Streamlining Financial Management for Therapists: Heard’s Journey with Embedded Payroll

Embedded Partners

Beyond the Therapy Session

The work doesn’t end when the therapy session concludes in the world of therapists who run their own practice. After hours spent helping clients navigate emotional challenges, therapists are faced with another demanding task – managing their practice’s finances, a task that’s made more manageable with Heard’s Embedded Payroll product. 

The demand for mental health services has surged, particularly since the pandemic highlighted the value of mental health care. This surge in demand, coupled with technological advancements, has transformed therapists’ options. Telehealth, for instance, has revolutionized therapists’ ability to connect with clients remotely. Consequently, more therapists are becoming business managers, running their practices more efficiently through SaaS platforms like Heard.

“Our customers repeatedly tell us, ‘I know how to be a therapist. What I need help with is all of the business side. How do I think about paying myself? How do I think about taxes? What is bookkeeping? Do I need bookkeeping?… I don’t even know what I don’t know.'”

Victoria Li

Co-founder and CTO, Heard

Heard is an all-in-one financial solution for therapists that combines software and human support to handle bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, and more. With a purpose-built accounting and compliance solution, Heard empowers therapists to streamline their business finances and navigate the complexities of tax regulations, ultimately allowing them to dedicate more time to their patient’s mental health. Read the full case study here.

Managing the Business Complexities of a Practice 

Heard’s specialized SaaS platform alleviates therapists’ challenges when juggling different software tools for their business operations. Originally trained to treat mental and emotional health disorders, relationship issues, and life challenges rather than business owners, therapists often struggle with the intricacies of bookkeeping, taxes, and payroll. This gap inspired Heard’s SaaS application – a platform tailored for therapists to simplify these processes, giving them back the time to focus on what matters most – helping patients.

Incorporating a practice offers legal protection and tax benefits, often requiring compliant payroll, especially in cases like the S-corp election. Integrating systems is crucial for a seamless workflow spanning insurance billing, bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes. Recognizing these challenges, Heard initially referred customers to Gusto for payroll setup. However, the onboarding process’s complexity led to a search for a more user-friendly solution that aligns with Heard’s vision of efficiency.

“We found out that many of our customers using an accounting product wanted payroll, then spent time with Gusto to understand what it looked like to embed payroll. At Heard, we know that building a better experience for therapists with products like payroll creates a better user experience in our platform and allows our customers to focus on their core competency.”

Andrew Risen

Co-founder and CEO, Heard

This journey led Heard to the concept of embedded payroll. Rather than adding more features, Heard aimed to simplify payroll functionality. The collaboration with Gusto, a leader in the payroll landscape, resonated with Heard’s goal of enhancing user experience.

Empowering Therapists with Embedded Payroll

By embedding payroll with Gusto, Heard stripped away unnecessary complexity, creating a smoother onboarding process. The technical evaluation of Gusto Embedded’s offering highlighted clear API documentation, a comprehensive Postman collection, and direct support from Gusto’s technical team as essential factors that fostered trust.

“It’s critical that the systems our customers use all talk together. From insurance billing to bookkeeping to payroll to taxes. It needs to be easy, and customers need to know they are paying themselves correctly, reporting taxes correctly and accurately each quarter.”

Victoria Li

Co-founder and CTO, Heard

Though seemingly straightforward, payroll is intricate due to the myriad of data required for accurate processing. Beyond basic employee details, tax setup intricacies abound. The Gusto Embedded team’s responsiveness ensured Heard’s confidence in their partnership, leading to the extension of workers’ compensation insurance through Gusto’s partnership with NEXT Insurance. This integration removed a significant barrier to payroll adoption.

Delivering on the Core Product Experience

Embedded fintech solutions have the power to enhance user experience and simplify intricate processes. Heard’s focus on the payroll onboarding flow reflects their commitment to customers new to business ownership. Tailoring the onboarding process to therapists’ specific needs, Heard has created a seamless experience that eliminates unnecessary confusion.

“We wanted to make payroll as easy as possible for therapists. No one wants to have to manage their payroll day in and day out.”

Andrew Risen

Co-founder and CEO, Heard

Investing in embedded payroll aligns with Heard’s broader vision of automating therapists’ back-office operations, particularly connecting complex insurance billing with cash flow and payroll. Beyond this strategic alignment, the addition of payroll brings tangible benefits. While not a primary driver, the payroll add-on contributes an average of ~25% of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) for individual therapists. Moreover, Heard’s already impressive retention numbers improve significantly with the addition of payroll, underscoring the value of this solution in solving therapists’ challenges.

In the real world, the retention of therapists who rely on Heard’s in-app payroll signifies a tangible improvement in solving their back-office issues and reclaiming valuable time. This achievement resonates with Heard’s core objective – helping therapists focus on what matters most: their clients.

Heard’s journey with embedded payroll exemplifies how technology can bridge the gap between therapists’ clinical expertise and the intricacies of business management. By partnering with Gusto, Heard has streamlined therapists’ financial management and unlocked higher retention rates, proving that embedding fintech solutions isn’t just about technology; it’s about delivering tangible value to therapists’ lives and practices.

Read the case study!

Learn more about how Heard and Gusto Embedded work!

Brian Busch Brian is currently Head of Marketing at Gusto Embedded; the only payroll API with 10 years of experience and actionable data behind it. Before joining Gusto, Brian held leadership positions at Cloud Elements, Kapost, and Captricity. He holds a BS in finance and a BA in philosophy from Boston College and an MBA from the Cal Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Back to top