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Advertising Agency Cuts Payment Processing Time by 90%  

May 9, 2024


“When I saw that we were going to save time by streamlining our file uploads and we would also make more money through the rebate program, I knew AvidXchange was the right solution.”

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&Barr is a full-service advertising and public relations agency that’s been in business since 1957. Based in Orlando, Florida, the company’s mission is to build lasting relationships with clients while helping them accomplish their goals. 

Janette Estep is the vice president of finance at &Barr, overseeing the administrative, accounting, and human resources functions at the company. Estep has worked at &Barr for more than 40 years, witnessing major changes in the business and the technology it uses.  

•  Industry: Media 
•  Accounting System: Workamajig
Customer Since: 2022 

Outdated Payment Processes Present Challenges

When Estep started at &Barr in the 1980s, she made the agency’s media payments by printing out checks, signing them, and mailing them to suppliers. “We didn’t even have computers on our desks back then,” she said. The process was highly manual and inefficient, with checks frequently misplaced or lost in the mail.  

As technology evolved, Estep recognized the benefit of using credit cards for payments and set up a P-card system with &Barr’s bank. However, she experienced challenges with that solution, as the bank was unfamiliar with the intricacies of media companies. “I had to do it all myself in terms of getting our suppliers enrolled. To lighten my workload, I had to hire my daughter to fax credit card authorization cards to everyone we had to pay,” Estep said. “Eventually, I knew we needed a streamlined approach.”  

She then enlisted the help of a spend management “ghost card” solution. While that approach provided Estep with some relief, she felt the business did not do a good job of enrolling suppliers. She was also put off by its inconsistent and confusing rebate program. “It got really gray, and I was never sure how much money we would receive,” she shared.  

“I love my job because it changes all the time. The clients change, the industry changes and the technology gets better,” Estep said.

AvidXchange’s Media Solution Exceeds the Competition

Though Estep saw some benefits of utilizing a spend management solution to organize media payments and suppliers, she ultimately decided to seek out a new provider that offered better customer service, more thorough supplier enrollment services, and consistent, dependable rebates. Estep ultimately chose AvidXchange’s media solution, FastPay, because of its spend management capabilities and integration with &Barr’s project management system, Workamajig 

AvidXchange offers a suite of accounts payable (AP) automation solutions custom-built to help companies that engage in media buying streamline payments and optimize spend through AvidXchange FastPay. This includes a spend management feature that allows users to gain transaction insights through individual card creation in any categories needed from operating expenses to campaigns, clients to suppliers, and everything in between. With &Barr’s previous AP solution, Estep and her team had to upload different files for each payment type whenever they ran payments through Workamajig. AvidXchange FastPay requires just one file that encompasses all payment types, an advantage that Estep found compelling.  

&Barr Saves Time and Money 

Estep is thrilled with the service &Barr receives from AvidXchange, especially the ongoing supplier enrollment program that’s taken a task off her team’s to-do list. “I love the fact that AvidXchange is always looking to enroll new suppliers,” she said. “That just happens behind the scenes, and I don’t have to do a thing.”  

She’s also pleased with the time-savings her team has experienced processing payments. “The check run used to take five hours. Now, we just push a button and our payments go out in about 30 minutes,” Estep said. “It gives us more time to concentrate on getting work done for our clients. We can also focus on keeping our client billing quick and accurate, so we can maintain a healthy cash flow to pay our vendors.”  

Overall, AvidXchange’s media solution has made a significant positive impact on &Barr’s finance department. “AvidXchange is very easy to use, and it makes AP simple and fast. It works. It does exactly what we need it to do. The customer service is excellent, and the rebate is very nice. Everything happens when it’s supposed to. I don’t have any issues at all. I would recommend it highly,” said Estep.  

“Being a finance person, I think about money all the time. Efficiency saves you money, as does the rebate program. It’s all a big win,” Estep said. 

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