Inspiration

Time is money! Business owners & managers need up-to-date, easily accessible, leadership-understandable information to make decisions which translate into long term prosperity & success.

To help, Businesses engage accountants & deploy advanced accountancy tools, yet still ending up with cryptic financial statements, P&L and balance sheets which often still need too much effort to understand or extract the actionable information needed!

Business leaders often express frustrations to the tune of:

  • How can I make meaningful decisions when I get business performance information 30 days or later? I need my information in real-time!
  • I know I am making money and feel my business growing! but cannot see the money in the bank account growing?
  • I am making great deals, but still unable to pay my suppliers on time – why?
  • I just want to know what remains in my pocket at the end of it all?
  • Why do I need all of these financial terms, and papers? Anyone speak english?

While accountants do try to help, responses are often delayed or full of accounting technical jargon that generates even more questions - causing even more frustration and delays for core decisions to be done.

Our inspiration for Funancial was to bridge this gap by building a platform which can transform accounting and book keeping data into business leader compatible form on which decisions and action can be taken!

Funancial automatically parses financial data into understandable facts, red flags and remediate actions which business leaders can use daily to make business decisions now and based on current information not 30 day or older financial data!

What Funancial does

Funancial automatically imports on a daily basis, the organisation’s relevant financial performance telemetry from Xero. Through its approach we translate this data into:

  • a simplified view of how your business is really operating
  • comparisons of financial report items against data from previous periods
  • forecasts of the likely income, profit and cash flow scenarios
  • contextual guidance on decisions that need to be made – without needing to be an accountant!

How Funancial helps understand the business

Our approach enables businesses to use Funancial to follow

  • the overall performance of the business
  • the performance of the individual solutions / business lines which you sell

By providing consistent & continuous financial KPIs and daily recommendations based on comparison of past financial performance metrics, business leaders can make correct determinations that help:

  • Manage company spend relevant to the business performance & targets
  • Monitor and grow sales
  • Analyse and increase profitability (of the company / solution line being sold)
  • Allocate resources intelligently
  • Define business processes and activities to retain and/or suspend
  • Identify whether there is need to re-negotiate or change suppliers and vendors

How we built it

Over the course of delivering consultative management services to businesses and leaders, we created templates in excel / google sheets through which we provided meaningful understanding of business performance.

Based on those offline files, we started by building an offline daily cube view of the internal company's data as pulled from XERO. The data-set extracted is then committed to an SQL database, so that vast amounts of data can quickly be parsed for reporting needs with as minimal bandwidth usage as possible. No data is written back to XERO as to ensure that the integrity of the data records in XERO is always kept.

Finally, we created a reporting infrastructure upon which the necessary views were built built using the cubed data. This allowed a reporting developer to write in an abstracted syntax the necessary reports without having to worry about the underlying mechanisms that retrieve and secure the data.

Where we are today

Funancial is now operating and live helping our own sister company teams actively operate a diverse set of services, across a range of businesses including professional services, real-estate, accountancy services etc to work through the main reporting pages needed to ensure Funancial is providing meaningful & accurate information in their respective contexts.

Progress review sessions with team and leadership as well as with our sister companies where we are ‘dog-fooding’ our solution are happening on a daily basis. These are crucial to determine based on feedback received which are the areas we need to improve on.

Our next step is to gather as much feedback as we can and refine our approaches to fine-tune our solution and make Funancial both more meaningful and helpful.

Challenges we ran into

Operating at an abstracted layer, it was hard to wrap our heads around some of the calculations that drive the data on the reporting pages, in a way to make it meaningful towards business leadership!. We believe we have managed to crack the challenge and are now refining and testing our views.

Presenting the information in the right way while avoiding information overload required heavy prototyping and feedback processing. It was important for us to have a launch pad on which our clients would easily:

  • gain clarity on what their performance is on a first glance (colour coded boxes in the dashboard)
  • gain guidance on top areas needing their input
  • gain even deeper insight through drill down capabilities

Accomplishments that we are proud of

The import and re-import of data on specific dates shares a common code base. The simplicity in design and overall effectiveness of the code is something we really proud of.

At the same time, deploying usability elements which enable Funancial to be used by people with special needs is another. We present information with values, colour and icons enabling people with colour-blind challenges to reap equal benefit from the solutions we provide.

What we learned

Creating useful everyday business-leader compatible information from accountancy data is hard :)

What's next for Funancial

We are currently in the listening stage, and through the feedback being received we are prioritising the work needed to increase the way teams need funancial to behave to make it even more pro-active as to transform it from a reporting-major to a pro-active sidekick major.

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