How Switching to Cledara Allowed Sensat to Automate Their Software Management

Zachary Conroy, Finance Manager at Sensat, explains how a thoughtful approach to software management frees up time for his team to focus on strategic work.

Zachary Conroy
London, England
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Sensat’s mission is to automate how infrastructure is planned, built, and managed to create a more sustainable future. The software powers teams to manage and visualize live construction information so they can plan, coordinate and track project performance for better, faster, more data-driven decisions.

As part of a two-person finance team at Sensat, Zac needs to be versatile to keep things running smoothly. That’s where Cledara comes in as an all-in-one SaaS management tool for their software stack.

“Our previous workflow was time-consuming, limiting the scope of work we could complete as a lean finance team. We required better organization and automation to streamline laborious tasks, so more time could be spent on strategic financial work.”

The monthly invoice chase

As is the case for many finance teams, the administrative work associated with invoices takes up more time and resources than expected. What seems like a task that can be covered by setting aside one or two hours per week, turns into a time-consuming sprint at the end of the month when finance needs to close the books.

When teams work remotely it’s an even more significant challenge, as the process of chasing colleagues and executives over Slack or email is more time-consuming than a quick chat at the office.

“At Sensat, some of our teams work in the field collecting data for most of the day, and chasing them for invoices at the end of the month was a challenge.”

How Cledara helped

Instead of finance chasing colleagues, Cledara automatically collects, parses, and uploads any invoice sent to an email.

Once invoices are matched to subscriptions, accounting software integrations sync the data with tools such as Xero and Quickbooks. 

With the ability to automatically capture invoices, there’s much less stress. I don’t have to spend my time chasing colleagues working remotely or busy executives for an invoice at the end of the month.”

Cledara helps finance excel on a 4-day workweek

Sensat recently made the strategic switch to a 4-day workweek. This meant that Zac and his finance director would have to increase productivity on a shortened schedule – which required them to work smart and efficiently.

“For us, switching to 4-day workweeks didn’t mean working extra hours. We had to finish our job and be productive with the limited time we had and that required a creative re-think of our processes”

How Cledara helped

The ability to pay for and track all software subscriptions with one platform means teams keep their data streamlined, which simplifies any software-related decisions, like choosing to retain existing software or make a move to onboard new tools.

What’s more, team members and employees can be added to Cledara, which gives them more autonomy to make the right decisions instead of waiting on finance – or in some cases IT – to extend funds and permission for necessary software purchases.

“We onboarded Cledara right before we implemented a four-day workweek. Now, we’re able to save time and move quickly on software spend, which would’ve been impossible with our previous software management workflow.”

Better data compared to spend management tools

Not every tool is designed to solve the same challenges. Whereas spend management tools like Brex and Spendesk are great for non-payroll expenses like employee travel or office supplies, they don’t do a great job when it comes to recurring spend on subscriptions or advertising.

That’s where a software management tool can make the difference. Normally finance would need to manually aggregate specific expenses and group them together for a full overview but Cledara helps you keep software spend oversight by aggregating and grouping it for you.

“Prior to Cledara we used our spend management solution to pay for software, but that lacked the structure and granularity of data required to easily understand how we allocated resources within the company”

How Cledara helped

Zac’s team now has a clear overview of their software subscriptions, along with forecasts on expected spend growth. And it’s not just the finance team that benefits from this data. The single source of truth from Cledara’s dashboard means everyone at the company stays on the same page when it comes to software subscriptions.

“The aggregate view of our software expenditure split into different categories isn’t just handy for us in finance, but it also provides team leaders an overview of the resources dedicated to their operations.”

Zac’s Highlight: Increased automation and less manual work

When it comes to repetitive manual tasks, it’s best to have a system that runs in the background doing most of the grunt work for you. And when you combine automation with analytics, you get the best of both worlds: More time to focus on the work that matters while receiving the insights you need to be strategic.

“It’s great that I don’t have to constantly log into the platform to ensure we’re managing our software smoothly.”

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