. “That trust reduces my own stress because being able to look at Xero and Stripe and know exactly when payments are coming in, means we can pay the bills. I love having technology that facilitates such an amazing client and service provider relationship.”

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Xero is an easy-to-use global cloud accounting platform for small businesses and their advisors. It provides 3.5 million subscribers with connections to an ecosystem of apps and financial institutions helping small businesses access a range of solutions.

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