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Market Access Solutionz find a solution in forecasting software

Hitting its 20th anniversary in 2022, Market Access Solutionz works to solve market access challenges for New Zealand’s primary sector. When Stephen Ogden, the Owner and Managing Director of Market Access Solutionz, approached Connected Accountants, he was navigating a major change within his company. His business partner who had been an integral part of the organisation since its establishment in 2002 had recently departed the company, leaving Stephen as sole Owner and Director. As he entered a period of uncharted territory, Stephen was determined to tackle organisational priorities head-on with the help of our team at Connected Accountants.

The case for forward planning

Stephen sought to understand how his business partner's departure would impact the business and wanted to have a strong finger on the pulse of the company’s future cash flow. Stephen described this period as “looking forward rather than looking backwards”, reshaping the way the business functioned to be more future-focused.

At this stage, Market Access Solutionz was relying on a variety of excel spreadsheets to forecast revenue. However, these spreadsheets did not provide insight into what the numbers meant for his bank account or the cash flow of the company.

Forecasting with Futrli

After working with Stephen for several years, Connected Accountants Consultant Devoe Rangi recognised how beneficial the forecasting tool Futrli could be for Market Access Solutionz. Futrli was proposed to Stephen during a particularly difficult period in business when the disruptions of COVID-19 were at their peak and were compounded by challenges within the horticultural and primary sectors. During this time of rapid change and uncertainty, the excel spreadsheets were not providing him with the information he needed to make timely and informed decisions to keep his business going strong.

Once Futrli was implemented, we ensured it wasn’t ‘set and forget’ and Stephen was trained on how to use the tool. This enabled him to regularly update his revenue and expense projections as new contracts were won during the year and have these changes flow through immediately. During quarterly meetings, Devoe and the Connected Accountants team review the reports and offer recommendations based on cash flow to help Stephen make good decisions based on accurate data.  

"When you're a sole Director, it's important to have someone else asking questions and pointing out what you haven't thought about" - Stephen Ogden 

The Results

The implementation of Futrli has allowed Stephen to have an eye on the longevity of the business, its future, and succession planning. Devoe noted, "In October 2022 Stephen was already talking about 2023 and 2024 revenue targets and expectations, making decisions two years out.” This level of foresight has been critical to the success of Market Access Solutionz and it is now a stronger, more resilient business as a result. The future is looking bright for Market Access Solutionz with many exciting opportunities to diversify on the horizon, and importantly, Stephen has found some peace of mind.

Stephen notes, “Having the assurance of future planning and looking ahead knowing what the bank balance will look like, is the most positive thing. Peace of mind has been a big one, but it also enables us to look forward and think about our resource needs, for example, are we looking at any growth? A good example was last year in May 2022 we decided to close a large contract, which was a substantial part of our turnover. We asked - can we afford to do this? If we do it, what will be the financial impact? We were then able to make the decision six months prior and know the financial impact of this decision in advance and be able to work through the cash flow outcome.”

We asked Stephen if there was one piece of advice he could give other business owners who faced a similar challenge, what would it be? 

“There is plenty of good help out there, make use of it” - Stephen Odgen

As the new year begins, now is an excellent opportunity to focus on forecasting your business's future cash flow. We understand that many of our clients have families and running a business can consume a significant amount of time and cause stress. Our goal is to minimise the negative aspects of running a business and maximise the positive, not only for the benefit of our clients but also for our peace of mind. If you would like to get in touch with the team at Connected Accountants to discuss how Futrli could be of benefit to your business, contact us. Take action. We can help.