How Unit TV protects company cash and saves an hour of admin every day
A look into how one creative studio revved up their spending management while cranking up security.
UNIT is an award-winning, independently owned creative studio that creates content for advertising, TV and film.
Ben Davis, Head of Finance at UNIT, looked for an alternative to petty cash which gave him more control over spending and relieved him of lengthy manual admin.
Find out how Ben took a shine to automated reconciliation and safe, instant top-ups with Soldo.
The challenge: Petty cash causes heavy manual admin
When Ben joined UNIT, he immediately noticed the studio was using way too much cash.
Production runners were in charge of using that cash to buy whatever their clients needed: coffee, drinks, lunches, and other necessary shopping when accommodating people at a studio.
And although these purchases would eventually get charged to their clients, UNIT was responsible for getting the goods and paying for them up front.
So, once a week, Ben had to withdraw £2,000 from the bank and go back to studio with all that cash in his pocket – fearing the worst.
Then, he’d put that cash in a safe, so that he could hand it out when needed. This presented its own challenges. If Ben was away when someone needed the money, he’d have to find a different way to send it without giving out the code to the safe.
And even on days when Ben was at the studio, accounting for all this cash was harrowing.
Here’s how that process went:
- Looking at how much money had been used and counting it
- Chasing people for receipts and organising them
- Scanning all receipts and accounting for everything one by one
And of course, far more often than he’d like, he’d notice missing receipts. Whenever someone forgot to get a receipt, that money was lost.
Their way of managing money was clearly not the most efficient. This was clear in how the sales team managed their spending, for instance. The team had to save receipts for up to 30 days, then give them to Ben along with an expense form. Ben had to scan all of this and then manually put it on a journal.
It was a lot of accounting work for just one person.
The solution: A fast, safe way to manage spending
Ben’s idea to bring in Soldo was welcomed with open arms.
The runners were happy they didn’t have to rely on cash for everything anymore, and the sales team didn’t need to worry about keeping receipts until the end of the month – they could upload them on the spot.
Ben got six cards for the runners, eight for the sales team, and one for the marketing team.
Since the runners tend to go out the most to buy things, Ben highlighted the advantage of being able to immediately cancel a card if it got lost.
When the cards were rolled out to the sales team after a couple of months, Ben saw even more upsides.
Since they no longer had to use credit cards, the days of long and tedious manual accounting work were gone. It used to take Ben five minutes to handle each transaction the team made. Now it takes 10 seconds! The integration with Xero saved him 45 minutes to an hour every day on admin. That’s time he can dedicate to bookkeeping, chasing invoices, strategising, budgeting – all more important things to the business. For a one-person finance team, this is a huge win.
Those who use it absolutely love it – employees literally just have to snap a receipt. It could not be simpler.
Managing company-wide spending in one place
Expense centres were a strong point in favour of Soldo. In a creative business, employees come and go all the time.
It was an absolute priority for UNIT to have cards that weren’t attributed to just one person. He didn’t find any other spend management solution that understood this.
With expense centres, Ben was able to order Soldo cards that weren’t personal to users, but related to the studio. He could manage departmental expenses or more general spending such as office supplies or marketing – and multiple users could access it when needed.
Protecting the company money and empowering people
Ben doesn’t have to walk around with loads of cash on him anymore. The spending controls that Soldo includes allowed him to turn off ATM withdrawals on the cards.
He also limited which cards can be used for online purchases (if a card is stolen, it’s easier to use it online), and set geo controls so that the cards are only used in the UK and the US. If employees travel to a different country, he can just change those geo controls to activate the cards abroad.
He’s also noticed that runners feel more responsible and accountable for their spending with Soldo. They can track and manage their own transactions on the app, and don’t feel tempted to overspend or use the money for personal items.
Reducing admin time with accounting automation
Runners can snap a photo of the receipt and upload it to Soldo as soon as they have it, and that goes straight to Ben, saving him a lot of time chasing people for receipts. And even if they don’t have a receipt, he can see transaction details such as merchant and total on the platform.
To top it all off, once a transaction goes through, it only takes Ben 20 seconds to check and transfer it to their accounting software for reconciliation.
And if any of the cards have low balances, Ben gets an email alert from Soldo. To ensure employees always have money, he can very easily set up automatic transfers.
Keeping a close watch and a tight grip on spending
With Soldo, UNIT has found a safe, practical way to manage petty cash, set spending limits and cut down the massive amount of admin time holding them back.
The possibilities brought on by Soldo help companies like UNIT make light work of bookkeeping while giving them a complete, real-time view of their spending. Soldo doesn’t just push you towards smarter decisions – it opens the doors to a brighter future.