Our accounting and advisory firm, mi-fi, deals with hundreds of our client's corporate registers (share register and legal corporate documents). These registers sit idle as PDF's in our filing system (and for most other accounting firms as paper in folders on shelves!).
We built Equityspace as an internal tool (currently) to digitise the corporate register making it interactive, engaging and give it the ability to integrate with other platforms we use daily like Xero.
What it does
Equityspace makes it easy for companies to manage their equity and meet their regulatory compliance obligations. It does this by helping users to perform activities such as :
- issuing securities digitally (i.e. shares and options)
- manage the submission of information to regulatory bodies (i.e. corporate and tax)
- engage equity holders by allowing them to access their holding records and receive important communications and information
- maintain a central point of corporate information (such as the company constitution, shareholders agreements and board minutes)
It has work flows built in to ensure that user follow proper process in line with corporate law and regulation (focus on Australia at present but the foundations are the same for most countries).
The intention of the integration with Xero is to translate corporate actions into the relevant accounting transactions that are required in the ledger of a company. Ensuring that the corporate register and the accounting ledger remain in sync, making it easier for accountants to reconcile.
The integration with Xero currently does the following:
- Posts Purchase Invoices for the annual company review statement fee from Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
- Posts Manual Journals whenever a share issue is created. This ensures that the equity accounts in accounting ledger reconciles with the share register.
How I built it
Equityspace began as my first Ruby on Rails project, after some self-education. It soon required skills beyond my capabilities and I have since had some great help from others. As an accountant I have been able to provide the logic for the application, having dealt with the processes regularly.
Challenges I ran into
As the first time building a software I think the question is ‘what challenges didn’t I run into’?!. But specific challenges include:
- Digitising the share register and the relevant transactions
- Ensuring that previously manual workflows followed proper legal convention
- Making the workflows flexible to accommodate users who may do things slightly differently (i.e. some advisor prefer physical signatures over digital signatures.
- Integrating with government databases…
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
From what I have been told, no other products integrate in the way Equityspace does with Xero. Its great to be able to innovate on the Xero platform and hopefully give others a foundation to iterate these ideas.
What I learned
A LOT about software development generally. I am by no means a proficient developer, but I am now well versed in the software development process and Xero’s API which has helped me as an accountant understand the possibilities of software to be applied more broadly across our firm and the industry.
What's next for Equityspace
We are building out a few more integration points with Xero and improving the existing integration. Unfortunately the additional features aren't going to be ready by the XDhax submission date. We are currently working on the following features that will integrate with Xero:
- Offers: This feature will allow users to submit personalised offers to investors to invest. This feature will integrate with Xero by posting a Sales Invoice that can be reconciled against the receipt of investor subscription monies.
- Company Dividends: This feature will assist users to create accurate dividend statements, with a resulting transaction posted to Xero so that the dividend is recorded correctly.
We are also working on expanding Equityspace to accommodate other operating entity types such as trusts.
We’ll be releasing Equityspace as a standalone product for companies and their advisors to use. If anyone would like to join the beta, please sign up at https://equityspace.io
For access to a staging environment to test the integration please contact email@example.com