Taking care of business on the go
Tate Henshaw’s background in math and music made him the perfect fit for Polay + Clark, a boutique accounting firm that specializes in musicians, entertainers and professional sportspeople.
“Getting a math degree was one of the best choices I ever made because it teaches you how to solve problems,” says Tate. “And while I was at university I played in a band with some friends and managed the business side of that.”
So when he came across an internship at what was then Polay Financial Management, Tate was quick to apply. Knowing how the music industry worked was a leg up for him, as was his natural aptitude for problem solving. He was put to work immediately on a project to standardise the company’s data.
“They gave me a huge spreadsheet that was out of control and asked me to figure it out,” he says. “It took me a couple of days to streamline it – I think they thought it was going to keep me busy for a lot longer.”
The mess of spreadsheets and manual processes was what dominated the team’s workflow. Tate remembers the chaos and confusion that existed even when trying to do small administrative tasks.
“Receipts would be mailed in, taped to sheets of paper,” he says. “Account managers would scan them and spend hours checking them against desktop accounting software.”
As a firm that specializes in working with creative clients who are often traveling or on tour, the lack of flexibility and transparency meant things weren’t running as smoothly as they could have been.
And when Lorne Clark came on board in 2015, he brought with him clients from the professional sports industry and an eagerness to try out Xero.
“Lorne was going to be traveling a lot and still wanted to be in the know,” says Tate. “He’d seen Xero while talking with another advisor and liked the look of it. We did our due diligence and came to the same conclusion.”
Clients are able to view their data in real time with us. No longer are there accountant copies, multiple files, nor are we able to hide if we’re behind. It’s all in black and white. – Tate