A Female Fintech Entrepreneur Transforming Technology | Amreeta Abbott
A Female Fintech Entrepreneur Transforming Technology | Amreeta Abbott
“I’m really big on communication. You have to have ‘the conversation’. I think too many people hide behind compliance and don’t actually engage and you need this guidance. I think if we can identify where there are some weaknesses and strengths within a business, you either harness one or you help to improve the other.” – Amreeta Abbott, WeAccelerate.
Today I’m speaking with Amreeta Abbott, Serial Entrepreneur of WeAccelerate
In this episode, we talk about . . .
How her father encouraged her to learn about investing from a young age.
Why she started and exited NowInfinity, and the grief she felt selling her company.
The challenges of being a female – leading a start-up technology company.
Navigating working with global offshore teams.
How she generates ideas fast and turns them into reality even faster.
What’s something that not many people know about you?
Amreeta Abbott: Let’s think back. Probably, I don’t know. Maybe my ambition when I really wanted to succeed, which was money-driven by all means. Now it’s not but at the age of 16, I wanted to be a very successful entrepreneur, own a BMW and have a million dollars in my bank account.
Heather Smith: Excellent.
Did you have your ambitions on a vision board?
Amreeta Abbott: Think and Grow Rich. My father brought me this book and said let’s just start now. And they one of the things. Otherwise, the other one is I have two sons, one’s 27 and one’s 23. Not too many people know that either.
Heather Smith: No, absolutely. Well, thank you for sharing that with us.
Would you like to share with us a bit about what led you to where you are today?
Amreeta Abbott: I think it goes back to very early my father was quite inspirational in terms of wanting me to succeed and I was always interested in the stock market. I was always interested in financial planning and investments and hence why I just related to about… Well, yeah, after reading these books, Think and Grow Rich or putting 10% aside, how do I get there? And so from that leaving school, I raced straight into the investment property and bought my first home at age of 21, had children quite young and just kept excelling because I felt that everything that I was doing was just, again, and I’ve said this so many times, so many interviews. It’s just pain points that I could feel for myself that would then impact and I always looked at well is this going to impact my mother? Is it going to impact my father? My sons, and so forth.
Amreeta Abbott: So the background really became from accounting, then SMSFS which is my major specialty and then going from there going, “This is all too hard for the family.” As I said, my parents couldn’t understand it. So then what I need to do and then I went into the documentation piece and that made me then into technology and here I am at finTech later and it’s really quite simple. I just listen to people and hear their pain points and just try and find a way to solve that through technology now.
Heather Smith: You listen to people and hear their pain points.
Do you listen to your own pain points and find solutions for your own things? Or is it about listening to other people there?
Amreeta Abbott: No, 100%. Everything that I built prior to my position now was, I felt at first. And so I thought that if I’m feeling it, someone else is feeling it. And so I am always about having a conversation. So you need to be able to actually communicate with your friends, your family and your clients and going well, if that was hurtful for me. And not in a pain point, but just in terms of that I have to fill out all the documentation or had to do this or do that or transitional. So what can we do to make that better? So first of all I start with myself like, “This is frustrating. How can I make it better?” And everyone else went along the whole realm of, “Well, that’s just the way it is.” It can’t be just the way it is. There has to be something different. And I then asked a few clients and saying, “Is this frustrating?” We never thought about it, we thought it was just the way it is. And that inspired me to say, “No, it’s not. And it shouldn’t be.”
Heather Smith: Wow. Listening to you sounds like when I first listened to Rod Drury and the talks that he gave about his frustrations in that. And I remember sitting there going, “It’s not that big a deal. You just have to crawl under the desk and swap the disc in and swap the disc out, what’s the problem?” I remember that, thinking that.
Amreeta Abbott: I know, right? I know. I’m such good friends with Rod, and I think that we do have similarities there that it shouldn’t be this way. It was just so frustrating and I think what happened when I was working in accounting is that these young people or business owners would come to me on a Monday and be so desperate to start up a business that maybe they had a few drinks on the weekend and they said, “What? We’ve got this great idea, let’s go for it.” But to actually put it in place, it took more than a week or two because of the documentation stuff, and everything was delayed. And by that time they got sick and I just wanted to action that straight away. I was like, “This is not fair. They’re excited, I’m excited.”
Amreeta Abbott: But I’m restricted by being able to put that together. So whether that’s sitting up their accounts or the bank account, or the constitution, the shareholder… All of this stuff. And I could see that almost every week their face going, “Well, how long is it going to take? It’s like buying a house, right? You have to wait 90 days to settle if not less. And that’s what inspired me to just go, “This is not right.” Got to make it fast.
Heather Smith: Absolutely.
Can you take us on the journey of starting NowInfinity? Where did the name come from?
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah, sure. So there is quite a bit of history there. I started off with SMSF strategies, as I said, that’s my main experience back in those days when I was working for accounting practice and…
What are those days and what years are we talking about?
Amreeta Abbott: I would say I was 25 when I started the SMSFs and that I bought a trusteed licence to actually on-sell this documentation which was setting up the establishment because at that stage we’ll go through quite a few reforms and so forth. And a part of that was I felt that it was still taking too long to actually transfer and making sure that people had control. And there was a lot of negative gearing, all this sort of stuff. And I was seeing people that were like my parents and going, “Well, I can’t move quick enough.” But the catalyst really for NowInfinity is I went to San Francisco and it was my first Dreamforce conference which had over 100,000 attendees. I was sitting there at Fisherman’s Wharf in the courtyard going, “this strategy is just too niche. I need to expand that.”
Amreeta Abbott: And what was happening then is LABAs came in where you could borrow against SMSFs. But people were purchasing properties but they need the document today. And so I wanted to have a business that was expanding beyond SMSFs and you could have Infinity documents now. So hence today-
Heather Smith: So I think everyone…
Amreeta Abbott: Hence today was because of council ringing me on, so they go, “Oh my goodness, my client’s just gone to auction. We need to set up this fund.” And so I just saw, “Oh, I need Infinity documents and they need it now.” And I really wanted them to be able to fast track and to really help their clients out because everybody at that stage was always delayed, waiting for bespoke documents and so forth. And so hence why then I invested and changed the name to now Infinity and invest in the technology that can actually help accountants bookkeepers and also on personnel that just really did something on the spot.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I’m feeling that my visit to Fisherman’s Wharf and just eating Chowder is quite disappointing now.
Amreeta Abbott: My business was born there. I caught out with so many people and come across so many ideas and particularly there were these signing, which is my new adventure there. But I was like, “Wow, we’re living a little puddle here in Australia,” and I can expand that to a lake or maybe an ocean and bring it home.
Can you share the story about how you met your business partner?
Amreeta Abbott: Vitaly?
Heather Smith: Yes.
Amreeta Abbott: Okay. So Vitaly, we met online and not dating online. I think it was Elance at that stage. Maybe being taken over by Upwork or something like that now. But Vee is Ukrainian and what I wanted to do back in the SMSF strategies days was to produce and it sounds quite embarrassing really because it’s certainly not that long ago, but produce pension kits and reserve kits on a seating. And so I asked him to be able to do that and he couldn’t speak English at that stage. So we were conversing just through texts. So he could type, and he was Google translating, probably was in Google translate at that stage, whatever he was doing to translate. And then from there as we progressed I setting up companies obviously out there and I was receiving faxes, emails of the content that I needed to actually then put inside documentation for the legal firm.
Amreeta Abbott: And it was always hard written words where I couldn’t quite decipher it. So then I said to him, can you put a website and then help me… Let them put that in. And that was a starting point. And I know it sounds so lame now, but I just said let the clients put it in and then now we can start automating the documentation. So yeah Vee comes from Ukraine.
Did you go over to meet Vee in Ukraine?
Amreeta Abbott: No. We only met online on Elance then he built these kits and then he did and he’s so disappointed, but he tried to come to Australia and he was denied a visa, but he went to New Zealand and then finally came over here and learned English. I put him on the phones and he’s still been with me ever since building things but I would say that he’s probably the number one technology CTO for assets and then we just moved from there. So I just said to him, “Well, if we can do documents then how hard is it to actually connect to ACIC and how hard does it connect to Xero?” And so yeah.
Heather Smith: Yeah. I just love that story that you met him on one of these contractor websites like Elance.
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah, he was $2 an hour. He was $2 an hour. And I don’t mean to say that I took advantage of that, but back in those days when you’re starting off it made sense that he knows he’s a corporations act, he studied hard and he knew all of that. He comes from a very smart background and he made the business also with me as it is today.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Look, I think you were very pioneering to have that trust back then in terms of I think that that’s something that people should look at, identify experts and utilise them for their expert skills via these online sites that enable you to connect with them.
Amreeta Abbott: I have a mixed feeling with outsourcing via this. I think I was very lucky to find Vitaly who was generally, he was young and desperate for the work, but he was also very committed. I’ve tried many other contractors through this and some successful, some not. Outsourcing also to the Philippines. I did that for a little while, and that was great, but we were growing at such an accelerated rate that people then started wanting to speak to people here in Australia. So I’ve had both ups and downs over the benefits and disadvantages, but the Ukrainian team who would ever thought that?
Amreeta Abbott: I was scared going where Ukraine is. But they worked very successfully and then like I said, I had the Filipino team. But all come from that and you’ve got to try and I was at a conference that we were running in Hawaii and this was just when outsourcing was coming through and we really had so much great feedback. I think it was Michael Gerber that was there that was presented going, “You should do this.”
Amreeta Abbott: So I flew to the Philippines, lived there for six months just to see, live and breathe it. And understand what they’re doing and see how I can relate that back to my business. So I’ve been through that. I can see there are many opportunities there, but also it’s hard to juggle when you’re in different time zones and really communicating with them.
Heather Smith: Yeah, thank you for the sharing, but it is interesting… There are challenges finding talent in a lot of places.
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah. Yeah.
What was that experience to achieve growing a business like NowInfinity, then selling it and exiting quite successfully?
Amreeta Abbott: I will answer that in a few questions. I think that when you come to the time that you feel you need to sell you ask yourself why. And I felt probably at that time and to be raw and honest that your operational path was probably succeeding my creative element and I was really ingrained in operations that I felt the pressure of that. Love the team but when you’ve got 40, 50 staff that’s a lot of work and you really can’t allow your creative mind to continue to work when you’ve got to deal with this one. Secondly, at that time, I was really considerate of who our buyer or the acquirer would be. I don’t believe in selling to someone that didn’t have the same ethics and morals. I’m very much a family orientated CEO.
Amreeta Abbott: I really believe my team, I’m always there for them. And I really want to make sure that that was carried on. And then lastly it was… I think it was just time, sadly. So when someone sells a business, no one informed me of the grief. So I actually went through quite a grieving pattern and I didn’t expect that, and I don’t think there’s enough awareness around that too. On the 1st of July, your emails cut off, your contacts are gone. And even though I’ve still got certain friends in the cart but I was not aware of that. So I don’t think I actually celebrated in this joyous moment of wow you sold your company for X amount of dollars. It’s actually really quite emotional. Saying goodbye to your team, your family, and to somewhat your identity. So I think if I could teach myself back then I should have been more prepared.
Amreeta Abbott: But you know what? Now I feel so successful because I was so much NowInfinity. My heart and soul was always there, and that’s why I felt the grief. So I wouldn’t say it comes easy. Not for me anyway, because I do love it. I do love everything that I build because it’s such big and it’s instrumental to making changes in people’s lives. So when you give it up, there’s some paint too.
Heather Smith: Yeah. I think that will be really interesting for people to hear and unpack because you hear the stories, just the snippet of the story in the media that someone sold, they’ve made all this money and you would think…
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah. I’ve had people call go, “Why, just here on the beach, why…” I wasn’t born that way. I have work ethics, I have children and I want to continue. It wasn’t about that. It was just with the time and yeah, no one actually realised the impact of what you can feel when you give up something as big as that. Yeah.
Heather Smith: Yeah. I imagine it’s almost spiralling out of, “Oh, what now?” There’s just a massive amount of freedom, but that’s almost daunting and then especially because it almost would have happened around. It happened a bit before COVID.
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah. So just with the transition with the sale of NowInfinity and the week that I got there, COVID kicked in. So I came back home to the Gold Coast where my family is, my mom and my son. So even that was more isolation, but again, I’m proud of the decision I made. I just was unaware of the feeling it would create, that’s all.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Absolutely.
Amreeta Abbott: And hopefully next time and I’ve had a really strong mentor that said is a lifestyle business or is truly a business. I could never understand or fathom what that means. But selling off I realised that it was my heart and soul. But now, it’s fun.
Heather Smith: Yeah, it’s fun. So, let me ask you, what I’m interested to ask you is what you’re doing now, but before we go on to that, what I would be interested in asking you is how do you generate ideas,
How do you generate ideas fast and how do you make them a reality even faster?
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah. So first of all when it comes to ideas or new business, I’ve got five businesses at the moment on foot.
Heather Smith: Just the five.
Amreeta Abbott: And they all come from different areas. And the one that has been launched recently is Annature e-signing. Why would I do that? There’s so many providers out there. I just felt that after nine years of working with a juggernaut of a company that was really quite, had the monopoly that we still had to customise it and it was unaffordable and not flexible. So I thought, well, okay, that needs to change. And when I was dealing with transactional, whether it’s with the law society, whether it’s with my home, whether it’s… This e-signing thing was just, I’ve been bang on it for 10 years but because of COVID the opportunity came a lot faster and the electronic transactions really developed quickly.
Amreeta Abbott: So I seize the opportunity where this is frustrating. Filling out a rental form, filling out an auction form, whatever it may be, even going to the doctor’s, all that of stuff, it’s going to be easier. So the ideas really come from, again, something that I experienced firsthand and I’m like, “Gosh, anyone that…” Because we’ve paid for and I have to fill out this full document, can I do it before I leave and get there?” So that’s the other one. Succession Plus which I’m involved in is really, again, what’s the valuation of your business? Where are you sitting at and what little increments that you can do to change that will actually increase your value? Because someone once said to me and particularly in reference to NowInfinity that your company’s only worth what someone wants to pay for.
Amreeta Abbott: And I believe that’s wrong. I believe that if you understand where you may have some areas to improve, you can drive your price, but you just need to know where they are. And that’s a lesson that to me. So I knew that there’s areas there where some businesses just need to know that if you just tweak it here or there, and then-
If the tool Succession Plus will surface areas to improve, it’ll give the advisor some guidance in what areas can be tweaked to improve the value of clients’ businesses?
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah. I think it’s going to be valuable for accountants to look inside their client base, see how they’re performing, and then give them advice. Because again I’m really big on communication. You have to have the conversation. I think too many people hide behind compliance and don’t actually engage and you need this guidance. And I think if we can identify where there are some weaknesses and strengths within a business, you either harness one or you help to improve the other. And I don’t believe that’s common at this point in time. So I think accountants are great in terms of actually putting systems and processes in place, but the conversation now is really dark because we’ve hit a pretty rough time and you need to know where they’re going to survive or how you’re going to survive and you need to be able to…
Amreeta Abbott: I hate to say this word pivot, but it’s used pretty often, but if you have a look at it, people that are running restaurants and when to delivery and how to do this, and if they had some insight, they would have been equipped and really could go. And for me just the same without Annature with the e-signing solution, we were the first ones to launch in Victoria for this transportation for jobs, safety going in and out. Where I think we did about 5,000 envelopes in 24 hours. But that’s where you just need to bring them to align and aware of that. So I want them to succeed. And if they are not aware of where they… Those people are pretty good at their craft, but maybe not so good at understanding how the overall business should run or how you should move.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I also think as an accountant you go in and you can see where the assets are and you’re like, “Oh, why aren’t you utilising the assets? Why aren’t you using that?” These are available… For example if we pick on a restaurant which is little unfair. It’s like you could be open at breakfast time. Why aren’t you open at breakfast time? Why don’t you open a ghost kitchen at breakfast time? And stuff like that, which is just a very, very simple example. But…
Amreeta Abbott: But it’s very real, that day we just went through that, the dawn service. And I was walking along… I went to that building, and there was only one restaurant out of 15 that was open at 5:00 AM post this thing. So it’s just the simplicity of just all these people are waiting, right? And they want their coffee, they want their food. And I think that’s where that conversation can start and not everyone’s creative. But that’s a pretty simple thing opening up. You’ve got masses, it’s a day of warning and it’s a day of reflection, but you’re up, it’s 5:00 AM. I want a coffee. I want some breakfast, but nothing’s open.
Do you want to talk about the other three businesses that you have now?
Amreeta Abbott: So as I said, e-signings the first and what I do normally when I create a business is going through obviously all the compliance, make sure that we tick all the boxes and see the demand. With e-signing. There are so many opportunities out there, but this has been Australia owned and all the data’s here but it’s much more flexible. We were producing 5,000 documents a day at NowInfinity, and I wanted to be able to create something that was a bit more flexible across all industries. So I’m very privileged that we’ve picked up quite a big REI, all different industries, which is great. Succession Plus, again is just… I think it’s really important for businesses to have their account advisory demonstrate and benchmark against. If you’ve got a café here to the left, to the right, why is one performing, one’s not, and how can we actually help that out?
Amreeta Abbott: Because we want to see growth. We want to make sure that they thrive. And at the end of the day, I don’t want to see that this business didn’t thrive because they just didn’t have the access or the communication from the accountant. I’m not expecting them to be experts in cafes, but perhaps that they can just look at the numbers and go for that. The other one is where I have two foots in the cab is with reforms of restructuring. So we had obviously a bit of a change to liquidation administration during COVID and that allowed accountants to become or act as somewhat advisors of how to restructure. And so I’m building a tool there that can actually demonstrate. And based on the financial ratios, this company is about to go here. So we’ve got one that’s going up, we’ve got one that’s going down, what do we need to do and how do we actually trade them out of insolvency?
Amreeta Abbott: Prior to that most accountants would have to give up that opportunity because it impacts their tax agents and their lodgement process, but now they can actually take it on board. So I’m building a tool to demonstrate that, I think that we have someone that’s on Fort that may be maybe going down that path and hopefully we can find a way to get them out of that. And I don’t want to shy away from helping them. I just want them to have the understanding that here’s the red line you’ve got 10 or 20 clients that are probably going to go here, rather than just letting them go. Maybe we can actually change them and bring them back into some solvency. The other one is quite interesting. I’ll talk about this one which is payware tax. I’m setting up a… Well, we have set up a business.
Amreeta Abbott: Most people know Larry Diamond from Zip Pay, and we’re working together with another group or team about how to make it much more accessible and how to actually fund the taxes that they owe and things like this. And the last one is still in its fruits. So I’ll talk about the one that comes around.
What advice would you have had for your 24-year-old self?
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah, I think I would start from where I’m pretty reflective and happy that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. So I didn’t have any fear factor. Failure was not an option. I don’t know. It still today doesn’t really mean much to me. I don’t know, maybe I’ve had many failures but I don’t really recognise them. But I think like a CEO and as the company operationally wise having all the ducks lined up, I was probably a bit lacking in that, but again, I don’t see it as a negative because I can be very agile because I didn’t have these formalities or the protocols that you had to stick to, but yeah, I’m still very pleased and very blessed that I don’t have much fear in just giving it a go. If I had anything that I could probably improve on, it’s that self ability to articulate and really get the buy-in from your teams and stuff like this. And sorry, not with teams but customers and so forth.
Amreeta Abbott: As you know, I’m a very nervous speaker so I probably would have rather improve that a bit. So outside of that, now I still to this day just, I don’t hold back. I just see something and I don’t mind if it’s a big company, small company that were challenging. For me I’m not challenging them personally. I’m actually just trying to solve another problem that can relate to the rest of the market. So I would still continue doing the same.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. So you have talked about the importance of selecting and growing and nurturing your team.
How do you go about doing about growing and nurturing large teams?
Amreeta Abbott: Look. So I’ve been through our developers which were Ukrainian. They came from probably Vitaly’s input there. My team in the Philippines either I went and lived there, I wanted to see what their work ethic was like, how they relate, how they can communicate. And I’m a very soft persona. And I think that everyone should be joyous of each other. I’m not a hard CEO, but I’m very clear in my vision and direction. And I want them to be proud of where they’re at. I never ever want to see anyone that is hating their job or if they are I want to know why. And that means there’s another problem that I need to fix. And I’m so lucky I haven’t had that. So recruitment stage really for me is just this warming feeling of getting to know someone and then seeing how they treat other people because we’re a technology company but we’re still client orientated.
Amreeta Abbott: And if I can’t see a connection between that, then I don’t want them on my team. But for the ones that really love and aspire and they’re moving and we’re really quite changing, people’s issues within the practice then this is the people I want in my team, but most first instinct… I’ve got juniors that haven’t worked in industry before. I’ve got coming from all walks in life, but I don’t know, I’m a really personal person. I just get this feeling whether they’re going to work or not. And client comes first, always customer comes first.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for sharing that with us Amreeta. So as you’re aware, so I’m just reading a bit back about you that you’re aware of. Less than 1% of startup businesses achieve the entrepreneur’s dream of a multi-million dollar sale, especially with an ASX listed company. The number of female-led technology startups to have achieved this feat can be counted on one hand. So you’re very much a pioneer, but also a female pioneer in this space.
What challenges did being a female pioneer bring and how did you deal with them?
Amreeta Abbott: I would have to say, again, I didn’t realise I was building a technology company at that point. I thought I was actually just fixing automation and that realisation that I had more developers than what I had administration staff. So we went, “Oh, okay. I’ve now reached the fintech.” I think also too I was very privileged and very grateful that Rod Drury and Xero, I reached out to them and just said, “Where do I go from here?” And he’s been a very good mentor for me. And that helped me just understand where I needed to be and what I need to do from that because I was not speaking with the voice of technology, I was speaking from the voice of problem-solving and yeah, all these acronyms coming, APIs, this and this like, “Wow, what do I have here?”
Amreeta Abbott: And I’ve got to be able to communicate that. So I think that, again, I just transitioned and tech without me knowing was always right behind me, always frustrated behind it. And then I was wanting to… I don’t code, so I don’t have development skills, but I certainly know what areas of that needs to be fixed. And yeah, so that’s limited to that. In terms of one 1%, and founder 1% of the females. So I find this quite disturbing. It’s hard to believe that I’m in that category. And I believe that in my humble view that it shouldn’t be that hard and it’s not that hard. So I really focus on women in tech. I write to them or I actually communicate with females that are coming out of QA positions and coming into development positions because it’s so overloaded with female sitting in [QA 00:35:52] and not actually learning the code.
Amreeta Abbott: And I don’t understand that but it just seems to be the way it is. And then also the ones that are creative enough, you just got to have the fight and the fire that I have that just get out of there, who cares. And I’ve been told to back out, you’re not going to win. I wasn’t about winning. I’m just solving, again, a pain point for someone else that you couldn’t solve. So I hope to see a big change in that, and I’m a really big supporter of female in this world of technology and I’d really love to see a huge dimensional change from QAs into actual coders.
Heather Smith: Yeah, it’s something that rests heavily on me as well. The lack of females in senior roles, in entrepreneurialship roles and where we can help and I try and help as much as I can. And I actively seek female tech leaders on this podcast, but they’re very sparse to find and they’re very, very busy like yourself.
Amreeta Abbott: It is and it’s crazy, right? Because a woman can solve many problems at any given time. We should be flooded with females that are solving these problems. And maybe they are but we just didn’t hear about them enough, but certainly in Australia my space, I really didn’t get to know anyone that was with me. And you can call it bullying, you could call it just don’t believing… But for me, again, I didn’t care. My clients wanted it.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Yeah. And pulling back from the entrepreneurship, I just read that the big four accounting firms in the UK had a female CEO for two months. The total, that’s it, two months. She was an interim CEO for two months. And even she who had been working in that company didn’t go on to become the CEO because they found someone else and flew him in or put him in that position, and yeah, it’s navigating it, understanding it, but we-
Amreeta Abbott: It will change. It will change.
Heather Smith: … we need to change it and we need to support one another in this field.
Amreeta Abbott: We really do. I’m a judge for lawyers weekly and females in this area especially in the legal profession and how they reach partnership or not, the numbers are staggering and you just don’t understand why they’re not getting there but I think we’re going to see more though. And I hopefully I can be the face of that. I’m taking on another role with the gig super, and that’s for females that are wanting to invest in super and really guide them and lead them, I think that’s important.
Heather Smith: Absolutely. Yeah. Because superannuation for females, we know that every step that comes out is that there’s a massive, massive shortfall, and which is very challenging. I’m laughing, but it’s constant. It’s like every avenue and aspect it’s always back on the female.
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah. So I’m going to change this one too.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, that’s great. That’s excellent. I’m very pleased to hear that.
What technology tools do you actually like to use either for work or personally?
Amreeta Abbott: Well for work clearly we use Xero. I’m a Microsoft fan. Everything that I have is pretty much seen on Microsoft. But the things that I really enjoy to communicate with my team, the likes of Slack we use and Zoom and things like that, but again, Microsoft girl and personally just my Apple phone and I have all my apps sitting on that.
Heather Smith: So you went Microsoft for the business, and then Apple for personal.
Amreeta Abbott: I know, I know, right. But I know, maybe it’s a static thing, but yeah, business, yeah, we run off a tech stack of Microsoft. And then from what personally, just yeah, Apple.
Heather Smith: That’s very interesting.
Amreeta Abbott: But my laptop is all Microsoft. I don’t have a Mac. I don’t have a Mac that we use.
Heather Smith: The number of clients have visited you have a Mac and you don’t even know how to turn it on, the percentage is high. If they have a Mac.
Amreeta Abbott: Oh, my son he loves his Mac, but also one of my team members I’m sending him an Excel spreadsheet it’s like, “I’m running off Mac, I can’t open it.” I’m like, “Whoa, what is going on? Is that even a thing?” But yeah, for me, it’s old school.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Absolutely.
What’s next for you?
Amreeta Abbott: Yeah, look, I think that I really wanted to, as I mentioned before, and I think everyone needs to be really aware of when you sell your company you sell a part of yourself. And I went through that grieving stage and I wouldn’t say that I’m completely over that, but I’m trying to find new ways of how to actually be a different boss, be a different owner, be a different creative entrepreneur. And lots of people say, “Why don’t you just sit and rest?” And do what? What? Money is one thing really, but I just want to keep growing.
Amreeta Abbott: I feel like there’s so many things that need attention. There’s so many things that are still ripe for the change. And so I’m going to keep trying to pioneer that. I’ll probably be more involved in lots of boards, female driven terms of, and again nothing against the males but probably trying, put my face to it and encourage women to come forward and actually work on it because from my background, from a country town to get to where I need to be, I think that it’s not that hard and I really want them to thrive in this position and we’re moving fast so they have to be fast with that. So that’s really just my focus at the moment is just a few of these little babies that I have on the side, and then yeah, who knows?
Heather Smith: Who knows? But that’s fabulous. And yeah, and our conversation as you mentioned, while we’re advocating for females, it’s nothing against none of the wonderful men out there, it’s advocating statistically we can just pull stat after stat after stat about issues and that’s what we’re trying to get balanced.
Amreeta Abbott: 100% so we have to work together. Yeah, we have to work together and I speak to so many girlfriends where they just said, “I don’t know how you could achieve what you’ve achieved.” And I don’t see myself any different to them but just my drive and energy. It really comes down to that. So I’m encouraging them to just go for it. Go for it.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Absolutely.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners? And, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Amreeta Abbott: My LinkedIn profile, my email is actually okay. You can email me. I welcomed so many people to reach out because I think that there is this misconception that to get to where I’ve got to and maybe it’s not a lot for some people, but maybe it is for others. I’m just such a big fan of just talking them through and just going, you know what? I didn’t know what I was doing. So things I probably wouldn’t do again, but so my email, which is amreeta@weaccelerate for those that don’t know what We:Accelerate. It’s just a company there that is actually holding all these ideas, new businesses.
Heather Smith: Is that your Apple causing us trouble?
Amreeta Abbott: It was on silent by the way, and I don’t know why it’s ringing. Yeah, so no, no, to email@example.com, my LinkedIn profile and just phone calls. I don’t mind, I really want to see this industry thrive. I think that we are fast-paced moving extraordinarily fast and the things that I built a year ago need to be rebuilt again and I would love to just be part of any business that wants to kick off, get going and to be agile enough that they don’t get left behind.
Heather Smith: Absolutely. Thank you so much Amreeta for sharing your story and sharing so much of your insights with us, I really enjoyed having you on the Cloud Stories Podcast today.
Amreeta Abbott: Well, oh, it was a pleasure to be in this invitation and I thank you so much. I really appreciate you Heather and I think that you do a wonderful job for this industry. Getting our story out there. So thank you.
The Accounting Apps newsletter showcases the best current blog posts from the Apps community and is a must-read for those who want to enhance their knowledge of the accounting industry ecosystem.
About Heather Smith
USA Accounting Today listed Heather as one of 21 people helping shape (and reshape) the accounting industry in 2020.
A technology and lifestyle accountant with a deep understanding of automated integrated cloud business tools and how business apps can be implemented and utilised effectively to improve workflow and surface information useful for data-informed decisions. She extensively shares her methodologies, business strategies and work-life balance practices through the ‘Cloud Stories’ podcast, multiple Cloud Accounting books, the Accounting Apps newsletter, blogs and social media platforms.
A FCA, FCCA, FICB, commerce graduate, and accredited trainer.