With the increasing development of technology many companies have been forced to close their doors or reinvent themselves. Think of the products that have gone by the wayside due to the digital economy; Kodak, Walkman, record stores.
Our business, Proactive Accountants Network (PAN) is no different. Established for nine years, with team members in four countries and over 2000 Accounting Firms as clients, today we are killing our long held brand.
My business partner, Colin Dunn and I made the decision to bury the current brand and reinvent it as a software business called PANALITIX, in the process completely restructuring the previous offerings into an online software provider.
Our previous model was very labour dependent. It involved accountants flying to our offices every quarter for face-to-face coaching on running better businesses. Now with online learning, webinars and the vast array of information on the web, this model is becoming unviable and difficult to scale, even though it delivers outstanding results for the firms that use it. We will continue to run this program for the firms involved – however under the PANALITIX banner.
We have spent the past three years making this transition to develop a new software application, PANALITIX. This tool bundles all our previous learning and coaching content into the backend of the software which is used by accountants to consolidate all their clients’ data from all accounting software onto one dashboard.
One of our star clients, David Cowling from Brisbane based accounting firm Roberts & Cowling told me: “‘The main reason I use PANALITIX is to keep my eye on the ball with my clients.” PANALITIX displays businesses’ data in real time to help pre-empt what’s going on in a client’s business. The program sends daily alerts to the accountant and flags if one of their business clients is in trouble. This now means that accountants can be proactive rather than reactive and call a business owner to discuss worrying financial trends before it’s too late.
Our group coaching has had a profound impact on the ability of accountants to positively impact their clients’ businesses. Over 700 accounting firms have been through the coaching program. Over the life of the program, we have developed a substantial library of video based training and associated content for accountants to run a better accounting business and then help their clients run better businesses. PANALITIX integrates all of this content, providing not just a technology solution but also the ‘how tos’ that accountants need to properly advise their clients.
Now that we have reinvented our business, we are positively influencing more businesses than ever and will achieve our goal a lot faster. Plus the bonus is we have created our own category, and have a unique piece of software that does not exist anywhere else in the world. If an accountant needs help with developing an area of a client’s business – we have the resources to help them deliver it cost effectively to clients.
The creation of PANALITIX was not without heartache. Software development is a hungry beast, and we were totally funded out of operating cash flow. We have a team of twenty developers who have been working on this for three years to get it to the stage we are at now. With over 350 firms already using PANALITIX and getting great results with their clients, we are very confident that we are moving in the right direction.
Our General Manager, Rob Pillans, has been leading the development team. I asked Rob for his insights on what is happening in the profession. He said: “In order to survive in this economy of digital disruption, you have to evolve or dissolve. We have over 130 hours of learning content for accountants and we just had to repurpose it and present it in the framework of a cloud software solution so that it suits the future of business and the future of the accounting profession. We have worked very closely with accounting software developers on their API’s so that we now automatically integrate with Xero, MYOB AccountRight Live and QuickBooks Online. PANALITIX pulls the data from these programs to monitor clients and help accountants provide the advice and conversation they need to be having with business owners.”
Our whole team is excited about the new direction and we’re looking forward to continuing to serve the accounting profession around the world and to help them make a massive difference with their clients.
To celebrate the re-invention we burned the old brand yesterday. It was a cathartic experience. You can find more details on our new website, www.panalitix.com.