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Getting to know you: Colin Hewitt, CEO and CoFounder, 浮动

总部设在爱丁堡CodeBase, 浮动 is a cashflow forecasting tool which helps small business manage their finances, 远离赤字, 为未来做计划. 浮动 integrates with Xero, FreeAgent and Quickbooks Online to give users real-time financial data. 把他们未来的现金存在银行里, it’s easier for 浮动 users to make the right decisions for their business.

你对数字的热情从何而来?

I was lucky enough to get access to the web when it was just getting started back in 1995. It was all very new but I loved being able to connect with people from all over the world. 这是引起我兴趣的主要原因. The mix of art and digital coming together online also really inspired me; it still does. 

Since then I’ve been lucky to see good friends start their own fantastic digital initiatives, 当然,我也想留下自己的印记. I actually ran a digital agency for ten years prior to 浮动, so I’ve been in the digital industry for a while now.

Where do you see yourself/your company in five years?

The accounting industry has finally realised that this isn’t 1918 and that it must adapt for the digital era. 但它仍有很长的路要走, and I’m confident we can play an important part in shaping this industry in years to come.

浮动 because I saw a massive opportunity in cash flow. 这是困扰每一家公司的挑战, business owners are being kept awake at night thinking of their bank balance and dreading the prospect of going into the red; or worse. 这不会在一夜之间改变, 五年之后, I hope we’ll be helping even more businesses to dispel those fears 为未来做计划.

Today, we have customers all around the world, but our main markets are the UK, US and Australia. We are expecting to grow our presence in these markets over the next five years, 同时寻找新的扩张区域.

Looking to the future, what do you see as being the next big thing in tech?

我认为是好是坏, VR and AR are going to be a huge part of the next decade, 尤其是对孩子来说. 太有沉浸感了, 有这么多的可能性, but it’s also really worrying to think about coming back home from work to your kids and they can’t see you or hear you. 目前平板电脑已经够糟糕的了!

Another really likely development will be the rate at which we interact with bots for mundane activities like booking appointments, tasking machines to do these jobs and speaking to machines in the same way we would humans. Amazon, Apple and Google are all really innovating in this space with AI and their smart assistants. 

Any new products, services, events coming up for your business? 

We’re always updating 浮动 and listening to our customers to make sure that the service gives them more of what they need. Expect a couple of big updates on this front in the next 6 months, 因为浮动的预测更加准确, 灵活和乐于助人.

We’re going to be attending Xerocon Brisbane 2018 in September, which is one of the biggest events in the accounting calendar. Australia has always been years ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to cloud services, 会计是一个完全不同的东西. I’m really looking forward to engaging more with the Australian accounting community. It’ll be nice to get a bit more sun than we’re used to in Edinburgh in September, too!

If you could give one piece of advice to an emerging business/startup, what would it be?

Getting on top of your business’s finances makes you feel better about everything else happening in your business. 这是什么意思呢? Start by systemising all the aspects of the bookkeeping part of your business and try to automate them where possible. A good bookkeeping process means you can have reconciled up to date Accounts weekly or even daily.

This means you can actually keep on top of cash flow and that that’s the number one job of every business leader to make sure the business stays afloat (See what I did there?)

除了财务, I think start-ups need to give thought to their office space and their plans for growth. Co-working spaces like CodeBase are a God-send for precisely this reason, since you can scale up without all the associated costs and effort. 这些空间也是一个现成的网络, which can make it much easier to meet talented people who can help you grow your business. 

你工作中最喜欢的是什么?

I love being a part of shaping the future of a whole industry. The accounting industry is about to change massively over the next decade, 与银行, 金融与支付.  

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