XU: Congratulations on your second year in business Searle. Tell us, what have been the highlights?
SG: Thank you. It has been a brilliant year with a lot to focus on. I don’t think anyone in the team imagined we would be growing at the rate that we are.
Becoming a page 1 Xero partner was a vital part of that growth because it is respected within the industry and the go to package for Accountants. I think this helped with our successful Seedrs raise last year in which we beat our target by 200%.
From there we have established an Australian partner, built an experienced non-Executive and sales team, established a first-class software development team, been rated 5 stars on the Xero app store, and signed up our first top 10 accountancy firm. The year has surpassed my expectations.
XU: Have you encountered any challenges?
SG: Like most businesses, we were impacted by Covid. We prefer to visit clients face to face but this has been hugely limited by the outbreak of the virus.
And of course, prioritising our roadmap has been our greatest challenge. Clients want every feature possible, and we are working as hard as we can to deliver that.
XU: How has a growing team impacted the business?
SG: Due to our expansion in the UK, we have had to move offices twice this year!
Expanding outside the UK has meant we have added another software development team in the Far East. This has made us much more conscious of our impact on the environment and how we need to tackle it. We have a plan for this
XU: What are all the new features that have been released this year?
SG: Our newest addition is our Workspace Management feature which allows users to invite colleagues to their reports with varying degrees of access.
Other features have included Transactional Reports (sales/expenses/aged debtors), Tracking Reports, enhanced performance, and advanced consolidation functionality. We have just released an advanced multi-currency functionality as many of our clients had been eagerly awaiting this.
XU: What features are on your roadmap?
SG: We would love to include every feature imaginable, but there are currently 3 that are a priority.
Advanced Tracking, QuickBooks integration, and a fully blown 3 way forecasting module.
XU: What does the next 6 months look like for you?
SG: We are currently establishing more partnerships in both South Africa and Australia. QuickBooks integration will start later this year. Then it is time to think about a Series A fundraise to further enhance software development and marketing.
XU: Are you exhibiting this year?
SG: Yes. At the Digital Accounting show and Xerocon Australia.
XU: You mentioned having an impact on the environment. What responsibilities do you feel you have as a growing tech firm in the market?
SG: As well as a conscientious attitude in the office, making tax digital legislation has meant we have thought long and hard about our carbon footprint. We have committed ourselves to becoming a carbon neutral company by the year end 2025.
We believe we must act on our responsibility to the environment and to future generations.
XU: What have you learnt from running Flagship?
SG: Both large and small firms have different requirements. What I love is learning about their business, their clients’ needs, and of course their product feedback (which we often add to our roadmap). Our greatest long-term goal is to balance these customer requirements with our sustainability plan.