Bright/Shift is a creative agency that generates and distributes strategic content for every step of the user journey. The company chooses to work hand-in-hand with impact-driven brands that meet one main criterion: As the organisation grows commercially, the positive impact they have on the globe has to grow as well. Through their work, the team leverages social media and digital channels to make the world a better place.
At the head of this mission is Toby Stewart, founder of Bright/Shift. His role focuses on keeping the business on track to meet financial targets and organising tools and processes that can streamline accounting — a big task when employing a smaller team to do such important work.
Toby walked us through his decision to use Dext Prepare and Xero for Bright/Shift’s invoicing and accounting. Plus, he highlighted the success his team has experienced since integrating the solution into his business.
Small business owners wear many hats and juggle several roles. But, while entrepreneurship and innovation come easily to Toby, the financial side of business is more difficult to manage. When creating Bright/Shift, he knew he needed a platform that could provide resources and tools to take the financial management burden off of his shoulders.
As someone who has been in the business for years and understands the importance of prioritisation, Toby desired a tool that could help him and his employees keep their mission at the heart of everything they do. The opportunity he saw was about giving his team more time back in their days to focus on the important task of supporting impact-driven businesses — work that could be pushed to the back burner if accounting took up too many hours.
“As a founder in the creative space, finances and numbers don’t come naturally to me”, Toby says. “But I know how important it is. A financially healthy business is a healthy business.”
Toby surrounded himself with talented people who understand and excel in the economic landscape. This is what led him to Dext Prepare. The software automated the team’s workflows, enabling them to put important data into the cloud for safekeeping without having to think twice about it.
“Our accounting team advised us to use Dext Prepare, so there was never even a question in my mind whether or not we should use Dext because the people we entrusted to help us with accounting told us it was the best solution”, he says.
The Bright/Shift team uses the Dext Prepare mobile app on a daily basis to snap photos of receipts to be directly collected and stored. From getting the necessary supplies for a project to purchasing drinks for the team on Fridays, Toby can simply take a picture of the receipt and let the app do the hard work of sending it through.
“The receipt snapping feature is one of my favourites because it almost feels like a game: get the receipt, get the app up, take a picture. And I don’t even look to check if it scanned because I just trust that Dext Prepare does it, one hundred percent, on point, every single time.”
Additionally, Toby frequently utilises email features that relieve the stress of invoice tracking and collection. This allows him to approach data collection differently than business owners who are stuck doing everything manually.
“Whether it’s an invoice from a software we use like Slack or an invoice from our office space that comes through once a month, I don’t need to worry about anything because those invoices automatically go to the accounts team through our Dext email”, he explains.
After integrating with Dext Prepare and Xero, Toby saw immediate changes in efficiency and operational performance.
By automating accounting and providing trusted and accurate data extraction, he no longer has to worry about expense management. Dext Prepare enables Bright/Shift to minimise paperwork within the business, reducing its need for paper copies and collecting important digital documents instantly.
“I much prefer to not have a stack of invoices and receipts, and that’s why I love Dext Prepare so much.”
“Prepare allows us to not have to ask for an invoice or a receipt because we can use our special Dext email to get things wired through to Xero. It just makes life so much easier”, he adds.
The ability to use one tool to collect and store invoices and receipts all in one place made partnering with Dext Prepare an easy decision. Not only was the solution the best financial option, but it saved the Bright/Shift team tons of time and energy.
Now, the financial documentation and collection processes are already completed for the Bright/Shift team, giving them time to focus on other important tasks that help drive the business forward.
“Dext Prepare didn’t just give me time back, it also gave time back to my accountant and my Chief Operating Officer, which allows them to focus on more pressing things that actually help push us forward.”
Filing returns and managing invoicing used to be a huge pain for Toby. Finding the right paperwork or digital copies would take hours, requiring him to work on the weekends to track down the correct documents. By making the switch to Dext Prepare, Toby has the freedom to focus on more pressing tasks that positively impact his partners.
“Since using Dext Prepare, I really don’t have to do anything extra for my VAT return because we’ve automated the process. All of our invoices and receipts automatically send through to Dext Prepare, which then sends through to Xero. My Sundays are free to do less productive things”, he smiles.
Having powerful resources in his accounting toolkit reduces manual errors and provides a bigger view of the company’s finances and long-term goals.
“What Dext Prepare has allowed me to do as a business owner is to have more clarity of what’s going on”, Toby says. “From an operational perspective, it allows us to easily send through supplier invoices and gain a clear picture of our cost of sales. But partnering with Xero also allows us to categorise our invoices and see the revenue split based on clients and product offerings.”
Toby knows that, to stay competitive in the digital marketing industry, change is inevitable. But he’s ready to see Bright/Shift adapt as and when needed to meet customer demands and exceed partner expectations with the help of Dext Prepare.
“Our core mission is to help give the businesses who deserve to win, an unfair advantage. How we achieve our mission will change with time. Throughout that journey, I know that Dext Prepare and Xero are going to be really important allies in helping our mission of scaling sustainably.”
The future looks bright for Toby’s company, especially with his team’s financial management automated using Dext Prepare integrated with Xero. As the company grows and helps more organisations create a better world, Toby trusts the accounting automation platform to be there every step of the way.
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