Tanya Titman is a ‘Business Turnaround Specialist’ and achieves outstanding results working with businesses in the high growth area. She is a CPA with 20 years experience in working with SME clients in areas such as strategic planning and management accounting. Earlier this year, Tanya was awarded the Brisbane Business Woman of the Year Award, recognised as an inspiring innovator, visionary and business leader. Consolid8 also won Xero’s AU Accounting Partner Of The Year award at Xerocon South 2016 last week, a further testament to their achievements.
“We love taking the numbers and getting business owners interested in it. Our big focus in the practice is financial literacy. We’re all about financial education and making sure that the numbers make sense. We are passionate about making sure our clients actually understand how the business is going and what the balance sheet means. We love working with them on strategies that help them grow.”
How many Xerocons is it now?
It’s my fourth, the team’s third. Every year we take the entire team to Xerocon. Every staff member at Consolid8 gets the opportunity to attend. Being immersed in all that’s going on inspires and energises them – it gets the team really excited about the next year.
I encourage the team to meet all the ecosystem partners, to find out what’s on offer. We are not the type of firm that wants to partner with everyone, instead, we are quite selective about who we work with. For us, the relationship with the people inside of those organisations is most important, so it’s not just the software solution. We really like to feel as though we are in the community with them and if they’re looking for product development inspiration or if they’re wanting feedback, we’ll be a part of that.
How has cloud accounting changed your business?
I always have loved technology, we’ve always be very tech savvy at Cosolid8. I always looked for better ways to do things, more efficient processes. When Xero came along, I went to my first Xerocon to check it out to see if I wanted to align myself with them, I was totally blown away, I went back to the team I said you’ve got to come and see what’s going on there.
Xero has allowed us to take the best of breed of all the solutions that we need to service our small business customers and patch them together. It’s refreshing that this ecosystem – the founders, product managers, software developers – are really open to listening to what we want, because we are the ones who are dealing with the clients each day.
It used to be that software providers would develop solutions and the industry would have to make do. Now, we are really collaborating and you feel very connected to the community, like we are all contributing to the growth of these solutions.
Tell us a bit about your experience with Moula.
I think I came across Moula at an event, then jumped on to the website and looked into it. It seemed like a really simple option for businesses who are wanting to grow. A lot of great businesses lack funding and don’t have the bricks-and-mortar security to get funding easily so, it seemed like a really great opportunity.
I had a client who needed funding – I put her in touch with Moula and within 24 hours she had approval and the funds in her bank account the next day. That’s just unheard of for most businesses. She had difficulty accessing funding through the banks but, as her accountants, we know that she can actually support and pay that loan back. It’s a good business. They’re working closely with us, they’re on top of their numbers, but they just never get an opportunity through traditional funding. I was so impressed with the speed of Moula’s process and how simple it was. It was a great result for the client.
What types of businesses do you present the Moula solution to?
It’s quite a mix. We deal a lot with businesses with high growth strategies but often, they don’t have the access to funding. They need to be able to partner with someone who is going to support them and give them the opportunity to get the capital injection they need. If they can get it, they will be hugely successful.
It’s typically those types of clients and whenever I get the response from a client saying: ‘the banks won’t lend us money’ or ‘how are we ever going to grow this business if we can’t get the funding’, that’s when I put them in contact with Moula. It’s just such a simple process, it’s not this extensive process of filling out all these forms and everything else. It’s just a matter of connecting Moula in to your Xero file and everything seems to flow really easily from there.
I was amazed at the speed of how quickly the funding happens. How quickly you can assess and provide the funds, because quite often the funding is required there and then and they cannot wait for a process that takes four weeks and then for someone to say no at the end of it. They need to know then and there if they qualify and have the funds available straight away. We love the Moula offering and what it does for businesses.
Any advice to other accountants who are looking to work with a lender to help their customers grow?
Ultimately, it’s understanding what your clients need and then understanding the process that they are going to go through to access funding. We make sure we understand what a business needs to do – we try to be familiar with the products available in the market so that we can help them plan for growth.
Small businesses want a simple process. They want access to immediate funding. They want to be treated fairly, without the penalties, without all of the various fees and charges that are often hidden [by some providers, not Moula!]. Just having that open and honest relationship with a lender is great.
For a lot of clients that are wanting to grow that don’t have the funding, don’t have the residential, bricks and mortar security to get funding, it seemed like a really great opportunity. I had a client was in a situation that needed funding, put her in touch with Moula, and she, within 24 hours had approval, and within 48 hours had funds in her bank account. That’s just unheard of. This was a business that was new, and that the banks just wouldn’t touch.