Today I’m coming to you live from Xerocon South in Brisbane, Australia.
Xerocon is cloud accounting behemoth Xero’s flagship event – a conference that brings together accountants, bookkeepers, cloud integrators and add-on partners from within its 500 strong global partner ecosystem, the latter all vying for the hearts and minds of the former and access to the lucrative (and hard to reach) small business sector.
Notably hot on the heels of Xerocon San Francisco, Brisbane has seen an influx of North American add-on partners visiting as exhibitors – Hubdoc, Expensify and TSheets to name a few – all no doubt eager to cut their teeth in the mature Australian market before the cloud accounting tsunami truly hits the US.
On a fintech related front, one US startup from the Xero ecosystem that has piqued my interest is a company keen on bringing the world of financial modelling and multinational fiscal management tools to small and mid-sized businesses.
ProfitSee, based out of Chanhassen, Minnesota, believes its cloud based scenario modelling tool will simplify the generation of sophisticated financial insights, typically the reserve of corporate entities, and is betting on a tight integration with Xero for real time data feeds and easy to use scenario builders to demystify the world of strategic financial decision making. You can get a feel for how this works in their online demo here.
And while using data to forecast and make strategic decisions certainly seems like a no-brainer, a new report by PwC suggests only a quarter of Australian organisations use analytics to formulate strategy today. Compared to 50 percent in China and 42 percent on average globally, industry experts argue the reliance on gut decision making in the ‘lucky country’ could result in Australia’s business sector taking a competitive nose dive, especially as data takes centre stage.
ProfitSee has competitors in the marketplace in the shape of Panalitix and Crunchboards, who currently offer a number of cash flow forecasting and modelling tools. Whether they reach the degree of sophistication of ProfitSee is unknown.
What we do know however is that many small business owners struggle just to keep their heads above water, let alone develop strong data driven forecasts and pipeline management. And while Xero has helped many businesses get a clear idea of where they are today, companies like ProfitSee will no doubt help businesses understand where they should go tomorrow.