The forecasting tools arena is overflowing with new products all vying for the attention of the growing business advisory trend within the profession. The latest of which is the Australian tool Jazoodle.
Although Jazoodle’s competitors have gained a head start, the application has been brewing in the mind of creator Andrew Paton Smith, in some shape or form, for two decades.
But it wasn’t until speaking with businesses following his masters that he realised the thirst for modelling. “In my conversations with businesses a couple of things constantly kept coming up,” Paton Smith said. “How does the business stand now and how do I make it better?”
Paton Smith initially pulled together a spreadsheet intent on solving what happens when certain business metrics change.
But it wasn’t until eighteen months ago that Paton Smith assembled an advisory board of accountants and business consultants and took a leap of faith on the application and sold his house to pay for the development.
Named Jazoodle as it resembles a verb denoting confusion, the Xero-integrated application uses sliders to model future-looking scenarios. “We instantly update next year's profit/loss and balance sheet and all of the KPI indicators to show the business what even small changes to their business can do for the bottom line,” Paton Smith explained.
Jazoodle is entering a market bursting with established names operating systems with similar objectives. Many of the Jazoodle’s competitors have a head start, but Paton Smith is unfazed.
What Jazoodle hopes will separate itself from others is its desire to unburden users from inputting data and administrative tasks. The algorithm sitting behind Jazoodle imports data from Xero. “The download and the creation of the client connection into our systems from Xero take a matter of seconds and the dashboard is instantly populated. We think that's fairly unique.”
Once the dashboard is populated with the businesses core data, the health barometer (see picture above) then monitors the financial stability of the company. Jazoodle also includes key financial metrics and about 30 KPIs displayed in the graphical part at the centre of the dashboard.
Sitting behind the forecasting tool is a series of algorithms involving 6000 rows of code and there are still plenty of areas left to explore of the product’s roadmap, such as incorporating machine learning and developing microeconomics into the forecasting.
Another area Paton Smith expects will differentiate Jazoodle from its competitors is its cost. Pricing starts at £6.90 a month with the each price tier becoming more cost effective as more clients are attached. “We want to make sure our clients are able to make money off the back. We see this as a business development tool for the accounting industry to increase its own revenues,” he said.
Jazoodle is also being offered free to anybody wanting to use it for educational purposes.
About Richard Hattersley
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