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How Clevvi switched from insourcing to outsourcing to take control of their finance function

Digital innovation agency achieves 30%+ year-on-year growth with the support of strategic, outsourced financial advice.

Clevvi is a digital innovation agency that works with clients across a range of industries including agriculture, industrial, mining, and retail. The team offers a unique blend of marketing, digital, and IT expertise to help offer a full end-to-end service.

It’s a model that works well for clients who need a broad range of expertise to bring their projects to life – though it does present some challenges for the Clevvi management team.

“We cover a broad remit from building websites to integration automation to designing custom apps, which means our business finances aren’t always straightforward,” said Director James Deck. “Having finance staff in-house that understood this structure was critical.”

An increasingly complex business model

While the team has a range of specialist expertise, James found that the biggest disruption occurred when their in-house bookkeeper and accounts person moved on to another role.

“It only happened every few years, but when it did, it was hugely impactful,” said James. “They took with them a lot of valuable knowledge about our day-to-day financial operations and as a result, it would take some time to get back on track”.

It was during a conversion with a friend that James first considered outsourcing the finance function. He first spoke to his existing accountant, who quoted for the work at a considerable price. James then began talking to Michael from Slate Accounts about an outsourced finance function model would be both cost-effective and customised to the business.

“The experience reminded me that while I may be good at running a tech consultancy, running the accounting function isn’t my strength,” said James. “Outsourcing with Slate Accounts began with a need to keep business continuity, but it soon turned out to be a lot more”.

Using financial intel to tap into the Clevvi potential

By working with Slate, James and the Clevvi management team not only ensured continuity of their finance function, but they also gained invaluable intel to help inform strategy and grow their business.

“The reporting I get from Slate Accounts is at least 5-10 times better than I’ve seen elsewhere – and that includes past roles as an executive director on multi-million-dollar companies,” said James.
“We have dashboards that are specifically built for us to focus on the metrics we’re interested in. Another standout is that these reports morph over time to reflect the information we need as our business grows and changes”.

Some of the changes Clevvi has made include:

Changing the revenue model

Measuring and tracking key financial ratios has helped the business change its revenue model. “We recognised the problem of having all project-based work, which led to a feast-or-famine cycle,” says James. “The ratios helped us adjust our model to bring in more retainer work and a consistent stream of revenue”.

Strategic business and financial advice

James considers the Slate Accounts team as a key part of Clevvi’s leadership team and they work together each year on their strategic plan. “When we’re looking to grow and make critical business decisions, Michael and his team are right there with us,” says James. “Having a team of qualified accountants along with Michael’s consulting background alongside us has been invaluable”. The teams also meet weekly and monthly to track progress and make any necessary changes.

Guidance during the pandemic

Like many service providers, Clevvi was initially hit hard by the pandemic. “For the first time ever, we experienced a period when the phones stopped calling,” said James. “I needed to quickly get a clear picture of our financial situation, our obligations, and how much runway we had to decide what to do next”. The Slate Accounts team had this information on hand as well as proactively keeping the team informed on COVID related payments.

“We have our day-to-day financials sorted along with sophisticated, detailed, high-quality management accounting – at less than what it costs to have an internal bookkeeper”
James Deck, Director, Clevvi

Achieving 30%+ year-on-year growth

Over the past three years, Clevvi has used strategic planning and consistent tracking to achieve a growth rate of more than 30%.

“Having Slate on our team has helped give us a tangible plan to achieve our goals,” says James. “We’ve worked together on business plans, turning to Slate for guidance on revenue targets and they’ve really helped us stay focused and on track”.

“The devil is in the detail and they’re very good at finding what that is and offering ideas that help move the needle”.

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“With Slate you get the full stack, from every day bookkeeping through to a strategic lens on your business. It’s this integration combined with their expertise and customer focus that makes them stand out.”
James Deck, Director, Clevvi

Words of advice

While a robust finance function is something every business needs, James believes it’s a relatively complex area that he and other business owners don’t need to be experts in.

“It’s a false economy to try and do it internally when you’re not trained for it,” he says. “You’re better off focusing on what you do best and hire the right experts to take care of it”.

“When the Slate Accounts team talk about our business, they talk about it as though it’s their business. You’ve got to be really passionate about business to treat your clients’ businesses like that, which I think is why Michael and the team can offer this stand out experience”.
James Deck, Director, Clevvi


Clevvi is a digital innovation agency that works with clients across a range of industries including agriculture, industrial, mining, and retail. The team offers a unique blend of marketing, digital, and IT expertise to help offer a full end-to-end service.

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