By KashFlow’s own account it is a simple introduction of a concept – as CEO Duane Jackson said to me;
The report isn’t intended to be any substitute for professional advice, nor is it meant to be any deep insightful analysis of your data.
It’s simply a snap shot of where you are on 3 very basic measures.
You often here “rules of thumb” quoted such as not being dependent on one customer for more than 75% of your income, or making sure you have cash to survive 3 months. This report lets you know how you measure up to these in a very digestible format.
We’ve already had feedback from customers and accountants saying they find it very useful. Given the choice of 3 options: nothing, this report, or a 20 page document containing indecipherable language – I know what our customer would prefer.
And looking at the tweets that Jackson is receiving, it does appear that customers like the new service.
Over on AccMan Dennis is pretty critical of the feature calling it unsound and reliable. He also refers people to an in-depth report on cash management that he contends would be more useful for businesses to learn from. The in-depth report is just that – 17 pages of excellent, but perhaps too detailed for time-poor SMEs, information. As one KashFlow customer remarked;
17 page CIMA document or 2 page health check from Kashflow. You decide.
That’s not to say that the CIMA document isn’t valuable – just that the on ramp is a little too steep.
I entirely agree with AccMan’s viewpoint that the report is very simplistic and of marginal direct use, far better in my view to produce a benchmarking report that leverages off the aggregate data that a SaaS provider has access to and gives businesses an idea of where they are compared to their peers (all anonymous of course).
I think however there is another angle on the KashFlow report that we can’t look past, and the name “HealthCheck” gives an insight into this.
In my spare time I’m a firefighter and the New Zealand Fire Service is proactive in giving all its active personnel the opportunity to have regular health assessments – not because they’re expecting to pick up problems, but because regular and routine interface with a health professional is a valuable thing. Add to this the value to be gained in having benchmark figures and it’s a no-brainer.
I’d put the KashFlow report in a similar vein – getting businesses used to receiving regular assessment, and encouraging them to do more self-assessment, both opens lines of communication, and details baselines which can warn the business early when things start to go wrong.
My hunch as to Jackson’s thinking comes from some knowledge of his history. Having experience with all strata of society, from the ultra privileged to the underbelly, Jackson understands the value of dialogue – regardless of how relevant the initial threads of that dialogue are. I therefore see HealthCheck as a beginning of a conversation…
So I’m giving KashFlow a bouquet for the general direction, but a brickbat for the specific execution.