Farmdrop uses Soldo to control costs without putting the brakes on their impressive growth
Full visibility on costs
Tighter controls through budgets and rules
Quicker reporting with auto-tagging and integration with NetSuite
Farmdrop is an online grocer that connects customers with local farms and producers committed to the highest environmental and animal welfare standards. After starting in 2012 as a hobby, the idea quickly caught on, and they’ve since seen consistent year-on-year growth. Here’s how they’re using Soldo to keep costs under control while building on their success.
As the UK went into lockdown, people flocked online for their day-to-day shopping, and Farmdrop’s sales went through the roof. But this incredible momentum brought its own challenges: they needed to get a grip on spending while empowering their people with instant access to the funds that keep the company moving – and growing. We spoke to their Senior Financial Accountant, Jamie Clark, about his experience with Soldo and how we’ve become a part of the Farmdrop success story.
‘One of the struggles we’re having is to put in controls at the same time that the business is growing. Soldo lets us do that by helping us get a grip on exactly where we are with spend.’
Jamie Clark, Senior Financial Accountant
Farmdrop sources and delivers fresh produce, and develops its own products. So, Farmdrop’s monthly spend includes everything from fleet costs and emergency kitchen expenses, to the digital marketing and technology subscriptions that keep the business running smoothly.
Before Soldo, Farmdrop spread this spend across four or five different credit cards. This meant that trying to get an overview of the total spend in a specific area was a near impossible task.
Because credit cards are issued under an individual’s name and not for specific projects or purposes, only a small number of senior staff members had their own corporate credit cards. Those cards were then used by different people across the company, with no rules on what type of spend went against which card.
At the end of the month, the finance team would receive statements for each of the company cards and upload them as manual invoices into their invoicing system. Then, they had to go through every single transaction individually to code them.
At the time, they had a permanent member of staff in an accounts payable role. When he received credit card statements, he had to chase down receipts all over the business. There were hundreds of transactions per credit card each month! Jamie put it simply: ‘It was a nightmare.’
Another issue was that, as a start-up, the interest rates they were offered were far from ideal, and they also had to pay a high security deposit. So, to better understand where their money’s going and avoid interest rates that unfairly penalise startups, they started looking into prepaid cards.
When Farmdrop came across Soldo, they were impressed with how user-friendly the platform was, and how simple it was to monitor costs. A deciding factor was that Soldo offered virtual cards: ‘Virtual cards were key to managing our recurring spend better. We had to have something that did that.’
Jamie was impressed with how easy it was to roll out Soldo across the business.
In their kitchens, instead of asking staff to pay out of pocket when emergencies arise – for example, replacing items such as kitchen scales – and then submitting an expense claim, they’ve given each kitchen its own Soldo card.
Farmdrop manages regular spend such as technology subscriptions, digital marketing, and fleet costs using Soldo virtual cards, with each area of spend getting a dedicated card.
Jamie has set up the cards so that when their balance drops below a certain amount, they get topped up automatically. Now, he doesn’t have to worry about marketing campaigns being suspended due to a lack of funds and he won’t be charged penalties for not paying congestion charges on time.
But the feature that Jamie has been most impressed with is auto-tagging: each new transaction is automatically tagged with a spend category. And because they integrate Soldo with NetSuite, their main accounting platform, transaction data is immediately synced over.
‘We can auto-tag our expenses with Soldo, and it syncs over perfectly with NetSuite. I think it’s brilliant. I don’t have to do anything.’
Thanks to this, reporting is now a breeze. They can quickly see how much they’re spending and where, because each card is used only for one area of spend. ‘Having that visibility on what we’re spending on specific areas in the business is key for us,’ Jamie says.
An added perk is that they can do more than just see – they can set limits on people’s cards. ‘As a startup we need to be careful, and can’t just hand out cash left right and centre.’ If there’s an emergency, Jamie can go into the system and update controls and spending limits in just a few clicks – it’s that easy.
Farmdrop now has more clarity, more readily available than ever before. ‘Before, we didn’t have easy access to detail on our spend.’
They’ve been able to use this clarity to plan for the future: ‘With Soldo, if for example I want to plan for our tech subscription costs for next year, I’ve now got easy access to a breakdown of exactly what we’re spending where using the reporting tool.’
The icing on the cake: staff members across the business are seeing the benefits. ‘It’s made their lives a lot easier, because of how easy it is to use,’ Jamie tells us. It’s our pleasure.