October 15, 2004
A modest grant from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has helped a small Auckland IT company on the path to new offshore markets.
Auckland based Accomplish Ltd might be a small company with lots of small clients but it has big plans to go global.
The 12-year-old company, which provides accounting software to small businesses, is looking to significantly increase its turnover in the next two years as it starts to move into the United Kingdom and other offshore markets.
Sales manager Aaron Baker describes Accomplish’s CashManager product as a “simpler alternative” for SMEs as it has been specifically designed for non-accountants.
“It doesn't assume bookkeeping skills, but still provides small business operators with the tools to manage their cashflow.”
Accomplish works closely with accountants in public practice and has sold its product to more than 19,000 small business clients throughout Australasia. About one third of the users are in Australia, where CashManager originated.
Two years ago company owners Paul Burge and Ted Swanney bought out the Australian company which had developed CashManager in 1992, and now all product is exported directly from New Zealand.
Mr Baker says they still see real potential in the Australian market.
“We are looking at doubling the number of users in Australia and again doing it through accountants and involvement with industry organisations.”
Mr Baker has recently completed a GoGlobal management training programme run by the ICEHOUSE (International Centre for Entrepreneurship) in Auckland.
He says the company felt it needed to establish better processes if it was to move into new offshore markets and had approached New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for help.
The Government’s economic development and trade agency was able to fund half of the cost of the GoGlobal course under its Enterprise Development Grants scheme. The scheme aims to help companies gain additional business skills and to obtain external experience and assistance in developing business projects.
Mr Baker says that while the company would probably still have undertaken the programme it was hugely helpful, as a small business, that half of the cost was met. And he says the course has been instrumental in taking the business to a new level.
“We could have continued doing what we were doing but the business would not have developed further. At the end of the day we want fast growth and this programme has helped us to learn how to manage that sort of rapid growth. It has helped us focus on what we want to achieve and given us the tools to put people and processes in place.”
Accomplish is now looking at establishing a beachhead in the United Kingdom and later moving into Canada and Singapore.
NZTE is also working with Accomplish providing market information and contacts in the United Kingdom.