Lots of exciting news for KashFlow this week – a shift of location and a new partnership. Firstly they’re announcing a shift from Essex to London (that’s in England for the US readers ;-)), at the same time they’ve appointed two new directors to the board. Lord Young, (yes, that’s a real Lord) a major backer of KashFlow and Duane Jackson, CEO, said, in announcing the changes that;
Relocating to London is the next logical step. It’s difficult to recruit good staff where the business is currently based and being in London gives us easy access to some of our key partners.
Michelle Gorsuch joins the board to head the accountants division of the company. She joined the company in January 2008 after spending a number of years in the recruitment industry. She has quickly grown the accountants division to the point where it now accounts for close to 50% of the company’s annual revenue.
Incoming CTO, Tim McOwan, has both an accountancy and a technical background that makes him ideal for the role. Having automated many accounting processes at horticultural provider Farplants whilst studying towards the AAT qualification, he went on to study for an MBA at Kingston University. He’s since been leading a development team at Creatormail, the multi award winning email marketing agency.
The second announcement is somewhat more interesting – I’ve long said that the traditional IT consulting firms need to broaden their horizons in these difficult times – one of the areas they’ve not been strong in before, but which provides a potentially lucrative revenue stream, is aggregated services to small businesses.
I discovered the other day Brunei Accenture Group Networks which is a joint venture between Accenture and the Brunei Ministry of Finance. The stated aim of BAG Networks is to;
be a leading info-communication technology (ICT) company in the region, by providing the most complete, innovative and cost-effective solutions that meet the needs and objectives of businesses in today’s challenging environment
BAG Networks has just announced ikhlas, their SMB specific online accounting solution which is KashFlow (CloudAve review here) whitelabeled with the ikhlas branding (ikhlas means sincerity and honesty in Malay).
It’s a great move for KashFlow as it opens them up to an entirely new market, and the combined clout of Accenture and the Government of Brunei.
The on-ramp is a little precipitous it has to be said, perhaps reflecting the more conservative culture of South East Asia. While users can trial the software easily, to commit one has to fill in a subscription form and either email or post it to the ikhlas office – that alone would be considered a show stopper in the Western world, perhaps not so in South East Asia. A little work needs to be done in terms of consistency – the getting started guide I was emailed had the KashFlow branding on it still, as did some of the interim pages when setting up an account – the key to white labeling is to ensure the look and feel is consistent across the entire experience – ikhlas isn’t quite there yet.
On another note, and seeing how concerned KashFlow founder Jackson is around security, I was surprised to receive a confirmation email from ikhlas that included my login details, username, password and memory prompt.
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of momentum ikhlas can build – if they were selling into a Western market I’d be berating their go-to-market strategies. However SE Asia works differently and they have the experience on the ground to know what resonates with their potential customers.