Yes, the project or initiative has been established for more than 2 years.
Businest Pty Ltd.
Team - who worked on the project/initaitve
Management team - Rhondalynn Korolak, Suzanne Camille
(Rhondaynn is the founder - I am a lawyer, chartered accountant, business coach, author, keynote speaker, and app developer. I immigrated to Australia by myself 13 years ago to start a new life after my mother was murdered in a domestic violence incident and I testified against the persons convicted. The path to tech entrepreneurship was not an easy one as I struggled to find financial backing for my idea. Most told me that I was too old, didn't have enough tech experience and the fact that I was pregnant with my first child when I started the venture did not help matters either. Needless to say, I am not that easily deterred.
Tech team - Rebecca Skinner (lead), Ildiko Tuck (Ux), Jacinta Kay (UI), Justin Ward
Overview - Provide a summary to introduce the project or initiative
Dashboards and KPIs diagnose financial pain. Businest® fixes it.
We take a complete financial history from your accounting software package and use artificial intelligence to identify the 2-3 strategies you need to implement to fix problems plus grow profitably and safely. We provide step-by-step instructions on HOW to do it (across sales, marketing, finance, operations, systems and leadership) via video training, webinars, articles, templates and checklists. Think of us as a mini-MBA in business but we are specific to your numbers, your industry, and your challenges and opportunities. We are the first online tool to disrupt the business coaching industry globally and the only one that provides coaching specific to the financial pain, challenges and opportunities of each client.
Our solution impacts 1.9m Australian SMEs - we also have customers in Canada, UK, US, India, Singapore etc.
Detail the actions implemented as part of the project or initative.
The most impactful innovation delivered is the use of artificial intelligence to speed up the process of uploading financials and delivering focus/clarity through coaching. This is a direct result of our commitment to diversity.
40+ global competitors provide a data dump of KPIs with no regard for relevance/priority. Businest® combs through hundreds of KPIs/scenarios in less than 8 minutes, looking for the 2-3 things that will have the biggest impact. That saves at least 8 hours of work each month per client for either the SME or accountant. A typical accountant services 200 clients so the time savings is huge.
Plus, we pinpoint the BEST ways to unlock cash quickly, cheaply and easily. If the SME needs to collect debtors or raise prices, we teach them HOW to do it. Rather than waiting until the end of each taxation year, the SME gets specific, timely advice and coaching based on their numbers each month.
The system for tracking KPIs/scenarios and assigning a relevance ranking of priority, severity and significance was created as a direct result of having many diverse perspectives on our team and is US patent pending.
According to neuroscience, the part of the brain that makes decisions is 45,000x older than language. Science has proven it struggles to process numbers/words. This poses a unique problem because we must communicate complex financial info to laypersons who don't understand accounting and don't want to learn. Australia is also a very multi-cultural population - not everyone speaks English fluently. The use of strong visuals and video help to make this coaching more accessible to all Australians regardless of their educational or cultural background.
The reptilian brain is highly visual -it responds to video, storytelling, strong contrast). This old brain is impatient (decides in 1-2 milliseconds) - decisions are primarily based on visual cues, our body is hard-wired NOT to rely on the thinking part of our brain. Once the thinking part kicks in, the decision has already been made.
Using artificial intelligence to upload financials, prepare forecasts + deliver expert coaching, we help an SME to find the answers to fix the business in less than 8 minutes. The industry standard for set up is 2 hours plus another 5-6 hours of analysis.
We don't use any accounting terminology. By making cash flow so simple even a 6 year old could understand it, we help SMEs focus and take action - which is more important than learning accounting. We use visuals and storytelling (the old brain can understand) to provide the basic educational foundation needed to fix cash flow and be more successful. This easy to understand, highly visual method of teaching cash flow means our solution can be understood by anyone (even those who may not have English as their first language).
Detail the approach that was taken to implement the project or initative.
Bootstrapping necessitates a strong ROI on everything. Our competitors advertise heavily to the accounting/bookkeeping channel. Their approach is to SELL via accountants/bookkeepers (but everyone acknowledges that they are terrible salespeople). This explains why global penetration for business intelligence apps is < 10%.
Our competitors charge advisors, we don't. The SMEs pay each month. This allows advisors to earn passive income as SMEs use businest®. We offer the highest commission structure in the ecosystem. Free to advisors strategy brings us lots of data which can be used to create valuable benchmarks.
Was there organisational/industry or other resistance to the initiative? If so, detail the actions taken to overcome resistance to the project or initiative.
Last year female-led enterprises received only 4.2% of investment capital. One Harvard study found that when men and women pitched the same idea, investors were 60% more likely to invest in the man. The biggest resistance faced was funding. We bootstrapped.
Roughly 40 global competitors - 97.5% led by white, male, middle aged accountants and it shows - the apps are designed for accountants (not laypersons ) and they don't solve the problem.
We lead with diversity (bringing different/equally valuable perspectives to bear) - our solution CURES the cash flow problem (instead of merely diagnosing it) and is scalable globally.
We use neuroscience- pictures, storytelling, and emotion to teach SMEs HOW to make more money. It is so simple ,a 6 year old could use it.
Detail the follow up or response to the project or initative by the organisation /industry /sector. For example has it been extended for a further year, or has the scope been expanded?
Oct 2016 - Businest® named in the Top 10 small business apps globally, Intuit QuickBooks (San Jose)
Nov 2016 - Businest® awarded the App You SHOULD be Using at Accountex (Las Vegas) - beating out 100+ other new apps globally (plus we were the only female-led team). Accountex is the largest and most prestigious, software agnostic conference in the accounting industry.
Businest® is the first solution in the world to use artificial intelligence to deliver business coaching and insights based on an SMEs specific financial information. As a result, the founder was identified as a global thought leader and given the opportunity to write for Accountex and present a keynotes at global conferences.
Please provide 2 references being the beneficiaries or people that experienced the change (as a result of the initiative). Details to be provided should include:
4. Phone number
6. Short description (up to 250 words) of association with the nominated diversity initiative eg as a beneficiary, experiencing the outcome, etc.
Love Your Numbers
Leanne has 25 years’ experience as a bookkeeper and teaching small business management, development of training and manuals for MYOB and 10 years working with the Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) Network of New South Wales in Lithgow and Bathurst.
Sales Manager MYOB
Simon works with accountants/bookkeepers who are under pressure to move from compliance to advisory. He sees them under enormous pressure from various apps to try, review and sell their product (700+ apps exist in the global ecosystem). The thing they lack most is a clear roadmap/direction for using all of this technology to step into the role of "trusted advisor". Research shows that only 9% of SMEs turn to their bookkeeper/accountant for advice. 40% rely on no one to help them.
What outcomes have been achieved against overall program or organisational performance? Using metrics specify these outcomes, for example financial, growth, policy achievement, performance or capabciltiy uplift?
Churn < 0.2%. 80% of accounts have data that is 0-60 days current (i.e. updated regularly).
We have a female management team and a 75% female tech team. The industry average is only 12% for women in tech roles. I am very deliberate in my quest to maintain (at a minimum) a 50/50 split for men and women in all roles (management and tech) as we grow and move forward. If we want to see more women in tech then it is incumbent upon me to actually lead by example. No point sitting back and waiting for the men to do it. History has shown that they will not. I choose to BE the change that I want to see in the tech industry so I won’t accept anything less than 50%. And as we grow, I fully understand that this may mean that we have to train or invest in more women in order to keep our quotas met. I accept that challenge.