"Right from the beginning, Spotlight was one of the only software companies offering dashboards and multi-currency consolidated reporting, which is a huge attraction for businesses operating globally. If clients are operating globally, Spotlight Reporting is the only forecasting tool to use in our opinion."
Hi Paul, great to be speaking with you. To get us started, why don’t you tell me a bit about Fresh Accounting and what you do.
We use the expression “Accounting, but different” to describe Fresh. We're a dynamic management accounting practice and consultancy with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Fresh was established in Hong Kong in 2014, and we opened an office in Singapore in 2016. We offer three levels of services to our clients across Asia – firstly, we offer accounting solutions to clients. We've avoided the traditional CPA and tax services and have focused on monthly management accounting services. Secondly, we provide FD and CFO services, which is a service we have offered from the very beginning. Thirdly and finally, we provide change management and implementation of cloud accounting from local businesses through to global SMEs. Fresh was one of the first Xero partners in Hong Kong and the first Spotlight Reporting partner in Asia! We see ourselves as a pioneer in many ways of adapting to cloud based solutions.
Can you tell us about some big wins you've had with clients as a result of using Spotlight?
Our clients are usually businesses running entities across Asia and beyond. The attraction of using Xero as a an accounting solution, which is cost effective and user friendly, enables us to provide consolidated reporting across these businesses at an FD and CFO level. Clients engaging Fresh for implementation of a cloud-based solution are immediately attracted to Spotlight Reporting for the consolidation of accounts, which enables automation of reporting for larger SME groups with in-house finance departments.
"The API between Spotlight and Xero is strong and once our clients are using Spotlight Reporting, we do not see them moving away from it."
We undertook a digital transformation of accounting with www.dwp.com, a global architectural firm. Xero, WorkflowMax and Spotlight Reporting were implemented across 16 businesses operating across 11 countries. The ability for www.dwp.com to automate consolidated reporting across its businesses generated significant efficiencies in month-end closing and reporting, along with producing a standardised reporting pack, Spotlight Reporting demonstrated that it could really support global businesses operating in a global economy.
Which of our features are saving you time, making you money, or improving your productivity? Can you tell us and give some examples?
At Fresh, we've always been a fan of dashboards, which is something that attracted us to Spotlight Reporting in the first instance. However, our clients and Fresh have really benefitted from the consolidated reporting piece. Whether it's the team at Fresh, or our clients themselves generating consolidated reporting, we can see the amount of time saved and the efficiencies gained by using Spotlight Reporting.
The ability to automate and generate consolidated accounts in a real-time environment without the need to continuously export data to Excel and manipulate really saves time, especially in Asia where we work across multiple currency environments. There's less room for error and clients can benefit from well-structured and simplified reporting. No more Excel spreadsheets.
What are the most positive aspects of the Spotlight + Xero integration that you benefit from?
Spotlight Reporting evolves and keeps getting better. Spotlight right from the beginning was one of the only software companies offering dashboards and multi-currency consolidated reporting, which is a huge attraction for businesses operating globally. We became the first platinum Xero partner in Hong Kong and we invested time to learn Spotlight Reporting. The API between Spotlight and Xero is strong and once our clients are using Spotlight Reporting, we do not see them moving away from it.
If it’s applicable, how do you rate the customer support you’ve received from from us so far, out of 5?
This is likely to be biased as we would rate support at 5. Spotlight Reporting continues to listen to feedback from Fresh and we work very closely with the Spotlight Reporting team, so that our clients benefit from the new product releases. It helps as we're one of a few partners based in Asia, so we work closely with Spotlight Reporting to see what client needs are now and likely to be in the future.
What would you say to someone who's looking for or shopping around for a reporting tool?
It is important to evaluate what's right for your business if you're a SME and same applies for an accounting firm. Pricing is important too. However, it's important to see what your client needs are now and what they're likely to be in the future. If clients are operating globally, Spotlight Reporting is the only forecasting tool to use in our opinion.
Watch our interview with Paul at Xerocon Brisbane 2019
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