Harnessing the Power of Technology Highly Commended: United Talent Agency

Published: Aug 2020

united talent

Photo of Greg Yen, Deputy CFO.

Greg Yen

Deputy CFO

United Talent Agency (UTA) is one of the world’s leading talent agencies representing artists and other professionals in the entertainment industry. Based in Beverly Hills, California, UTA was established in 1991 and has approximately 1,000 employees.

in collaboration with

City National Bank logo

Revolutionising the talent industry, one payment at a time

The challenge

When it comes to issuing and tracking client payments, the entertainment industry has long struggled with a fragmented and antiquated process. The current state is highly paper-based and disjointed due to the use of multiple systems and manual handoffs that are not integrated. This results in inefficiencies and challenges for clients when reconciling the payments they receive with back up details, such as statements and paystubs.

The current process results in a poor client experience, increased vulnerability to fraud, and time-consuming, error-prone practices. This was a significant challenge at United Talent Agency (UTA).

The solution

UTA collaborated with City National Bank (CNB) to create a solution utilising SaaS technology to transform its business and clients’ experience. The solution automated the payment and reporting workflow by leveraging CNB’s plug-in connector, which includes robust APIs to handle different areas of the payment and reporting process. The plug-in integrated with UTA’s Netsuite ERP system, resulting in full domestic and international payment processing. This, in turn, integrated with CNB’s SaaS-based secure platform, Exactuals, which provides real-time payment status and reporting portals for payor and payees.

Best practice and innovation

The solution has created a unique user experience for multiple stakeholders: executives, finance professionals, agents, business managers, and most importantly, the end talent. Each user has a customised, secure end-to-end lifecycle view of the revenue and associated payments in a seamless, user-friendly and secure delivery portal. UTA is able to drive payment efficiencies and speed in a convenient, secure and accurate environment.

The comprehensive integration delivered through this online portal allows UTA to collaborate with its clients in new and strategic ways. While this is an ongoing journey, UTA has realised a significant increase in its ROI by eliminating outdated manual processes and automating the workflow.

Key benefits

The automation of the payment workflow and the real-time integration with the portal creates scalability and provides streamlined payment workflow processing. It also enables data to be delivered in a secure and intelligent manner.

Payees securely self-enrol online and register their preferred payment delivery method. Payees and their designated team members are able to view payment details whenever needed, which reduces support calls and enables UTA to spend more time with clients, focusing on strategic initiatives instead of answering routine questions around payments and reports.

The solution provides dashboards and analytics for clients to visualise key business data, such as project revenue, performance, and comparatives. This enriched client experience gives UTA a competitive edge in the industry.

By leveraging payment automation, self-service online portals and bank-level security, UTA has seen significant savings in time and money with a total annual cost reduction estimated at US$600,000.

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Portrait of Verna Grayce Chao

Verna Grayce Chao

Verna Grayce Chao, Executive Vice President, Treasury Management Solutions, City National Bank

City National has a growing range of payment products and services that few, if any, other banks can offer. The launch of this solution is really just the start – clients can expect to see many more treasury enhancements and innovative solutions in years to come.

in partnership with

City National Bank logo

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