We started off as an accounting firm that utilised cloud accounting software. We quickly realised that the internal reporting capabilities of cloud accounting software were not very visual and required tons of effort to get insights from the data. We found ourselves exporting to Excel, building graphs and spending a lot of time trying to produce a professional document for each client every month. This inspired us to create our own reporting tool that would enhance our client's experience and understanding. In addition, we wanted to increase the efficiency of generating our clients monthly management accounts. As with most things that turn out to be useful, other people also wanted to use the software and thus Syft Analytics was born.

What it does

Syft Analytics visualizes financial data across a Xero business’s profit, customers, suppliers and cash whilst providing live ratio and variance analysis on the profit and loss statement and balance sheet. Syft’s array of graphs and reports can be combined into a professional PDF report pack that can be commented on, downloaded or scheduled to send to stakeholders periodically.

Problem we are solving

Accounting data can be difficult for most business owners to understand, extract and draw insights from. Syft enables Xero Advisors to empower their Xero business clients by automating, visualizing and simplifying monthly reporting.

Our user's top 3 features

  1. PDF Report pack - combine multiple graphs and reports into a branded, PDF report pack.
  2. Automated Commentary - an automated executive summary outlining the important changes on the profit and loss statement from month to month.
  3. Scheduled Reports - set reports to periodically send from your email address and attach a weekly or monthly report pack.

New Syft features for Xero users built during the XDHax submission period

  1. Alerts - Informs a Syft user if they have unreconciled bank transactions in Xero.
  2. Tracking category reporting - Users can run an income statement with multiple tracking categories.
  3. Multi-period income statement - Report on multiple periods including months, quarters and years.
  4. Scheduled Reports - set reports to periodically send from your email address and attach a weekly or monthly report pack.
  5. Scheduled Notifications - set emails to periodically send from your email address to remind or notify colleagues or clients of various deadlines, tasks, etc.

How we built it

Tons of user feedback guided our iterations. We launched very early and improved from there. Built from scratch and all in-house which gave us more flexibility and control.

Syft's culture and leadership

We're a young and dynamic group of accountants and engineers that really enjoy creating a product that helps businesses understand their financial data and accountants save time. We are constantly looking to improve and iterate our product based on user feedback. In terms of leadership, everyone takes ownership of their task and gets it done. You could say it's a leadership approach based entirely on trust.

Challenges we ran into

Monetising our user base from free to paid packages. Optimising our use of the Xero API. B2B marketing and reaching our target market.

Accomplishments that we're proud of:

Over 1,000 users globally on all 6 continents. Paying clients on 4 continents. Over 1,500 reports generated per month. Businesses globally actually understand their financial performance. Accountants have saved thousands of hours by automating their monthly management accounting process.

What we learned

SaaS pricing is an iterative process that must be repeated often. Accountants in each country differ greatly and require a tailored marketing effort (ie. don't use Margaret Thatcher quotes in your UK marketing emails). GDPR and our obligations in Europe. Teaming up with complimentary add-ons can drive new user growth. Xero's Advisor base are forward thinking and early adopters vs. traditional accountants. Toky (VOIP software) is great for international calls. Intercom is a great tool for drip campaigns, user support and on-boarding.

How is Syft different from our competitors

In all honesty our real competitor is Excel and the reporting that Xero provides internally. People love the tried and tested, so converting them to a more tailored solution is our biggest challenge. However, in terms of other reporting add-ons in the Xero space we are by far the simplest to use. We go for a plug and play approach with simple graphs and ease-of-use rather than a long on-boarding and overly customisable tool.

What's next for Syft Analytics

Speed and user interface improvements. Additional features like budgeting, forecasting and dashboards. Growing our presence in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Share this project: