Category: Interviews



I caught up with Phil Johnson, Partner Manager from Tanda about uni bars, punching time and workplace compliance.

Introduce yourself, your role and your company

Hi, I’m Phil Johnson and I work with Tanda re-sellers and partners as a Partner Manager. The role involves working with bookkeepers & accountants, and also closely with our integration partners.

Tanda is a multi award winning workforce management software that streamlines time and attendance, rostering, award interpretation, leave management, and payroll automation.

How did Tanda get started?

Tanda was started out of a frustration within a company driven by the clunky outdated systems that other vendors provide.

Our founding directors were managing an on campus services provider operating 7 businesses with around 100 casual staff. Payroll was an administrative nightmare and time consuming as a result of poor processes across the board.

When our founding directors went to market for a software solution they found outdated, clunky and expensive desktop software with high hardware costs.

TL;DR A simple idea born at a university bar that solves a massive pain point for businesses across the globe.

What are the benefits of Tanda to the customer?

Tanda empowers business owners and managers with data driven workforce insights that provide for cost optimised rosters, reduce time theft and non-attendance, and reduce both administrative and compliance burden.

Tanda has native integrations to point of sale systems, meaning rosters are built against demand data.  Very few businesses prepare rosters based on data, and we know that when businesses do it makes managers rethink how they roster staff.

How does your Tanda interact with the accounting system?

Tanda integrates to the payroll function of accounting systems. We export approved, award interpreted timesheets ready for a pay run to be processed. Tanda manages the creation of Pay Categories/Pay Items through our API in most integrations.

Tanda in most integrations manages the staff base pay on their pay template for Award updates and birth dates of junior staff as per the Award.

Tanda integrates to the leave balances in MYOB/Xero so that staff can read their leave balance when applying for leave.

Who should avoid Tanda?

Clients looking to use Time & Attendance systems as a method of complex job/task tracking.

For example putting timeclocks on factory machines to track staff movements and apply job costing. This isn’t the best case use of Tanda.

We can track expenses based on activities, for example breaking down costs in a restaurant by waiter, kitchen and bar, and track these expenses to accounting software.

The difference between Tanda and a specific job costing software is that Tanda has an award engine, so as people clock on and off this has impacts for the calculation of their payroll.

When businesses want to use a timeclock to track activities that don’t have an impact on payroll e.g. what machine staff are working on, this isn’t something that Tanda is best suited for.

How do customers get started with Tanda?

Our pricing includes access to an onboarding consultant who works one on one with the client until the first payroll export. Channel partners also have access to this service if they don’t wish to provide an onboarding service.

What is the most important thing Tanda does for a customer?

Tanda ensures that staff are paid correctly.

The worst consequence of not paying staff correctly is a breakdown of trust between employer and employee.  This includes potential future employees who might research their future employer.

We’ve seen a lot of big companies caught out for compliance issues damage their brand image in new headlines recently, and it seems to be an increasing trend.

What is the main environmental factor you see affecting your customers at the moment?

The implementation of Single Touch Payroll will give government agencies a greater ability to data match and investigate non-compliance.

Much of the current non-compliance is not malicious but simply misinterpretation of rules or administrative errors such as incorrect calculation of penalty rates.

Tanda helps business owners maintain compliance against the Award and fulfill their legislative requirement to keep appropriate records on file.

How do customers succeed with your addon?

Tanda users are empowered with powerful decision making tools that eliminate non productive hours when rostering, ensure a cost optimised roster and reduce time theft.

How do you ensure customer data is secure?

We engage in external security auditing. Our software is routinely tested for exploits by an auditor and automated tools analyse both our codebase and external libraries for exploit. In addition to that, we engage in engineering security audits.

All systems are actively monitored in-house for any potential threats.

What are the signs that a business should be considering a time and attendance solution?

  1. The business pays staff by the hour

  2. Management and staff feel they are always understaffed or overstaffed

  3. Following up leave, unavailability and timesheets is a nightmare

  4. The business has no existing KPI’s around wage cost or roster costs

  5. Payroll is full of errors and takes too long

What tool/tools do you use internally that you couldn’t live without?

Intercom, Webhooks, Zapier, Hipchat,

[Thanks Phil! Also – congrats for being our first app that provides SAML, a fantastic time saver for larger businesses and firms]

Phil Johnson

Partner Manager at Tanda
Call: 1300 859 117       



In this interview, I talk to Amy Harris, Co-Founder and CMO of FUTRLI, about making the uncertain, certain.

What does FUTRLI do?

FUTRLI is designed to help businesses succeed. Think of it like a sat-nav for businesses and advisors. It plugs into cloud accounting software so you can automate controlling cashflow or accelerating growth with forecasts, advanced reporting/dashboards, KPIs, alerts and monitoring etc. We do a lot all in one platform so that the data can intelligently work harder for you, it also helps with lots of efficiency gains too.

For accountants, we help to remove any roadblocks which have prevented true profitability and scale from advisory services. We do this by having a really solid, flexible platform so that when you need to get the job done – month-end reports, real-time dashboards, VC funding – you can. However, software alone isn’t going to help a firm scale advisory services. The piece of the puzzle which was missing was education and that’s why, together with our global community, we have created a certification programme to help accountants become advisors.

What are the benefits of FUTRLI to the customer?

One bar group tripled their profits using FUTRLI while another multi-aviation group raised $7m in VC funding, these success stories are incredible. I think our customers describe it best; one digital agency MD and Founder said he felt “anxious and vulnerable” making decisions before FUTRLI and another said it is the “insight and confidence to be able to make the right informed decisions” that they love the most. You can read more customer stories but ultimately – because we real-time connect your accounting software to a platform that allows you to monitor your KPIs, review targets, deep dive with analysis and reporting, forecast your future and scenario plan different outcomes – it’s like running your business in the dark…and then turning on the lights.

How does FUTRLI interact with the accounting system?

We synchronise data automatically with accounting packages. We only pull data, and so never write (or request permission to) to the customer source data. We aim to update as often as possible, and this happens usually within every 24h period. Users can manually request a data sync if they wish to bring in their latest transactions.

Who should avoid your addon?

If you run a small lifestyle business walking a few friend’s dogs, then we are probably not for you. Equally, if you’re an accounting firm that wants high volume and low margins compliance work with no client relationship then we’re not the right fit for your firm either.

How do customers get started with your addon?

It varies – some self-serve, others work with our team, some use an integrator – it depends on what suits your needs really.

What is the most important thing your company does for a customer?

That’s a tough one! If I was thinking only about our accounting partners, I would say it is everything they need, from training and education to market-leading software, that allows them to deliver genuine advisory services. The type that clients actually want, really need and will absolutely pay for.

What is the main environmental factor you see affecting your customers at the moment?

Uncertainty. And, I would stress that is the real opportunity for accountants – making the uncertain, certain.

How/Why did your company get started?

We needed it!

Hannah and I were running a previous software company and using cloud accounting software but we were fed up of forecasting in spreadsheets, pulling together multiple data sets into Google slides for Board meetings and just generally being so ineffective. We needed to run our business looking forwards, not backwards. We wanted to be alerted to opportunities we could leverage or warning areas we need to sort out there and then.

We also wanted to have a better relationship with our accountant – they only helped us with tax but we needed an advisor to help us control cashflow and accelerate growth. We couldn’t find anything in the market that ticked all of our boxes and helped us operationally run our business, so…we built it!

What was your motivation to change the company name from CrunchBoards to FUTRLI?

I am giving you the long answer here! Our motivations were explained here and I do think it needs this context:

FUTRLI has a focus on looking forwards; How do you think machine learning will play into that?

It is already playing a part in the changing role of the accountant. As compliance tasks are automated, there is more focus on personalising and humanising the numbers – this is where the value is. Making sure your client has a better grip on their business than they ever thought possible.

This is two-fold, of course, machine learning is also being applied to the role of the advisor and helping with planning and prediction. It is a really exciting time in the profession – we came at this as business owners ourselves, knowing what we really wanted from our advisor. The things we dreamed of we are now seeing in action!

How do you help customers succeed during an implementation?

We have launched an industry-first, internationally accredited CPD programme: Advisory Certification. In 6 in-depth courses, covering 25 individual modules you’ll become a world-class business advisor. This is an online course but our team of Account Managers will work with you offline to track your own KPIs and make sure that your training and implementation is a success. After all, if our partners are not successful, we can’t be either – that’s the whole purpose of a good partnership in my eyes, success for both parties.

What was your driver in producing the Advisory Certification?

I could write up reams and reams here, or I could just share this blog with images! . Hannah, our CEO and other Co-Founder, said it best:

“Since our launch back in 2014, we have witnessed (and been part of) a huge change in the accounting landscape. The cloud has brought never seen before automation advancements. Business owners expect and demand higher levels of service than ever before. But, change is hard. How do you learn new software? How do you sell it to your clients? How do you motivate your team? How much are you going to charge for it? How do you advise your clients with confidence?

It is these common challenges that prompted us to bring together everything that we have seen, learned and experienced, from both our partners and business owners, to produce this comprehensive training programme. We’ve worked across time zones with industry experts to ensure this is truly end-to-end – no matter where your client is based, what their turnover is or how well they understand their numbers.”

What part of FUTRLI do people overlook that they should focus in on?

Good question! Our alerts engine is immensely powerful and when advisors (and business owners) start using it this quickly becomes their favourite feature, even if the motivation to use FUTRLI wasn’t the business monitoring aspect, when you start getting automated warnings in advance of success/warning areas, it’s definitely a stress reliever.

Why should a customer use a cloud integrator?

Know what your time is worth and where you really need help and support in your business. If “data plumbing” isn’t your strength, outsource it to those who can do it right first time.

What are the main causes of failure for an implementation?

FUTRLI is not a replacement for you and it can’t work without you. If you sign up and don’t do anything…it can’t be a success.

How do you ensure customer data is secure?

Pretty much everything from our security page;
– Continuous monitoring and intruder detection
– Services run in a VPC (private cloud)
– Data/Access is firewalled in our VPC
– We control using access control lists who can access what data
– There’s not public access points to data
– We never show the actual data, only calculated results
– Strict data access layers ensure that customers cannot access others data.
– Our automated test suite and integration tests implement multiple positive and negative permission checks.
– Every time a line of code gets updated, our test suite checks everything is working as expected.
– It only takes one test failure to stop any new code getting through the pipeline.
– We use the latest SSL in-transit encryption for all data sent between server and client browser within our application.
– TLS 1.2 protocols, RSA 2048-bit SSL, ECDHE-RSA-P-256 key exchange and AES-128-GCM ciphers ensure your data cannot be siphoned & decrypted

What tool/tools do you use internally that you couldn’t live without?

Trello and Slack are a huge part of my day.

What do you see as the main differences between the markets at the moment? (Aus / NZ / UK / US). Do you find FUTRLI translates well into Asian markets?

We have customers all over the world – for us, I think we see the differences less because there is a certain profile of firm who are becoming advisors and they typically look the same whether they are based in Singapore or Ireland.


Where can we keep up with FUTRLI?

Visit our website, get in touch with the team ([email protected]) and of course Twitter and LinkedIn.

[Thanks Amy! FUTRLI is also in the Addon Directory – Liam]

Cin7 logo


In this interview, Sharol Puran, Partner Manager of Cin 7, takes us into what omni channel sales is all about, how to get ahead of the Amazon wave, and how to keep an inventory implementation on track.

Introduce yourself, your role and your company

Dean Pearson and I are partner managers at Cin7 – helping to grow our SaaS company and get the word out there about Cin7. I have been with the company for the last 5 years and seen the company really take off. We are a fully connected Inventory, POS, B2B Solution.

What does Cin7 do?

Cin7 is a fully integrated Inventory & POS Solution, with a built in B2B portal. Giving you the opportunity to dream big and sell to as many channels as you can. We are the most connected Inventory solution out there with the ability to connect with EDI trading partners and 3PL (3rd party logistics) providers. Ultimately Cin7 is your end to end supply chain solution all in one!

What are the benefits of Cin7 to the customer?

There are many benefits of using Cin7. A key benefit is that you can streamline your business processes to have one point of truth which is Cin7!

Cin7 gives you the ability to expand across multiple channels and provide maximum reach to your customers and suppliers, in effect giving your customer/suppliers a better customer experience through the process of buying and selling.

Why should accountants and bookkeepers be getting their clients to look at selling across multiple channels?

Slashing manual data entry of course! Bookkeepers and accountants love the idea of automation, especially when it works seamlessly. And that the data set they are looking at is actually true and accurate!

Of course, the end goal is to make your product available across multiple channels, to give the product more visibility which will end in more sales, making the client happier. Providing the customer with a better customer experience will result in loyalty to your product, thus increasing the bottom line!

It also creates more brand awareness and make products easier to access for customers.

How does Cin7 help with selling across multiple channels?

Cin7 has an omni channel function in that all channels that you sell across are connected to Cin7. Making this one central point of truth.

This is what Cin7 has been made for – it can integrate into many different marketplaces and e-commerce solutions (sales channels).

It helps because you have one place for your inventory, providing visibility on inventory availability within all of those channels which then gives you the ability to pull down orders back into Cin7. Which will ultimately update your stock across all those sales channels allowing you to sell more and make more money, eliminating uncertainty of how much stock you have and providing timely service back to your customers.

Cin7 has enhanced its offering of selling in multiple channels by giving flexibility in the way you fulfill those orders and get it to your customers door step! Cin7 does this by connecting to 3PL (3rd Party Logistics Solutions).

Now you are no longer limited to sell in one country, in fact, you’re able to have your product sitting in any country ready to be dispatched to your customer directly. Again reinforcing the potential reach to your customers and reducing time in shipping.


How does Cin7 interact with the accounting system?

Cin7 and Xero has a smooth integration process – sales orders, purchase order, cogs, and adjustments are passed to Xero as draft transactions, but can also be set as pre-approved.

This is a one way connection which someone needs to click a button to push it across.

You can update transactions in Cin7 which will then update the transaction in Xero on next push.

We have made a conscious decision to do it this way to provide the accountant/bookkeeper greater control of the information that is sent across both systems.

Who should avoid your addon?

Asset management companies – diamonds, cars, real estate is not a fit for Cin7
Hospitality – cafes/restaurants/bars
Rental companies
Recycled goods – one off items are not the best to work with
Detailed manufacturers with more than 3 levels of bill of materials

How do customers get started with your addon?

We have a few options on how a customer may want to onboard and we do not recommend onboarding themselves.

Cin7 is a monthly based subscription, we have a one off onboarding fee ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 if Cin7 performs the onboarding.

We do have local partners that can onboard our customers and they will charge their own fees and services – if this is the case then Cin7 will waive our onboarding fee and the only cost from Cin7 to the customer will be the monthly subscription.

What is the most important thing your company does for a customer?

We support them incredibly well. We disrupt the market giving our customers competitive advantage of how they sell to their own customers.

What is the main environmental factor you see affecting your customers at the moment?

Not being connected enough.

How do customers succeed with Cin7?

We have a setup onboarding process that we work through, the biggest thing is to get the data set right.

Everything else relates to workflow and training. Then, quite simply, the end user needs to use the application.

How/Why did your company get started?

Cin7 was born on February 2012 and emerged from the concept of needing to manage stock on the back of eCommerce platforms. Our founder, Danny Ing, really focussed hard on this concept and developed a robust inventory solution that would give you the ability to future proof your business.

How do you ensure customer data is secure?

Cin7 has a disaster recovery plan, on demand data recovery processes and a web server farm plus load balancing. We have a return to operation plan and recovery point objectives.

How do customers get started with your company?

Cin7 is direct to market, but our growth has happened mostly organically. The biggest voice is our customers and they refer each other. Our partners can refer Cin7 too!

How do you help customers succeed during an implementation?

Making sure they are on track with their target go live date, ensure data is correct, and test processes within the system to ensure things are working to the customers satisfaction. We provide training and billable support ongoing as an option is available.

What are the main causes of failure for an implementation?

Inaccurate data, inaccurate data setup, no one to man the setup from the company side that is implementing.

As a New Zealand company selling into Australia, what are some of the differences you come across in the partners you work with?

Australia has previously been our largest market for customer acquisition. Recently, over 50% of our customers have come from the US.

What we have found is that by working with our partners we have expanded the reach to different groups of customers that are struggling with existing inventory systems or coming onto a system from no system at all.

The support from our partners has been great. We initially started off working with accounting/bookkeeping partners, now there is an evolution of these accounting/bookkeeping partners to add an advisory component to their business, which is more readily embraced in Australia compared to anywhere else, with providing greater customer experience to the end client being the end goal.

What tool/tools do you use internally that you couldn’t live without?

Salesforce CRM, Service Cloud (Salesforce ticketing), Ring Central (unified communications as a service), Evernote!

Why should a customer use a cloud integrator?

A customer should use a cloud integrator to ensure that the workflow is realistic and that the setup is right. If data is not setup correctly in the beginning then the use of the solution will fail and fall apart on it’s own.

How do you think Amazon will affect the market in Australia/NZ?

Amazon will give companies a platform they didn’t have before to launch their products in front of the eyes of tens of thousands of potential customers.
Small to medium businesses will now have a place to move product at a fast pace under a very trusted name.

Amazon will be positive to the market but it is best to have your clients ready for the Amazon rush so they are first on and can build up their ratings first.

The way Amazon works is based on reviews, so if a product is doing well on the customer’s website currently it will be the best item to test on Amazon!

If it is a generic item like a GoPro, which many people can sell rather than a product which is uniquely branded to that customer, they need to get their products on at the beginning because of needing to build their review base.

What sort of retailers do you think should be looking to take advantage of Amazon?

The best way to determine if you’re the right for Amazon is to look at the USA Amazon site. There are two approaches to this:
– If you see a lot of people selling volume of your product eg; candles, it means there is a lot of people searching and buying this item.
Meaning you have a good chance to sell a lot of the product on Amazon.
– If you don’t see your product or only a few people selling that product it can also mean you’re onto something good and should test it out on Amazon.
You could be onto a money making product that know one has thought yet to sell on Amazon and you won’t have to compete with many people on selling this product.

So to answer your question a retailer would be a good fit if they sell fast moving product already selling well on Amazon USA or if they have products that are branded uniquely.

Anything that is light to post is also a good idea as it’s about the customer testing different products.

You only need one product to do well to start making good money on Amazon.
A table which is heavy isn’t the best to put on Amazon as it is very heavy to post but something light like candles, perfume and anything that can fit in a small box would be great.

Where can we keep up with Cin7?

We write lots of great blog posts or you can contact us, visit our website and of course Twitter and LinkedIn. We have a free trial that people can use to come in and have a look at how the system operates and start to get some ideas on how it can work in their business.

[Thanks Sharol! You can also find Cin7 in the Addon Directory – Liam]

CloudIntegration Partners Banner image

CloudIntegration Partners

In this interview, CloudIntegration Partners show how you succeed from coopetition and explain how a cloud integrator can help you or your clients.

Hi! I’m Vanessa Firth, the partner manager for Cloud Integration Partners (CIP).

What does your company do?

We provide cloud integration for 5 verticals – Trades, Construction, Retail, Wholesale and Hospitality.

What are the benefits of CloudIntegration Partners to the customer?

We have experience in the industries that we work in, so we understand the pain points unique to that industry and we know why our solutions work in what circumstances.

What is the most important thing your company does for a customer?

We project manage from start to finish. We help select the right software and then we install, integrate, train and support. We also help with any changes to business process that are necessary.

How did CloudIntegration Partners get started?

Two of the oldest Cloud Integration companies in Australia (TradiePad and SMB Consultants) decided to join forces to create a one stop shop for Accountants and Bookkeepers to make it easy for them to find the integration services they needed for their clients.

Will Tradiepad and SMB Consultants continue to exist as separate entities?

Both businesses are and will remain separate entities.

Cloud Integration Partners is a mechanism to communicate with Accountants and Bookkeepers so they have one place/person to go to for all of their clients rather than having to speak with both companies if they are unsure who can help. The requests get funnelled through to whichever is the appropriate company.

How did TradiePad and SMB Consultants come to work together like this?

TradiePad and SMB have known each other for a long time and were aware that they were speaking to the same accountants and bookkeepers over and over. They are both Xero, Telstra and Apple partners and realised it made sense to work together as they do the same thing but do not compete because they both have very clearly delineated markets.

How do customers get started?

You can contact us directly, or through your accountant or bookkeeper. We will start with a scoping session which will determine the right software for your situation and allow us to plan the project properly.

Accountants and bookkeepers can register or submit leads, and we will then be in touch.

How do you help customers succeed during an implementation?

We are always available. We don’t outsource support – you have the same people helping you through the project from start to finish. We have seen the common areas of failure and can see if a project is getting derailed which means that we can help get the project back on track.

What role would CIP like accountants/bookkeepers to play during an implementation?

It actually works the other way – we ask the Accountants/Bookkeepers what role they want us to play. Often if there is a Xero set up we leave that to the Accountant/Bookkeeper, although we can do it.

Usually the first conversation we have is – how involved do you want to be? We are guided by them, often it is a case of the Accountant/Bookkeeper not having the time to take on the work.

We try to work in partnership with the Accountant/Bookkeeper and include them as much as possible. This can range from having them in every meeting, to us just going away and doing the work and letting them know when we are done.

Why should a customer use a cloud integrator?

We are experts in the software that we use and we have worked in your industry for years which means that we know the common issues and can help you avoid them.

We also have the time and the resources to make sure you are set up correctly and can provide the support you need rather than you spending your time researching and working out how to do it yourself.

What are the main causes of failure for an implementation?

Time! You have to be prepared to put in the time to learn the system, in the end all of these systems will generally save you time (and often money) but you need to allocate time up front to make sure you know how to use the system.

What are some indicators that there is a time issue starting to occur and what are some steps to recover?

The main indicator is missed deadlines, or training sessions, that get postponed.

The only way to recover is to decide that the project will take priority over other deadlines – sometimes that means delegating other jobs until the project is complete.

Keeping an eye on the end goal is also important – knowing that this implementation will improve business processes in the end.

What surprises you the most with a client’s existing systems?

Nothing is really surprising these days but it amazing all of the different “hybrid’ or cobbled together processes that people have to try and solve a business problem. It’s awesome that we are able to then clean these up and save clients so much time!

What tool do you use internally that you couldn’t live without?

Slack is an awesome team communication tool which helps us stay in touch even though we are spread out across Australia. It is a way to keep in touch every day and make sure that information gets quickly and easily to all staff or the right staff in a timely manner. The most important part of Slack is our message board for “Fast Food Friday” where we decide what burgers we are having this week!!

How should customers adapt to Amazon coming to Australia?

The best thing customers can do is clean up their business processes so they have really good reporting. They will then know how they are travelling and will be well equipped to make decisions if it becomes clear that Amazon is effecting their business.

What does an amazing bricks and mortar retail experience look like? Where is it heading?

We are seeing more “lifestyle” stores that are a hybrid, think a bar and clothing store in one, or maybe makeup and shoes – stores that offer an experience that you can’t get online.

Where can we keep up with CloudIntegration Partners?

You can find out more on our website and of course Twitter and Facebook.

[Thanks Vanessa! You can also find CloudIntegration Partners in the Addon Directory – Liam]