Polay + Clark is a full-service advisory firm based in Atlanta, GA that focuses on serving clients in the sports and entertainment industries. Founded in 1999, Polay + Clark started adopting cloud accounting technology in 2015 when Lorne Clark joined the firm as an immediate-name partner. Since their cloud transition, Polay + Clark has scaled to serve 250 monthly clients.
Before switching to cloud accounting technology, Polay + Clark’s workflow was dominated by manual processes involving snail mail, data entry, desktop software, and, of course, paper.
Moreover, all of their documents were stored on a local server. Hundreds of checks were printed every month. All approvals had to be mailed in, and account managers were tasked with keeping track of all of these physical documents and processes.
These manual processes led to three major pain points:
It was the desire for increased flexibility and transparency that ultimately drove Polay + Clark’s transition to seek a cloud accounting solution. By enabling the ability for both the firm and their clients to work remotely, as well as access their financials at any time, anywhere, they knew they could drastically improve their workflow and their client experience.
Working with clients in sports and entertainment demands a lot of travel (for both the client and Polay + Clark). According to Tate, the motivation to move to the cloud stemmed from a desire for increased flexibility and transparency.
“When Lorne Clark came on board, it was clear he was going to be travelling a lot and still wanted to be in the know. He had seen Xero while talking with another advisor and liked the look of it. We did our due diligence and came to the same conclusion,” says Tate.
An accounting solution such as Xero would not only enable flexibility and transparency, but would also help to eliminate much of the confusion and chaos surrounding their old processes.
Implementing Xero was just the beginning – Polay + Clark also started leveraging Xero products and add-ons (such as Hubdoc, Bill.com, and Futrli) to further streamline their processes and automate time-intensive administrative tasks.
Hubdoc was one of the key apps that Polay + Clark introduced to help them gain efficiencies in a number of their processes – namely, with document collection and data entry.
In their old workflow, Polay + Clark relied on snail mail to collect their clients’ financial documents, which was time-consuming and often led to confusion. Moreover, their paper-based processes kept them tied to their desks and limited their ability to work remotely.
Upon adding Hubdoc to their workflow, Polay + Clark now leverages the auto-fetch feature to automatically collect their clients’ financial documents from over 700 banks, utilities, and other suppliers, and organize them in one centralized location. Documents can also be conveniently sent into Hubdoc via email, desktop (drag and drop), and Hubdoc’s mobile app (which enables their oft-travelling clients to upload receipts on the go).
Once documents have been fetched or sent into Hubdoc, they are automatically organized into folders based on supplier name and date. Moreover, Hubdoc enables documents to be tagged for further organization (e.g., tour expenses, trips, etc.).
Hubdoc has helped Polay + Clark save hours of time that used to be spent chasing after their clients’ documents, as well as eliminate much of the confusion that used to accompany their old workflow and enable their team to work remotely. In turn, this has helped improve their overall client experience.
Since adopting Hubdoc and other cloud technologies, Polay + Clark has experienced a number of benefits. Most importantly, the three key pain points associated with their old workflow have been resolved.
Transitioning to the cloud isn’t as simple as subscribing to a few cloud tools – it involves a well-thought-out process that requires buy-in from both your internal team and your clients. Tate and the Polay + Clark team will admit that the transition wasn’t easy, but it was worth it in the end.
"No matter the benefits associated with the end product, getting from A to B when you've been used to A for 10+ years is going to be painful. There are going to be times when it seems like it's not worth it, but I assure you that it is," says Tate.