XU: To get started can you tell us a little bit about ProfitSee?
BR: ProfitSee is an automated and white-labeled financial forecasting, reporting, and analytical tool designed to make advisory services, and life, easier for accountants and bookkeepers.
But what we do goes far beyond just the software tools. We help accountants move away from traditional, compliance focused work, and start efficiently providing controller-type services, and grow into CFO-level services that focus on Creating Future Opportunities for their small and mid-sized business clients. We have a dedicated training team that works with our partners every step of the way, understanding their clients' needs, and making starting this advisory opportunity seamless.
XU: And who benefits most from using ProfitSee?
PV: This is kind of a big question because our goal truly is to rebuild the global economy, one small business at a time. We know that small businesses are the backbone of the economy and we know that they can benefit from financial insights and strategic plans that large corporations get from their in-house CFO. Accountants and bookkeepers can fill this gap and provide their SME clients with the services and information that will make a difference to their bottom line, using a tool like ProfitSee.
This obviously benefits the small businesses by having access to real-time data and have someone to stay on top of their finances, but it also benefits accountants and bookkeepers. Technology is advancing in a way that is improving the efficiency and processes in traditional accounting and bookkeeping roles. This opens up time and resources for them to grow their firm and their services.
XU: What problems are solved through your tools?
JT: The problem our software tools solves is: how to provide advisory services. It's become increasingly clear that advisory is a great opportunity and our tools make it incredibly easy to provide the real-time information your clients need, and monitor their financials on a daily basis.
ProfitSee does the heavy lifting for accountants and bookkeepers by automating the financial analytics, reports, and cash flow forecasts and simplifying strategic business plans. Being proactive means you can change the conversation with your clients; moving from handling transactional queries to focusing on better overall outcomes. Ultimately you can only sell a certain amount of time, but there is always an opportunity to add more value, which is a great way to boost your margins and add to your bottom line.
XU: You’ve mentioned that your goal is to help rebuild the global economy, but where does this inspiration come from and why are you so focused on the future of accounting?
PV: ProfitSee was born from over 30 years experience working as a turnaround and transition expert to companies of all sizes, from Fortune 100s to start-ups. I’ve always been passionate about fixing businesses and making things work. And now the accounting industry is going through an enforced change. Technology is pushing accountants and bookkeepers to provide more, and we're able to help them work proactively with their small and mid-sized business clients.
HB: The profession has been crying out for change but accountants approach game-changing journeys, such as incorporating value-add services, with great caution – it’s in their nature. We have seen the results of good fiscal management in large corporations and the value that advisory services bring. We're committed to sharing these best practices and bringing advisory within the realm of smaller businesses and practices also. SMEs and accounting practices worldwide are embracing the evolution, and weíre the only tool thatís ready to go. Plus, it is fun!
XU: 10 years is a long time, what has been your proudest moment?
BR: There’s a number of things we are proud of, including the features that come from customer feedback and the incredible team we've built. But I think most importantly is the fact that, since 2015, ProfitSee has been the only forecasting and budgeting software accredited by the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales).
JT: For me, it was when we officially opened our office in Australia. We started from scratch, and it really gave me a new perspective on how accountants can work with new companies. I was able to bring my expertise to the way we handle client service, technical support, and product feedback for future development.
XU: What trends do you see in the global accounting industry, and do you have any predictions for what's next?
JT: I think it’s pretty evident that there is going to be more digitisation and automation with the flow of data, we’ve seen this happening in South America, North America, Australia, and Europe. I believe that the ones to succeed will be those that can move beyond the data and create an accurate picture. While I see the way we process data as being better and faster, the art comes from using this information to answer questions people don't know to ask; that will make the difference between being good or great.
HB: Cloud accounting has clearly been a huge trend globally. It not only made accountants' lives infinitely easier and brought businesses in touch with their numbers, it also has created opportunities for accountants to expand their offering seamlessly into CFO-level services alongside their compliance functions. This shift towards proactive advisory services will happen soon; the time is right.
XU: What does it look like to start using ProfitSee?
BR: We’ve seen that there are three major categories of services accountants and bookkeepers are providing: compliance, controller, and CFO. So we've built our training system around those three stages. Compliance services are things like tax and audit. Controller services are things that monitor the company's activities and makes sure things are running smoothly currently, like budgeting, financial reports, and analyzing trends. And CFO level services are focused on creating future opportunities for your clients, like cash flow forecasting, business strategies, benchmarking, and more. So no matter where our partners fall into these categories, we are able to help them not only learn how to use the ProfitSee tools, but also understand how to have effective conversations with their clients, sell their services, and fit these new opportunities into their daily work life. Once you get started with ProfitSee, we're with you every step of the way.
XU: What advice would you give to someone who’s considering moving into advisory and CFO-level services?
HB: Compliance takes a lot of time for a modest income stream and is laden with regulation. Advisory takes much less time through harvesting numbers from compliance, is a natural client relationship building tool, and brings in a higher income.
PV: The traditional things accountants did for a living are being commoditized by technology, so what they are able to charge for that work is shrinking. But business owners are turning to their accountants for assistance; they trust them to talk about their money. So if you have business clients that you want to help grow, if youíre even considering making this move, you are in the right place. Because the future is happening fast!