Chris Cahill, EVP of Finance at Unified, has a history of building finance teams from the ground up. In his previous roles, Chris built an audit department from scratch, scaled finance as Refinery29 grew annual revenue 4X in 4 years, and was an agile finance leader through it all. Chris is always looking for opportunities to make a meaningful impact through a thoughtful tech stack in each of his roles. At Unified, Tesorio was one of the fintech tools that gave his team the reputation as a, “very well regarded, super lean but powerful accounting and finance team.”
From unfocused ad hoc processes to a lean and powerful team
Before Tesorio, Unified’s finance team’s collections processes were very ad hoc and informal, they didn’t have any insights into pain points and what was going on in the end-to-end collections process. They were in a constant loop of reacting and putting out fires instead of proactively being able to address things ahead of time. “We didn’t have the insights to focus our efforts more effectively,” said Chris.
During 2020 in advance of Unified’s acquisition by iHeartMedia, Unified’s accounting team decreased headcount by 40%. There was growing concern that the finance organization wouldn’t be able to maintain cash conversion rates and that this would hurt cash flow, but that didn’t happen. Chris noted, “in order for this to work, we had to lean harder on our technology (Tesorio) and the team did, they believed in it, and collections actually improved.”
Don’t do dunning, do campaigns with the “Tesorio robot”
Cahill’s collections team deals with very large accounts with very high invoice amounts. When everything was manual, his team would only touch 5-7 accounts per month. They would only focus on problem accounts (and only after a problem would arise). “With Tesorio, we now contact every account every month, large and small,” says Chris.
“I refer to Tesorio as our robot army—it doesn’t quit, it doesn’t call in sick, and all of a sudden we’re getting payments faster than we ever have before.”
The Unified accounting team is able to have on-demand data visualization with Tesorio. Based on customer data trends, they’ve figured out the best times and frequency to set their campaign outreach to different customers. They’re able to customize and personalize their campaigns, set automation rules based on these findings, and then let the ‘Tesorio robot’ take care of the rest.
Have an agile mindset and lean on technology
When the pandemic started last spring Unified, like many other companies, was concerned about cash and liquidity. Chris and his team had to make sure their cash conversion rates didn’t deteriorate. Amazingly, they did the opposite. “Over time our DSO has decreased 30%, even through the pandemic.”
Chris’s playbook looks like this: “part of being a good finance leader is number one, treating your team right, and number two, enabling them to do the most efficient and effective work through technology.” According to Cahill, “having the best-in-class technology, like Tesorio, attracts the best talent in finance and accounting and can even serve as a talent retention tool.”
Unified’s finance team’s successful approach revolves around people, process, and technology. Tesorio allows them to connect all three. “I log into Tesorio every day,” says Cahill. "It enables me to balance workloads across the team and monitor progress, and enables them to do far more efficient and effective work across collections, reporting, and communication."