Why Yobota Optimized Their Process to Manage SaaS Subscriptions

We recently caught up with Yobota’s finance team to see why they decided to optmize their process to manage their software subscriptions.

Michael Joyner, Head of Finance @ Yobota
Industry
Financial Services
Headcount
85
HQ
London, UK
Funding
Series A
Software count
35
Website

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Yobota is a cloud-native core banking platform located in the U.K. Its cloud-based operating platform enables financial institutions and fintech startups to create their own products and services to serve their customers. 

Michael Joyner joined Yobota in 2019 as Head of Finance and since then, the company has increased its headcount from 35 to 85+. 

As the company grew, Michael looked for ways to improve and automate processes around their SaaS spend. 

“We wanted to automate tasks so we could focus on more strategic things. As we grew to 85 people, we also wanted to stay as lean as possible from a finance point of view. And that's exactly why we chose Cledara.”

Setting up a process for SaaS subscriptions

Before moving to Cledara, Yobota used spreadsheets to manage their SaaS subscriptions and track month-to-month spend. The process was manual and unable to support the company growth. 

“To find out what we were spending and where we would have to track it through transactions and bank statements, but we didn’t know exactly who made the transaction, to whom it was assigned and which departments were using which tools,” Michael states.

“We didn't really have visibility. We had to manually pull data out of Xero and put it into Google Sheets every time,” Michael explains.

How Cledara helped

Since implementing Cledara into their day-to-day operations, not only the finance team at Yobota has a reliable process to track all their SaaS subscriptions and spend, but the entire company can now easily request and see the software they need.  

“I no longer get asked questions on what tools we are using and how much they cost. Anyone at Yobota can now see what applications are in use and what they cost,” Michael highlights. 

Cledara also automatically detects any surprise charges before they happen, so they can stick to budgets and catch unexpected variances. 

“It’s great because you can catch things in real-time rather than doing a retrospective at the end of the month,” Michael elaborates. “Also, when I do financial reporting for senior stakeholders, I now know the reasons why things may have increased,” the head of finance points out.

Removing the inherent risk of a single company card

Before Cledara, Yobota used one business credit card to pay for all their software subscriptions. That one card was tied directly to the main company account.

“Obviously, there's a bit of an inherent risk there. If someone were to gain access to our bank details, we'd basically have to get a new card completely,” Michael notes. Not to mention that all the software applications associated to that one card would be in jeopardy.”

The process of requesting a new application was different as well.

Employees would go to Michael when they needed a new tool and he would physically hand them the card to sign up for a new subscription. This was a manual, time-consuming inefficient process that could not scale with their growth.

How Cledara helped

With Cledara, Michael and his teams now assign a unique virtual card to every subscription, which has proven as a significant improvement in their processes and efficiency.

“The virtual cards are just so much better. I can now cancel any card associated with a subscription by just switching it off, instead of going through the traditional route.” Michael states. 

Indeed, Cledara’s online Mastercards allow teams to suspend subscriptions payments in a click. Michael is also extremely fond of the new process for employees requesting new applications. 

“The ability to spin up and send anyone a virtual card in a couple of minutes is super useful. Given that we've been working remotely for two years now, the process would have been quite different.” Michael asserts. 

The company also has better control and security over its outgoing SaaS costs. “You can control the cost base a lot more because Cledara is a prepaid account, we transfer a certain amount there. And from a fraud point of view, it's a lot more controlled.” Michael states.

Simplifying SaaS invoice collection

Before Cledara, the team had a shared email inbox to which all invoices were sent.

From there, an outsourced bookkeeper would access it and  manually upload those invoices to Xero, the company’s accounting software. Besides taking more time, the process was prone for error and incurred in expensive outsourcing fees.

How Cledara helped

With Cledara, invoices are now automatically uploaded to transactions, which helps reduce the time dedicated for manual accounting reconciliation tasks as well improving a process that was set for human error.

“Cledara is the best tool in its class from what I’ve seen because it focuses on a specific problem that finance people have,” Michael says. And he continues,Cledara solves many operational challenges, like the monthly chase for SaaS invoices and bookkeeping inefficiencies. And, Cledara will grow with us as we scale.” Michael concludes.

Michael’s highlight - the outstanding cashback perk

With Cledara’s simple monthly subscription, Yobota enjoys 2% cashback on all their software spend, and 1% on most other cloud spend such as cloud hosting or online advertising, something that hasn’t escaped Michael’s eye. 

“The cashback is a really good incentive. We have significant SaaS costs, especially around AWS and other operations. So to get the cashback is a great perk. In fact, we get a few 100 pounds worth of credit back every month,” Michael says.

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