Case study

Vida Creative

We spoke with Vida Creative Co-Founder, Ellen Hedley to find out how Blu Sky has supported the business through a significant period of growth.

Vida and Blu Sky have been working together for over 2 years now.

About Vida

Vida is a creative agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne. The team consists of designers, marketers and developers working in partnership with ambitious brands across the UK. Over the last three years, we’ve grown our team from 2 people to a team of 9.

Needing more insight from the numbers

We’d reached a point where we knew we were going to grow and we needed more insight into our numbers, and more support with planning and forecasting.

We were using FreeAgent and spreadsheets to keep track of our finances, as there were only three of us in the team at the time. With only us two co-founders and another full time team member, we didn’t have the time to do any of our own accounting. We worked with an accountant, but this was mainly at year end and for tax purposes.

Tech and digital sector expertise

What appealed to us about Blu Sky was the fact they’d worked with so many other scaling businesses. It brought us peace of mind to know that they’d worked with businesses in the digital and tech sectors too, and we liked that they use technology to streamline processes.

The idea of having more of a handle on our finances and getting to make more informed business decisions as a result appealed to us – especially at a time where we were learning so many new things about running a business every single day!

Moving to Xero

We’d heard of Xero from other business owners who’d said it worked well, so when we heard Blu Sky were Xero Platinum partners, we thought we’d give it a go.

One of the first things Blu Sky did for us was migrate our data across to Xero. They also gave us helpful walkthroughs and training so we knew how to use it. They also introduced us to the Blu Sky team and made it clear who our main point of contact would be. Recently become VAT registered at the time, so the team picked up the VAT for us too.

Live data = informed decisions

Seeing live data was brilliant, it helped us get a quick snapshot of how we were doing overall and to look ahead at what we needed to implement to be where we wanted to be. We were also able to clearly see how well each of our revenue streams was doing much easier than we could before.

Each time we hire someone new, or need to make an investment in something for the business, having Xero and our other financial apps (that Blu Sky introduced us to!) means we can check the facts and be confident in our next move.

Using Xero has also enabled us to streamline invoicing and reconciliation processes. Plus when Blu Sky took over we didn’t have the worry about coding payments correctly anymore, as we knew the team would take care of that for us when doing our bookkeeping!

Support that grows with the business

Over time, our needs have evolved as we’ve grown, and the team have been fully flexible and supportive. They still do all our day-to-day accounting, but we’ve also benefitted from more strategic business advice.

Jon took us through a budgeting exercise which really made us think about where we want the business to be in the next 5 years and what we need to do to get there.

They’ve also helped us with any tax questions, as they do often come up, especially when we’re wanting to implement a new employee initiative. They’ve given us their time to work out the best way to do it, along with explaining what the wider implications are, so we continue to do things the right way for our growing team.

As we got more familiar with Xero, the Blu Sky team have shown us the add-on apps to use alongside Xero to get more insights into our business, which has helped us with cash flow forecasting and KPI tracking.

Supportive advisors over the years

Blu Sky have been great advisors over the years! Dave and Jon are brilliant to speak to as they’ve been through, and are still going through, the scale up journey themselves. So they completely get what’s involved and what we’re trying to achieve.

The rest of the team that handle our accounts are also very helpful whenever we have questions. There’s a great attitude of, if one person can’t help, there’s someone in the team who’ll have the expertise to – and they’ll always work together to answer our queries.

Looking for a new accountant?

 Get in touch, we’d love to chat about your business, what you’re looking to achieve, and how we can help.

Each time we hire someone new, or need to make an investment in something for the business, having Xero and our other financial apps (that Blu Sky introduced us to!) means we can check the facts and be confident in our next move.

Ellen Hedley Co-founder of Vida Creative