“Now that we’re remote working, we’ve to deal with remote team management. Then, we might start looking at different software for that. Or we might try to get more advice on how to do that better. And this can end up in revenue for someone. Sometimes, that’s the accountant. Sometimes, that’s a management consultant or just consultants in general.”
Trent McLaren, DiviPay.
The Tech Buzz March 22 has just been released. Search and subscribe to Cloud Stories on your favourite podcast listening device.
In the episode, we:
- Congratulate Trent on joining From the Trenches – Real Life in the Accounting Industry as their CEO.
- Trent wonders what he will do with his PI tattoo, now that they’ve rebranded to Ignition.
- Ask the question is Oh My Fraud with Greg Kyte, CPA & Caleb Newquist the only accounting podcast you can play in the car with your family listening in?
- Talk about the upcoming conferences, including Accounting Business Expo 28 & 29 April Sydney, Sydney Xerocon, and Accountex Australia 2023
- News from DiviPay including a comprehensive new whitepaper for CFOs look to automation to improve team satisfaction.
- Unpack Xero’s State of the Australian Accounting & Bookkeeping industry report
- New releases from G-Accon and BGL Corporate Solutions
- AND touch on the article ‘Are Niche Apps The Way Of The Future?’ By Michael Astreiko, CEO of Synder by CloudBusiness (YC S21)
Search and subscribe to Cloud Stories on your favourite podcast listening device.
How have you been doing since the floods?
Trent McLaren: Flood wise, we’ve been at our house where we live in. The moment is fine. It’s we live on a hill thankfully, so the water just runs straight down and around. And I was actually in Hobart because my travel schedule is crazy at the moment.
Heather Smith: I’m doing well and that’s, what we referenced there as you did briefly reference there. We both have incurred a lot of rain for people listening in. We missed last month’s episode because unfortunately, we had some really terrible flooding, I think in about three days, we had enough rain for a full year, which really impacted a lot of people. Fortunately, I’m high and dry, but, but it’s certainly. It took a lot out of us and took a lot out of my capacity to deal with things. So, yeah. So,
Trent McLaren: And Hobart is the Southernmost part of Australia for those listening. It is part of the country. It’s not a separate island by any means. We do consider them also Australian I was down there at the time. So I couldn’t land on the Gold Coast on my way back.
I had to go to Sydney first, stay the night and then fly back the next day because the Gold Coast, a landing strip, and the runway were flooded. So the plane could not land, but I got home in the end and by the time I got back, it’s been fine ever since. So I kind of missed it a little bit if I’m honest.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I’m sitting here with my can of Aeroguard. My trustee can of Aeroguard, because now what we’re getting is mosquitoes everywhere. And unfortunately, we have two really bad viruses in the area. Ross River Fever and another one, which I’m not familiar with, but apparently it will kill me.
Oh, well, yeah, no, that’s, that’s the one that’s currently going around. So lots of mosquito repellent is on at the moment.
Trent McLaren: Okay. Yeah, no, I was not across that geez I’m glad we caught up now.
Do you have any other special news to share with us?
Trent McLaren: Okay. Okay. So I do have a little bit of special news.
So I announced that I was becoming the CEO of a, well, what started as a podcast that is a business called From The Trenches From The Trenches was started by Paul Meissner and David Boyer five years ago on Monday. That’s how long it’s been there. The funny story about From The Trenches is that I was the guy that was always getting antagonised every week because I was a techie working in accounting.
And Paul used to love stripping, stripping me down for whatever I was going at the time. And we’ve come full circle. I’m now the CEO of that business and we have a very big year ahead of us. We’ve got a very big, large focus on both, you know, here in Australia and abroad. So you’ll see a lot more from me on different bits, whether it’s online summits different types of podcasts improvements to the website, but ultimately the mission is just to shine a light on the problems in the industry and help that
light come from practitioners, working in practice again, what it says on the tin, it’s From The Trenches. But yeah, so that’s been in my world. The question I get is, is this a full-time role? So I still live and breathe Divipay. Like I normally do From The Trenches is what I do in my spare time.
Which somehow I have some of which is great. So it overlaps obviously with some of the work I do at Divipay, which is nice, but yeah, so that’s been my news and I officially started 16 days ago.
Heather Smith: Well, congratulations.
Congratulations to David and to Paul and to you. That’s very excellent news for, From the Trenches.
And I’m a really big advocate of peers driving peers and peers resonating with peers. And you’ve always had a great way of surfacing that and people bring in different skillsets into the industry. And I’ve always deeply respected you and I think that they’ll do really well, having you onboard as their CEO, so podcast, if you’ve not gone and listened to it, go and listen to it.
It does touch on is a little bit Australian centric and a little bit very news newsworthy, but to go and listen to that, but talking about podcasts, I did just, I just wanted to mention, I listened to a podcast the other day, which I, I like to share other content out there in the community that’s worth listening to.
And it was called, Oh, My Fraud and it was by Greg Kyte and Caleb Newquist. And the less than the episode I listened to was about. Who was in a very, very small town who volunteered as the pastor volunteered as a treasurer for every single community thing, including the fire department and of course, you know, the story he stole all their money.
Oh, wow. But the spoiler alert is if they’d have done a simple background check, they would have identified that very sadly he actually killed his grandparents who had raised him since he was his dad died in a car crash and was in jail for, for many years for that. So it’s, it’s an interesting podcast to listen to because it’s kind of like, if you like that true crime and accounting, I kind of, I sat and looked at it for months and I finally turned it on.
I was like, okay, I know I like this. This is a story you could even probably listen to it in the car with your wife. Wow.
Trent McLaren: That’s when’s the TV show coming out.
Heather Smith: Yeah, maybe, maybe that is the TV show. We’re going to go to the accounting industry. And I also wanted to mention something that happened to me just in the last couple of weeks, which is you know, you come across these little productivity hacks, which was really cool and it was Blake Oliver who just always the industry forward in leaps and bounds. And he jumped on a Loom with me. I’m sorry. Loom records you. So it uses asynchronous communication and it records you. But what he’d done as he’d written out the agenda and had it on one side and then he did the recording and then he just kind of went through the agenda and clicked off it.
Just checked off everything as he went through. So I had both him talking to him. But have the text sitting there and then got everything in the email. And I was like, oh, I really liked that. And so I’m a huge person. I’m a person who loves writing emails. I love writing. I know everyone doesn’t, but I do, but to be able, I was able to mix it up and I sent that out.
Email, but I, then I voiced the email with the video. I added them together and put them out. And the response I had from people was just blown away, which is really great. And it only took me probably an extra 10 minutes to the email, but really good customer experience. And, and that’s what we should be using our tools for.
Trent McLaren: Experience in general. So I back in my Practice Ignition days slash Ignition days and we’ll come to that in a sec, but we were religiously using Loom to help educate customers. So when they said, how do I create a proposal with two different options for a particular scenario? There’s one particular guy based in Colona, his name is Reid absolutely legend.
Beautiful moustache. If you, if you know, Reid and your listing, you’ll know who I’m talking about, but he was the Loom king. Like he’s done over a thousand Loom videos. I think he got that badge the other day and he would just do the recording, show the customer how to do it, but then it was really good for internal documentation as well.
So I’m a huge fan every time. I’ve had my sister apply for interviews the way she works in customer success. And I said, Hey, do you want to know how to level up this interview? Do a Loom for every single response as if you’re giving it to the customer, you know what she got the job. So and they, you know, they said that she was proactive in doing things that we don’t normally do.
And I’m like, well, yeah, that’s cause Loom you’re going the extra mile, but you’re actually not spending that much extra time to make it happen.
Heather Smith: Just going so much further. And, and, and it actually makes it simpler and you just kind of round it all up. I’m a slow thinker. So I don’t necessarily like using the telephone cause I get tripped up, but it gives me that option to actually vavoom.
But, but, but it on my own terms, so please, we encourage you to use the Loom…
Trent McLaren: You know, what else did I actually used on the back of one of the chats we had, which was Tango.us, I’ve been using Tango.us a little bit the last couple of months, because whilst I use Loom for showing people how to do things, when I actually needed to send them a process, that’s documented, it’s really good for that.
Like it’s super useful.
Heather Smith: Excellent. Another tool for me. I will, I’ll take a look at it and try it out. Thanks for that.
Trent McLaren: Now, as you introduced that to me,
Heather Smith: did I?
Trent McLaren: on this show last time, Tango.us and I did, and it was really good.
Heather Smith: Fantastic, fantastic. There to look. My old brain is forgetting things. Now you did, you, you, you, you, you hinted at something.
What’s the big Practice Ignition news?
Trent McLaren: I know I can’t stop saying PI, but practice Ignition had a rebrand to Ignition Ignition app.com. Now as an insider I knew this was going to happen one day already, but it was very cool to see it come to life because what the, the agency that I worked with in the team around it.
Oh my goodness. I think they did a fantastic job. I think there’s always concern around a rebrand where people can go, you know, what are you, is that the best thing you can spend your money on and all these things, but yeah. And maybe it’s because I know the deeper meaning of why and where the businesses looking to head in future as part of that.
But I think they did a really good job. All the messaging around it, the new website design you know, huge shout to the Ignition team for bringing that to life. But I think it just helps them steer the ship towards not just practices using Ignition, but all types of service professionals that can use that platform and that’s always been the case, but the rebrand is a step in that direction. So I know Guy and Dane really thrilled with how it came out, had a few chats with them around the launch and yeah, no, it really cool. Good on them. Well done at team Ignition,
Heather Smith: Team Ignition. Yeah, definitely. Redefined the route and the vision that they were taking very clearly.
And I knew that they were aiming there, but that, I think you just put it out there. This is the way we’re going. So that sensational
Trent McLaren: I’m going to need to get hands on the new swagger thing. Cause now I’ve got old swag and that PI tattoo I had’s no good anymore. So I’m gonna have to get a new one.
Heather Smith: Retro we’ll call that retro.
So they need to come up with some way to, to take the old logo and make it look new again. But I’m sure it is possible.
Trent McLaren: I’m sure it’s possible. Yeah, they probably won’t want to see my canvas designed version of it, but yeah, no, yeah. It’s
Heather Smith: yeah. It’s interesting cause when Expensify rebranded or they went on the stock exchange, they sent me a heap of swag and it had different logos, et cetera on it.
Beautiful. Beautiful swag. Thank you very much. Very much appreciated that, but yes, yes. The, the sparkly diamond. That’s just what you need. Another sparkly diamond Trent. Oh,
Trent McLaren: I mean, as a youngster, I actually used to have PCs or was that 18 year old that had a lot cool slick hair and, you know, the diamond not a diamond, like a diamond to like a real cheap thing.
You know, it wasn’t fancy by any means, but yeah. Well, 14 years ago, I think I’m past it now, but you have one or two? I had one in each ear, so two. Yeah.
Heather Smith: I thought we would doing a Judd Nelson from The Breakfast Club. A diamond earring in one ear
Trent McLaren: Yeah, I should have, that would have been more acceptable. I think, I think I looked a bit funny with two at the other, but whatever.
It’s fine. We live in
Heather Smith: windows. Exactly different era. Everything’s good. Let’s talk about upcoming conferences. So I’m aware that the Accounting and Business Expo happening in Sydney, 28th and 21st of April BGLRegTech has happening right at the moment. So by the time you hear this, it’ll probably be over and dusted and everyone’s minds will be blown already.
Trent McLaren: Xero road show comes up in April. The ICB Institute. A I book keeps have been running this month as well. Cause I’ve been on all of those. There’s actually been a lot. I went to the Change GPS summit the other day as well, up here on the Gold Coast. And then we had that impromptu dinner on Friday night with 10 of our closest accounting friends.
So yeah, I dunno if that cancels it it’s you know, hashtag Thought Leaders Symposium
There’s a lot of in-person stuff happening at the moment and it is awesome to see, like, I can only speak to the ones I’ve been to, but the buzz in the room, isn’t just, people are absorbing the content. It’s just people hanging out with each other and going, Hey to this, we’ve got a time out of the office.
We can sit here and have a wine talk shop to what we love doing and getting back to face-to-face events. Like it’s been all.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. And, and even like Trent and I did catch up on the Gold Coast, which is actually down from me, not up. We did talk about accounting because even though we were having a lovely evening drinking, et cetera there was, you know, it was just constant chitter-chatter about improving the industry where the industry’s going and what people have been doing.
And everyone champions. Knowing one another, which is really wonderful to see that that’s that energizes me really like
Trent McLaren: that a hundred percent. It was really, really
Heather Smith: good. And Sydney Xerocon tickets have gone on sale,
Trent McLaren: Sydney Xerocon Facebook groups, or live with this one this week. Of course. Is there a
Heather Smith: Facebook group that I’m not just talking about?
Trent McLaren: Partner Community? No, I mean, just the discussions in the groups. I’m sure there will be a group though. Like, that’ll happen pretty soon. If not, I’ll just do it myself, but it’s always a fun time. Everyone loves Xero economy. I think every when you think of the pinnacle of events in accounting in Australia for the last, what, eight or nine years I would say Xero comes pretty high.
Like that’s where most people have come together. Got ideas, found that tech new tech app for the first time. From a DB pipe perspective like scouring through the sponsor perspective. So I’m trying to figure out exactly what we’re going do. And then everyone keeps asking me about pre-con parties and I’m like, well, you know, I, you know, I’ve got a few different ideas and things that we want to try and run with and everyone deserves a drink up to the last couple of years.
So yeah, I’m going to do my best to help facilitate that for
Heather Smith: everyone. Absolutely. Absolutely. And so for those listening in Sydney’s, Xerocon will be on. Wednesday Thursday of the week, but typically a Xero con is a full week event. So if you are going, if you are going to Sydney, hold off, booking Sydney for two nights or three nights Booker for the whole damn week.
Okay. Hallway feed there. And have energy, have energy, do not go in tired, go in with energy. So even if you have to have long sleeps, get in there and be ready to be activated and be going to different things. Even if it’s a catch up with five people. Do that because there’s lots of opportunities to connect and reconnect with people at these things and definitely drive business.
Do you have any tips for people who are looking at booking and going to XeroCon?
Trent McLaren: con? Yeah. So I mean, booking the weeks, always the first smart one, because there’s so many different breakfast events the day before events, the day before, the day before events like it’s just a full after parties, pre-con parties, basically.
There’s lots of food and wine and beer available to any accountant that wants that. When they go to Xero con. I guess my old tips used to be like, make a plan and decide what you’re going for. Like, what are you trying to get out of it? Some people they just want to network and find other people to bounce ideas off.
Some people are going to solve some tech problems and then other people are just going to have a good time. And I think more people are going to have a good time would be my thought this year, because we’ve all spent the last couple of years cooped up in our house. And I think this is a good sign of normality that we’re all trying to experience again.
Yeah. So I think, yeah, whether you going for fun or for practical just know where you’re going and that will help you justify being there and taking the week
Heather Smith: off. Yeah, absolutely. And if you do buy a ticket, buy the gala ticket the, the, the final party ticket, because you will never be able to get one, unless you buy it as you buy the tickets because, and they are in hot demand.
And even if you get it in, don’t want to go, you’ll always be able to sell it.
Trent McLaren: Those gala tickets are super fun. Right? I’ve seen circuses circus tents that have been done inside conference centers. Dodgem cars, live rock music. He really used like a music festival for accountants with everything you can think of.
So, or accountable, I should say. And accounting carnival. Yeah. I try not to say that because of the association with drug abuse, but Xero con the I’m so
Heather Smith: naive. I had an idea.
I apologize for my naivety yet. Again, shine.
Trent McLaren: Obviously, that’s not your crowd, which is real. We knew that already. I think.
Heather Smith: So let’s talk about DiviPay. I do work with you and support you and DiviPay.
Have you released a couple of new articles and resources at DiviPay?
Trent McLaren: A hundred percent. So the first thing on now list is the finance automation assessment. So what we’ve been doing of light is pulling resources between CFO’s and CFO round tables to help our, that CFOs determine, you know, where do you sit amongst the rest of your peers and your industry or the rest of the community.
So when you look at the. Automation assessment, it’ll go through and ask you a bunch of questions. One of those questions might be something like what areas of your finance function have you already automated, but then we’ll look at the things that you haven’t done. Different areas that we’re exploring.
We try to, we were able to determine the confidence that CFOs had when it came to business spending throughout the year. There’s a really, really, really cool report that was generated on the back of not only these results, but the round tables that we’ve been operating with our CFO and accounting community.
So I think in the past, I definitely have made comment on when brands do reports and things like that. And I’m very happy to say that this report is actually full of practical insights coming from the CFO. And that one of the answers wasn’t that I needed you pay from all the, because this is my gripe.
When it comes to marketing is that you read a report and it’s like, oh, everyone really wanted an online portal. And I’m like, there’s no way in hell that they use those words to describe. That answer for that question. So anyway, it’s really good. It’s there’s some really good statistics and points in there.
It’s very focused on that. Australian CFO and accounting community. You can check that out. I think there’ll be in the show
Heather Smith: notes in the show notes.
Trent McLaren: Yeah. Check it out.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. And I do encourage you people to get involved with round tables, if there is the opportunity, because they are a really wonderful learning experience. And I know that I lined up a few people to go on that round table and they just were so. Positive and energized afterwards. And they were posting about it on LinkedIn, as well as meeting people, learning about various things.
So it is a really great way to connect and surface information and drive the industry.
Trent McLaren: No, you’re welcome. I mean, to be fair, the credit goes to the DiviPay team for pulling that together. I didn’t spend a lot of time actually building it. I spent a little time reading it in working posts it, releasing to, to check it all out. But yeah, huge credit to the DVP team for pulling that up.
Heather Smith: Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you to the team.
What also happened just recently was that Xero released a State of the Australian accounting and bookkeeping industry report.
And I love these reports because they’re full of data. They’ve absolute pure data and they’re surfacing it. Now. It’s a little hard to find.
So if you. Despite the pandemic disruption, the advisory industry is ready for growth. That’s a blog article that Joseph Lyons the general manager that his title is general manager Australia. That’s his title.
Trent McLaren: He wrote
Heather Smith: strategy managers, Australia, probably Australian country manager. He wrote that if you go.
Or if you go on the Xero media releases page, it’s there. And if you click, you have to click through and then you have to click through to get the PDF. The PDF doesn’t have its own landing page. Okay. So from this report, here are a few of the highlights. We just wanted to touch on them because I think it’s really good.
See what the highlights are and see how, how, where you’re placing them. So over 90% of advisors surveyed, reported at least one positive impact from the pandemic. This included new ways of working, offering new services and changing client attitudes to technological adoption.
Trent McLaren: I mean, I’m not surprised and that’s largely because we’ve had to shift from working in an office to working from home for nearly two years.
Like depending on who you are, like I’ve pretty much been working remotely for nearly three years now, considering when it started to where we are today. In this positive to that. I think also there’s some people that, you know, wouldn’t have sent a positive to that remote working piece, but it definitely provides new opportunities in all sorts.
Cause now that we’re remote working, we’ve gotta deal with remote team management. We then might start looking at different softwares for that. Or we’re trying to get more advice on how to do that better. All of those. Can end up in revenue for someone. Sometimes that’s the accountant. Sometimes that’s a management consultant or just consultants in general.
So I, yeah, it’s no surprise that there’s been a positive impact for the people that reap the reward. If that makes sense, like their best place to help solve those problems for
Heather Smith: them. Absolutely. Absolutely. Those 76% of respondents felt confident. They have taken the right measure to protect their practice and clients against ongoing financial impacts of COVID 1970 6%.
So that actually means 24% don’t feel confident they’ve taken the right measures, which is, I guess that worries me a little bit more than the 76% who feel that they are confident about.
Trent McLaren: Yeah, I’m just reading it to get a bit of grasp. And I guess like, if you think about, and this is for Australia, every countries had different new impacts that they had to adapt to.
Right? So I know for Australian accounts and bookkeepers, they had to get across all the new government grants. The new schemes had, does understand what was beneficial for the. When they were and who was going to be able to get access to that? That’s not been the case in all countries, from what I’ve seen, like every every country in the accounted played a different role in that sense.
But I, yeah, I think for accountants and bookkeepers in Australia, they couldn’t have known. Played a role because some of these clients is, you know, begging for help, begging for support, you know, cashflows stopped and turned off the first person they’re going to turn to use. They, they financial advisor or their, their business advisor in that sense.
So I’m glad that people feel confident they’ve done the right thing. I think there’s time to tell still to see how well we’ve all done. I think we’re all being. Lifted up by these schemes and programs to help keep businesses alive. So yeah, it’s gonna be
Heather Smith: interesting. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. We’ll see how it, how it all pans out.
So more than three in five advisors surveyed influence the software decisions of their clients. And these advisors had 40% more small business clients. So that’s interesting. So three in five are influencing the software decision and they typically had 40% more small business clients.
Trent McLaren: My very quick hot take on that is that those firms have more confidence with their tech stack and their recommendations and that confidence overflows into winning more work is probably the high level.
What I take away into her, I’ve met plenty of firms that are still quite large, that just let their clients come in with a whatever software they want. But I also find that those businesses don’t operate as efficiently because they’re trying to juggle between so many different systems and we’re not all trained on that, or none of our tax products work with all of those different ledger softwares or whichever, but DiviPay good example.
We partner with accountants, we get a lot of accountants that will introduce DiviPay to their client. And this can happen like four or five times a day at the moment. Like it’s crazy bananas. And that isn’t it because business owners are looking for that stuff, but accountants and bookkeepers can qualify and understand when and who is the good fit for that piece of technology.
So yeah, that’s my hot tip.
Heather Smith: It makes me happy.
Trent McLaren: Great. I mean you are the Hype Girl for apps, I guess so.
Heather Smith: Okay. It makes me happy that they’re doing that because I do think it stabilizes what they’re doing. They’re not being completely driven by compliance deadlines, which I do not think is sustainable. It’s just something
Trent McLaren: it’s one of those ones, isn’t it?
It’s yeah, it’s one of those ones.
Heather Smith: So the typical advisor is likely to play the dual role of the business owner and small business advisor. With 65% of respondents owning their own business. So that’s interesting 65. So it suggests that the businesses responding were actually smaller level. And then 18% being at the director or partner level.
Trent McLaren: Yeah. Fair enough. Well, that’s to advise. Yeah. And look, I mean, if the advisor, the only interesting piece around that is I made so many accountants and bookkeepers that generally can do a good job advising their client, but they don’t do as good a job advising themselves. Right. You sit down and talk through all the problems they’ve got in the business, whether it’s workflow capacity, hiring, retaining, talent, all that stuff.
And I say, well, what do you, what advice would you have given your client? And they laid it all out for me. I’m like, cool. Can you just, I need you to now tell yourself. If you were looking at your own problems, what would you tell yourself? What answer would you give? Cause they know that, you know, that’s, what is it?
The builder with a terrible hassle.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Cobbler’s shoes that, that, that the cobbler’s children has the worst shoes. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And, and if you are a practice, there are a number of opportunities to lean on this, a number of coaches out there. We spent the evening last week with Sharon McClafferty from Slipstream Coaching, which is a. A really solid coaching firm for accounting practices that has a lot of success might be worth exploring further. So let me skip one and go to, this is the one that interested me traditional accounting and bookkeeping services still dominate. But other services are also popular advisory offered by 59% of people and 66% are implementing accounting software.
About the advisory services success, it’s exciting to see that 59% feel that they are embracing advisory services.
Trent McLaren: Well, in my mind advisory can still be texted bonus three, if you know what I mean? Like it’s just another form of advice in that sense, but. Oh, from my, what I’ve learned in my travels around the world texted loans and compliance drives all businesses.
It’s how it had drives all the workflows because that’s what keeps every client walking in the door is the fact that they have an obligation to the government or whoever it is. I think what the accountant decides to do with that. Outside of the compliance, whether it’s, again, how you should check out new software, we should talk about cashflow should help you plan for the future.
In terms of, you know, you’re going to buy that bigger house. You want to hire 10 stock. You wanna buy that factory. All of that should be in discussion with the accountant. And that should be on a regular basis. It’s not once a year, if you’re only checking your accountant once a year and your bookkeeper or your bookkeeper is obviously a lot more regular, but Like, you’re not getting the advice that you totally could for someone that has a vested interest in you succeeding.
Because if you succeed well, you they’ll probably get more money. As in the accountant, they will make more money if you’re doing well. If you’re not doing well and you go bankrupt, then you’re no longer that client or that firm. So in my mind, it’s every accountant and bookkeeper’s responsibility to help keep their business clients in business because that’s what keeps the money flowing through.
Heather Smith: absolutely hate them building a sustainable business. And that may be through advisory or tax compliance advisory, which I think is just more than more than applying the legislation. And it’s taking that, that, that, that one step most more than one step further sensational. So maybe, maybe we’ll skip over the last few there, but it was an interesting report and maybe people can go and have a look at it unless there’s another one they, that you want to jump on.
Trent. Not yet. Let’s just move to some new releases. So one that did come across my desk, I’m hearing a little bit more about FreshBooks in Australia. So GA com for fresh books eh, GA con, which is a Google sheets solution, a solution that connects your Google sheets to your general ledger has now got a connected between Google sheets and FreshBooks and it shares data.
Bi-directionally I’ve never heard the word bi-directionally. So it allows you to. Upload data in bulk create custom reports and export these items directly from Google sheets. So that’s one of the new releases and another one BGL has a phenomenal release right. Of, of new features. And they’re each one seems quite unique and quite interesting.
So are they’ve provided cryptocurrency price feed into their simple fund. And they’ve just added company constitutions into their CAS 360 solutions. So both of them quite significant feature releases, I felt, yeah.
Trent McLaren: I mean, the one thing you find about BGL and this is, you know, probably credit to Ron and Dan and the development team, but they, they release like every day, almost like they are publishing new updates all the time.
It doesn’t surprise me that we’re not talking about them every month, because they’ve always got a list of new things coming out and it’s always, you know, on trend and generally in response to feedback, they’re getting from their customers. Like from the time I’ve spent with them over the years, they are always committed to building the best product for, for their client base.
So you’d be shocked to find someone that isn’t happy with the solutions that.
Heather Smith: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. They, they definitely released products very fast and I think it’s really good to be aware, spend that, that microlearning and learn about the new solutions they’ve got out.
I just threw in here it was a, an article up on Forbes, our niche apps, the way of the future talking about it was written by. St Keo I’m CEO at Synder.
About the two trends currently happening in the world of app development: super apps and niche apps.
. First super apps, which is encompassing everything. And then the niche app which I think Synder actually falls into the Nisha, which is actually dealing with very small targeted audience, satisfying a very small niche need, but can have a big impact on the audience.
So are those two trends that you seen.
Trent McLaren: I, I would say yes, because when you think about, you know, you say Xero as a platform, right? You think about where they started, you know, no payroll, no inventory, no quoting, like we’re talking very early days. And then you get companies like. Came out of nowhere to build a quoting solution connected to Xero there was, was it pay cycle?
Was the new, the acquisition I made at, in New Zealand? That’s correct. Yeah. Now carbon all of these things had to start somewhere and the niche was the fact that there was missing functionality. So when you think about, well, what else am I having a problem with? Or what else do I want to solve? In my, you know, thing, like if I’m doing it manually, if it’s paper-based, if it’s Excel based, if it’s whichever generally it’s a pretty, it’s a decent idea that someone’s happy to pay.
For my only concern with niche apps is how they grow their valuation. Because if it’s a really niche, like, is it a feature or is it a product? If it’s a feature, it probably needs to live in the platform. But if it’s got legs and it has the room to expand and add value, the challenge you then find is the overlap.
When does it start to overlap with Xero another product? And when am I then choosing to go warm? We use Xero. Whatever the knee is. And, you know, where’s the cutoff point. Ultimately everything gobbles up into one, like I think that’s the long term play here that we are starting to see is that it all becomes back to all in one and best of breed whilst I love it.
I think becomes less and less useful because the data consistency between platforms is frustrating. And I’ve seen that now with a few different startups I’ve worked in. Where it’s, you know, at what point do we just go all in on the CRM that can do everything as opposed to having an email system, a CRM system, a landing page software, because we liked that they all have specific functionality.
Heather Smith: Yeah. Yeah, no, I completely hear you and agree with that. And I can understand as a developer, it seems a lot easier to tackle developing something smaller nations. Because, and, and, and maybe that whole thing is, is actually a learning journey for you until you do do something else. I think
Trent McLaren: ultimately it just depends on the addressable market and where they grow from there.
Like, that’s what I kind of alluded to. It’s like, is it a feature or is it a product? Is it a platform? Like, what does it become in future? And it’s just making, cause outside of that, if you’ve got good product-market fit, marketing and distribution is your next challenge. And that’s where you, you know, that’s where you’ll live a need funding or the right people on board to help get the word out far and wide,
Heather Smith: all businesses, innovation and marketing.
Trent McLaren: And guess which one I am telling you.
Heather Smith: Yeah. So as we listened to Peter Drucker and he never doesn’t like accountants, but yes, you’re the king of marketing. So Trent any other news or anything else that we should know about or talk about that might be interesting to the account tech lovers. Yeah.
Trent McLaren: I think there’s a launch, right?
We talked about events and things. Isn’t a launch for Accountex coming up?
Heather Smith: Yes. I think that’s coming up in the middle of next month. Sydney is launching. I’m not sure if that was a secret launch, but it’s no longer,
Trent McLaren: I mean, if you’ve been invited, I’ll see you there, but if you haven’t or I apologize
Heather Smith: I’ve been invited and I hope everyone else has been invited. Accountex Sydney will launch in the middle of next month, which is quite exciting, but the actual conference will happen in 2020.
Trent McLaren: it is, which is a, yeah. If anyone that’s been overseas before and seen this it’s starting time. So yeah. Good on them. Well done. Welcome to Australia. Accountex I look forward to seeing more of how that unfolds outside of that. No real news, other than I’m on the road again to my 16th flight next week, I am already at Virgin gold, which means I get into the lounge.
Which is pretty fun, except it means I’m just travelling and hanging out in the lounge all the time. But yeah, no, no, really the, for me, just keeping it real,
Heather Smith: get some divvy bay Divipay velocity points. Hey, get the partnership programs going. And I guess in terms of partnership programs, both Sarah and Anna chair allowance, partnership programs with Qantas points.
Trent McLaren: That did happen in the last couple of weeks.
Heather Smith: Yeah. So that’s kinda massive. And interesting. So, thank you so much for joining me on the bus, the tech bus.
How can people get in contact with you?
Trent McLaren: You can reach me on all good platforms called Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also reach me at an email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not a robot. I do read them and yes, I also reply to them myself.
Heather Smith: Sensational. Thank you. Thank you so much, Trent. And you can reach me on all platforms that Heather Smith or you or you for Australia. But you can connect with me. It had the Smith, they, you, so thank you so much, Trent, until next time it’s been great.
Trent McLaren: Having you as always SUN.
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