How Tempo Automated Finance and IT Operations

Tempo’s first finance hire, Keelyn Bergstorm, talks us through how she leveraged Cledara to bring the finance function in-house and built a professional finance structure at the company.

Keelyn Bergstorm
HR software
London, UK
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That’s the premise Tempo’s hiring platform is built upon. Tempo’s platform connects 2,500 exciting startups to over 80,000 jobseekers looking to launch their careers. Their tech matches people and startup jobs instantly, based on experience, skills, preferences and more, for the best possible hiring experience.

Keelyn told us that in 2020 during the first wave of Covid, things were fairly quiet relative to what they were used to, but now that things are opening up again, they are seeing tremendous activity, both on the candidate and client side.

“I can say that before Cledara, I was literally having nightmares about the day that we might have a fraudulent expense on the company card and everything would all of a sudden get denied. I’m so glad I can sleep in peace now.”

Automating as much as possible

As the first finance hire at Tempo, Keelyn was in charge of bringing the finance function in-house. She tells us that a significant amount of her time has been focused on “automating as many finance tasks as possible.” 

“I personally believe finance is so strategic and valuable. Unfortunately, there's a lot of manual work required to keep the lights on traditionally from a finance perspective which is why I’m so passionate about automation in this space”, she states. 

She is really clear about it: “the more you can automate the manual workflows, the more value you can add to the business.” A couple of examples she uses to illustrate this:

“Any time that the business is contemplating a new geography or a new revenue stream, for example, it's really valuable for finance to have the ability to sit down and financially model out what that would look like. Unfortunately, this can be challenging to accomplish due to the manual tasks that eat up your day.”

She goes further: “I think that’s a shared concern among finance leaders that we would all love to see solved.”

How Cledara helped

Thankfully, manual task automation is one of the big things Cledara brings to any finance team, and Keelyn is really thankful for that.

"As a bonus, she says, having that foresight in terms of spending and being able to get a sense of future spend is also very helpful for budgeting."

Spend management vs SaaS management

Keelyn evaluated several spend management platforms before discovering Cledara. We asked her why she chose to go with Cledara to manage their SaaS.

“Spend management platforms have a big emphasis on travel and expenses and providing people with cards for that. I wouldn't say that was where our biggest issue was,” Keelyn says.

“Our biggest spend is on marketing and SaaS subscriptions needed to run the business and I felt like the spend management vendors were not necessarily focusing on that.” She provides the example of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

“On the offboarding side, I've probably spent about 30 hours chasing LinkedIn trying to cancel subscriptions. They typically don’t respond and if they do it takes months of back and forth with no resolution which is incredibly frustrating. Spend Management vendors don’t have anything to prevent that.” 

On top of that, Keelyn told us that the spend management pricing was considerably higher. “The spend management systems charge per user with a monthly platform fee rather than just a monthly platform fee. They looked quite expensive to us.”

How Cledara helped

“I began looking for a tool that would help streamline all our business software, give us control over the funds we were spending, and keep track of it all from an accounting standpoint. And that was Cledara.”

Keelyn highlighted the fact that Cledara is singularly focussed on the journey of software in a business, and met their needs for control and ongoing growth. 

And regarding pricing, Keelyn explained that “From a cost perspective, it’s a no-brainer to me.”

Setting up a process to request and approve software

“My biggest frustration was dealing with approvals manually and not having a centralized place for that to occur,” Keelyn tells us.

“I would frequently get messages and emails from people, saying, “Hey, I want to purchase X for Y amount”, or in the worst-case scenario, “I've already purchased this for X amount” and “here's the invoice”, which is absolutely not the way that you want to be doing things.”

How Cledara helped

Cledara embeds a lightweight approval flow into the software purchasing process. This allows finance leaders like Keelyn to have the control and oversight they need, while providing budget owners the flexibility to choose the software they require. 

And Keelyn says that it’s one of the things that stand out. “Having the ability to show there's a process in place for approving software is hugely helpful. And it freed up a lot of my time, which is really appreciated.” 

“Also, vendors now can’t charge us more without 'asking' us first which significantly reduces the risk of having auto-charged subscriptions set up. Something that I find very helpful.”

Keelyn’s highlight - Cledara’s peace of mind

“Cledara easily saves us over 10 hours a month. And it’s not just time, but stress as well”.

“I was literally having nightmares about the day that we might have a fraudulent expense on the company credit card and everything would all of a sudden get denied. I’m so glad I can sleep in peace now.”

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