Gemma Wombwell is a manager in PEM’s Virtual Finance Office, where she and her team provide hundreds of VFO clients with everything from supplier invoice processing and reconciliation to reporting, forecasting and staying compliant with HMRC. This fully outsourced finance function allows PEM’s clients to focus on what matters to them - growing their business.
But with timesaving and efficiency underpinning the service offering, Gemma and VFO account manager Annie Keen found an opportunity to deliver more value to clients whilst freeing the team up to take on more client work.
60% of PEM’s VFO clients have payments included in their service. Whilst hugely beneficial for the client, this brought challenges for the PEM team.
Annie was spending 2-3 hours every 2 weeks processing large volumes of payments for one client in particular. This meant logging into the client’s online banking and manually setting up each payment before handing over to Gemma.
PEM provides an additional layer of security to their clients through an internal 2-step approval process. Which although great for clients, meant Gemma was spending just as much time as Annie reviewing the payments in Xero before sending them on to the client for approval. This process was becoming unmanageable for the PEM team as well as the client, whose fees were increasing as a result. Gemma and Annie needed a way to speed up their process so they could save the client money whilst maintaining the same level of security.
Additionally, around this time PEM saw an increase in the number of clients asking for payments as part of their service. This led to staff being added to client bank accounts, bringing a whole new set of challenges.
Gemma says “This wasn’t ideal for individuals in our firm. We’d have issues when staff went on holiday or left the firm as the bank only want to deal with that person. Staff needed to be available whilst on annual leave or we wouldn’t be able to make payments. It just wasn’t working very well.”
Ensuring clients get value out of the VFO service is a focus for Gemma and Annie. Before introducing Telleroo and with high-growth clients steadily needing more payments, the team knew their options were to increase fees or find a more efficient way to deliver the service.
PEM are a Xero Platinum Partner so finding a tool that linked with Xero was essential. And as they knew clients would need access, finding something that looked good and was easy to use was key.
After a recommendation in a Facebook group, Gemma and Annie signed up to Telleroo. They then trialled it with one client for three months. Annie says “Our first client was being charged a lot by their bank to make payments. We had a call with them to suggest Telleroo as it would save us time and save them fees, and also save on their bank fees as with the timesaving we were able to absorb the cost. Unsurprisingly, the client was more than happy to try Telleroo.” Since then Telleroo has become a staple for PEM’s VFO clients, with all new clients who require payments being invited to the platform.
Furthermore, Annie adds that clients now love the visibility they have into which payments are being made. They also enjoy the flexibility of being able to delete any payments they don’t want to be included in the pay run. Something they weren’t able to do when payments were being processed through the bank.
The most significant benefit for Gemma and Annie has been time-saving. Not only do they spend less time setting payments up, but reviewing payments has become much easier thanks to the way Telleroo flags new and updated payee information. Saving hours every week has allowed the Virtual Finance Office team to take on more clients, which has resulted in increased revenue for PEM.
Gemma says “I highly recommend Telleroo to anyone looking to streamline payments and create efficiencies!”
Join the Telleroo partner programme today to save time and make payments a profitable service just like PEM!