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Finance

Zen of billing: The art of making boring tasks exciting

We’ve tried to do something impossible: making excitement out of something boring (billing and accounting), and even tried to let it spread viraly. I know, I know – it’s not possible but we’ve tried and keep trying. We’re not there yet, but we have come a long way. I’ll tell you where we are and where we are heading…

Captura_de_pantalla_2011-04-07

We choose to profile the company internationally in 2010 and came out as one of the most promising tech startups in the world. Thanks to that, we’ve been invited to incubate further in Redwood City in Silicon Valley, and we’ll go there sometime during the spring or summer.

Social media marketing – 100K clicks and 3K followers isn’t enough?

10 months ago we started a blog and twitter marketing campaign, based on the inspiration and knowledge given to us by Guy Kawasaki, who we met in Paris. Although we’ve reached these pretty high numbers, we think it is time to revise the strategy to be more engaging, and a new one is just being implemented in blog, Facebook and twitter.

Analytics tells us that engagement has risen with 684% in 1 week

The new strategy has eliminated repeated tweets, and we therefore has dropped Objective Marketer after 10 months heavy use. Instead we’re going for HootSuite or Sprout. And the latter seems best. Just look!

App Distribution will reach 1K downloads in weeks

Application distribution was started in Apple App Store, Norway and Microsoft Marketplace in Spain. Passing 500 in last week we are now heading for the first thousand downloads.

Global billing app

Next weeks a «global lite» iPhone version for US, Spain and Norway will be up and running, available to be downloaded in all countries. We are aiming for the global smartphone market, based on our early entry and our experience in global accounting standardization and European online accounting.

Standardization of accounting practice

Together with some from my standardization team for OMG GL and ARAP, we are creating an «Accounting Practice Lite» crowd-sourced localization app for Facebook. It will be used to provide download-able account practices to our mobile apps, and functionality to create new ones. This is hard work and difficult to finance. My hope is that some public research entity take note and help us.

Development

Even easier to use apps

We are all very satisfied with our apps, but last week we have tried to make them even better. It all started with the Spanish iPhone app. When the internal beta-test was out, the developers noticed that we could really do even better. @BFontanet provided a great list of changes that could be included. Some are these points:

Drafts:
Use the plus sign on the top to only create a new draft
Take away the arrow at the top which was used to change state of the invoice
Take away invoice number from the draft page
Taken away the «…» button in the footer and reorganize the buttons" to menu, draft, pending, sent and paid.
The menu now has these choices:
– Time billing
– Add Product line
– Change customer
– Convert to invoice
– Settings
– Hide menu

Customers:
Changed the search button to the keyboard and added a “Show All” button.
Two ways to view customers:
– Customers with drafts
– Nearest customers

Products:
– Same treatment of search and show all button

New invoice line:
This is a new screen, joining three screens from the earlier version it will have buttons to:
– New product
– Search for product
– Use line
– Use line and save product, which takes you to the product screen with pre-filled fields and where you can make other changes and save it.

Challenges ahead? Plenty!

We are apparently doing a lot quite good, but the main challenges ahead are to get out of the bootstrap situation:

  1. Raising investor money – Investors taking interest are all what is called Series B investors. We are aiming for high profile investors, that see the possibility for global mobile billing and accounting. We will use the money to buy old Accounting providers with a large number of customers in SMB and freelancers.
  2. Financing. We are seeking modest loans and seed capital to cover the costs of 2011 entering Silicon Valley and the US market.
  3. Administration. Its not easy to be located in two countries. Two accountants and the double of public entities where you can mess something up.
  4. Budgeting. It’s pretty difficult to report and budget using both healthy statistics and numbers obtained. I had to go back to Excel and use lists and pivot tables to get it sustainable. Now its running smoothly.
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About mortjac

Norwegian social entrepreneur, blogger&Swift programmer. PM for the OMG GL standard. Using #ULab to give #Villajoyosa sustainable tourism&tunable pipe organs.

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