How Sifted Uses Cledara to Control Software Spend

We caught up with Kathryn Wright, Chief of Staff at the leading startup news provider in Europe, to discover how her fast-growing team uses Cledara to simplify their software management.

Industry
News
Headcount
50-100
HQ
London, United Kingdom
Funding
Series A
Software count
46
Website

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Sifted has built a community for startups across Europe by writing for them and about them – tackling the topics and opportunities that help startups succeed. Backed by the Financial Times, what started out as one journalist with 50 newsletter readers has now turned into a team of experienced writers across Europe with 100,000+ newsletter subscribers and 10M+ unique website visitors.

Kathryn joined Sifted in 2021 as Chief of Staff and since then has helped the company grow to become a leading media site for Europe’s innovators and entrepreneurs.

As a busy executive who also juggles the work of a finance leader, Kathryn has limited time to manage tedious day-to-day tasks such as chasing invoices, reconciling purchases, and ordering cards for employees. 

“With growing teams, it was becoming harder and harder to chase down invoices and close the books at the end of the month. We needed a solution to help us scale and that’s where Cledara came in.”

Finally, a complete spend overview in one dashboard

With a dynamic team reporting on news across Europe, keeping track of software expenses was becoming an increasingly urgent issue for Sifted. While it was still somewhat manageable, the growing stream of new spend requests meant it wasn’t sustainable. 

“We had a hard time keeping track of our spend in any given period. All of a sudden we would receive a notification of a failed payment and it wasn’t always clear how we ran through our card limits.”

How Cledara helped

Kathryn and her team wanted a simple overview of all their spend on software subscriptions and related expenses to eliminate the guesswork. With Cledara’s dashboard, she now has a full view of what’s being spent and how that relates to their budget.

“With Cledara, we don’t have to worry anymore about receiving an unexpected failed payment email from a software provider like Asana and scrambling to get it resolved.”

The assurance that tools powering decentralized teams are always available and up and running is critical. Cledara’s dashboard and notifications make staying on top of spend and upcoming payments a breeze – avoiding the risk of downtime.

Reducing unnecessary software costs

Distributed teams may use different tools depending on their location, and with the abundance of services and software available across the globe, they end up paying for software in multiple currencies. This is especially true for a company like Sifted, based in the UK with teams across Europe.

“We were losing out by having to pay our bank a ton of FX fees for card purchases in either pounds or euros.”

How Cledara helped

With the ability to have either a pound account or a euro account simultaneously in Cledara (and a US dollar account for customers in the US), Sifted can avoid foreign exchange fees by settling in their preferred currency. What’s more, Cledara doesn’t charge FX fees, which means savings on all the subscriptions paid for in other currencies.

“With Cledara, we don’t pay FX fees anymore for our software and that has helped us reduce software costs.”

Enabling employees to onboard the right tools

Not every team works the same way and Sifted needed to onboard teams with the right tools to stay productive. Without clear oversight of the tools used by teams or which team accounted for a significant amount of spend, Sifted didn’t have insight into software ROI.

“Understanding where to properly allocate costs was essential. Without this information, we couldn’t get a proper picture of the share of wallet of our teams and approve critical expenses.”

How Cledara helped

The ability to divide your organization into their respective teams on Cledara gives a full view of the tools used by each department and how they contribute to team spend. This is a win-win since it makes it easier to approve (or deny) spend.

“You know, some people just prefer using different tools. If a tool like Calendly helps some of our team deliver better results, Cledara helps us to get the expenditure approved quickly.”

Kathryn’s highlight: Cledara’s Simplicity

Virtual cards, approval flows, and an easy-to-use dashboard simplify workflows for the team at Sifted.

“Cledara has allowed us to professionalize our processes. Instead of behaving like a scrappy startup where images of receipts and credit cards are shared amongst each other, we’re now able to keep oversight on spend and invoices. If someone needs a new tool, we can simply spin up a virtual card when required.”

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