Lawrence Friell is the co-founder of ProAgencies, a UK based sales agency focusing on outdoor and travel brands. ProAgencies was started 5 years ago by Lawrence and his co-founder Matt Moore.
Initially a team of just two, the headcount has since doubled. With clients across Europe and an expanding business to manage, Lawrence needed a system that was able to grow with his company.
Looking for an easy life
When his business was just starting out, Lawrence was able to run it from a spreadsheet. But as the company grew and his spreadsheet became more complex he knew he had to find a better solution.
Lawrence says: “It was very simple when it was only the two of us. I could do all of our finances off of an Excel spreadsheet, but as we’ve grown it’s become much more complicated. So we moved to Xero for an easy life.”
Despite tightening up his financial processes with Xero, Lawrence was still forecasting his cash flow in Excel – and quickly found the limitations of using spreadsheets. He explains “Excel is fine if you stick to the plan – but it’s not intuitive. If you pay an invoice early, you have to manually track it down in your spreadsheet. It was a hassle.”
Lawrence estimates that he was spending at least half a day a month in Excel and could never be certain that what he was seeing was accurate. This meant that he wasn’t able to confidently make decisions. As a result, Lawrence hesitated to grow the business.
Understanding cash flow
Lawrence had been searching for a cash flow solution that links directly to Xero when he found Float, and he hasn’t looked back since. He wanted to see the information in Xero presented in a way that he could understand. “Xero’s brilliant but it doesn’t report pictorially – which is probably the easiest way of taking information in – the Float graph lets me see exactly what is happening in my business at a glance.”
“Float is great for a quick snapshot – you can click a certain point and see the bank balance at any given time. It’s a clever way of doing it. In Xero, you could export all of the numbers but you’d have to stare at it quite hard to find out what’s going on.”
A clever solution
Since connecting Float to Xero cash flow now takes Lawrence less than five minutes a day and Float can handle the day to day hurdles that come with running a business.
Lawrence explains, “Float is clever. If I make a decision to pay off multiple invoices even before they’re due then I don’t need to concern myself with updating the cash flow because it happens automatically.”
Now Lawrence is able to make business decisions with confidence. Once every 6 months Lawrence and his team sit down to look at their cash flow in Float and use the information presented to them to inform the business strategy – safe in the knowledge that there won’t be any surprises on the horizon.
Recently, ProAgencies have invested in a new office, after using Float to determine how viable this would be. Lawrence says that without Float he and his team would have been hesitant to make this decision.
Transparency was another important factor Lawrence had to consider when looking for a solution to his cash flow stress. As ProAgencies began to expand he found that he needed to see what he was spending on a client by client basis to ensure visibility into expenditure. With Float, he is able to see a much more granular view of his cash.
“As the company has grown cash flow has become much more complex. It used to be that we just had marketing overheads to budget for. Now we split it out by brand. We can really see what we’re spending per client, rather than just a finger in the air.”
Transparency of the data contained within Float also means that mistakes in Xero can be easily identified. By revealing these errors, Float allows Lawrence to take action before a small error becomes a big problem. Lawrence says “Float highlights errors in Xero – if something looks out of line then Float can show it pretty quickly, it’s become a sense-check for Xero.”
Lawrence concludes, “Xero is great but Float is the icing on the cake!”
Start your free trial of Float to see how it makes Xero go further!
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