Helping Azotic Technologies prosper
Growing tech company outgrown accounting function
Fully outsourced accounting service
Transformed the accounting function and saved the client over £32k and counting
Azotic Technologies Ltd is a cutting-edge biotechnology company, formed to introduce sustainable biofertiliser options around the world. The business is headquartered in York, with North American offices in California, USA and Ontario, Canada. Azotic has developed a revolutionary ‘N-fixing’ technology, named Encera, that enables crops to fix nitrogen directly from the air, reducing requirements for synthetic nitrogen.
When Encera was launched in the US in 2019, growers were impressed with the product’s ability to boost both the yield and quality of crops and Azotic quickly became a global leader in this technology. Following great success in North America, expansion into Europe was next. With a cutting-edge product and a clear growth strategy, the concern for management was whether or not the finance function was capable of scaling up and supporting Azotic’s evolving development and growth.
Azotic approached our York office in November 2021 with an initial brief to outsource the finance function. Following appointment, it became obvious to our team that Azotic had outgrown their accounting systems and procedures. The solution was to offer a fully managed financial service, converting Azotic’s finance systems onto cloud-based software and introducing partner apps to improve processes and efficiencies.
The change process
With management working between the UK headquarters in York and North American offices, including the CEO and Director of Finance based in Canada, having access to accounts and documents online, wherever in the world the team were based, transformed the finance process. We:
Converted the accounting system from Sage Desktop to Xero
Updated the chart of accounts to ensure reports were meaningful, the year-end process was simplified. The update also improved the process of identifying qualifying R&D expenditure
Introduced reporting app, Fathom, to further improve the reporting process, allowing insightful cash flow forecasting and actionable financial insights.
Fit for purpose = fit for the future
Our UHY team reviewed Azotic’s internal processes and highlighted areas for improvement, including digitalising the purchase ledger, purchase ordering and expense procedures.
Historically, invoices were kept in a filing cabinet, visible only to the team in York. Management in the US would often have to wait hours, even days, for requested information. We introduced DEXT, a cloud app that integrates with Xero, meaning invoices are now digitally captured and stored, with document images available via the chart of accounts, bills and even the VAT return. This not only allowed Azotic to replace folders of paperwork with fully accessible information, but it also enabled our UHY team to offer a fully remote managed finance service to Azotic, ensuring no disruption to suppliers along with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.
ApprovalMax was introduced to replace paper and email approvals. Not only has the app saved valuable hours in administration, but it has also introduced accountability for purchase order spend and aided cash flow forecasting, as well as providing instant visibility of unbilled purchase orders.
The introduction of DEXT meant employees were also able to digitally submit expenses for approval, meaning no missed claims and a faster reimbursement turnaround.
Azotic makes a large number of international payments a year and is subject to high foreign transaction fees. Having identified the business would benefit from both the services of an international broker and a payment solution provider, we introduced open banking payment platform, Crezco. The direct bank-to-bank platform has already resulted in considerable efficiencies, including saving the time associated with the banking payment process as well as saving over £32,000 (and counting!) in bank exchange rates and fees.
With Azotic’s Director of Finance in Canada, our UHY team are able to simply select which invoices need to be paid and create a payment batch via Crezco. The payment batch link is sent to the Director of Finance who can approve payments with one click. Not only is the system extremely efficient, but it also enables payments, even multiple invoices, to automatically reconcile in Xero – again, saving time. Following the success of Crezco’s implementation for domestic and international payments, our UHY team now also use the system for the monthly payroll run, increasing accuracy and reducing the process from 45 minutes to seconds.
With a ground-breaking product and high levels of demand, Azotic is evolving rapidly. Their product is now registered for use in Europe and Azotic has plans to commercialise Encera across the EU; and that is just the start. “The USA and Canada established our foundation, with the EU representing our next growth phase,” explains Tom Chavez, Global Head of Sales for Azotic. “We are actively pursuing registrations globally, including in Latin America, South East Asia, Africa, and Australia. The level of interest in Encera from these regions is remarkable, and we look forward to expanding our market access”.
At UHY, we are driven by our purpose of helping our clients prosper. As Azotic’s operations branch out into new markets, we are looking at the systems around stock control to ensure they support future growth. The management pack will also continue to evolve. Our UHY team are reviewing every part of Azotic on an ongoing basis, seeking to add value and digitalise where appropriate. Our support to date has resulted in hundreds of saved hours and thousands of pounds – and there are many more to come.
Don't just take our word for it...
“We have been very happy with the service we have received from UHY and their support has helped us immensely in our work and time management. Our UHY team are knowledgeable and have been very good at coming up with tailored solutions for all our needs, including supporting us to set goals and identify solutions for Azotic. The team are also very approachable and friendly which has added value to our relationship. They are always prompt and excellent with their communication, keeping us updated on timelines at all times.”
Swarna Vurrabindi Director of Finance, Azotic Technologies