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NZBusiness magazine: The Accidental Accountant

Posted by Stephen Corbett on 28 Jan 2016

NZBusiness Blog post

Fantastic to see Richard and Julie Francis being recognised in the February edition of NZBusiness Magazine for their role in transforming the accounting industry and the innovative launch of our newest version of Spotlight Forecasting. Spotlight Forecasting is an all-in-one budget creator, three-way forecasting (Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss and Cash-flow) and scenario testing tool, which is available for you to trial for free.

Richard is a self-described Accidental Accountant...

After years of watching people’s eyes glaze over at the sight of accounting outputs, Richard Francis set about designing and building reporting software that generated understandable and useful reports, forecasts, and dashboards for clients. Spotlight Reporting, launched in 2011, allowed Richard’s own practice and other progressive accountants to create board reports that featured embedded advice, visuals, and ways of sharing data in a digestible format.

Xero was a key partner from the start and made the data beautiful and accessible, but Spotlight Reporting took that Xero data, mixed in some non-financial data such as Google Analytics and WorkflowMax, and made it understandable, useful and pleasurable to interact with.

Today, Spotlight Reporting is an important addition to core accounting. Businesses wanting forecasting, consolidation, CEO reports, analysis and charts can now do so quickly and easily, perhaps with their trusted advisor accountant preparing and advising via Spotlight.

“Transformation of the status quo is what drives me”, Richard says. "I want accountants to do useful stuff - that’s why I built the software. Spotlight exists so they can tell their clients about the future and become their clients’ trusted advisor.”

Richard’s overall goal is to create a globally successful and profitable SaaS business from New Zealand. “But most importantly, help to transform the accounting industry and outcomes for business owners everywhere.”

Going forward, there are plans to integrate Spotlight Reporting with other data sources, and the growth strategy is very much product and customer-centric. Richard's expansion strategy extends to Southeast Asia which he views as the next frontier for cloud accounting, and therefore, a platform like Spotlight. Advisory firms in Singapore and Hong Kong will have the opportunity to meet Richard at the Xero Roadshows coming up in late February and early March.

Read the full article in NZBusiness magazine, PDF

NZBusiness magazine about Spotlight Reporting

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