XU Magazine - Issue 17

Q&A with Hannah Dawson CEO & Founder, Futrli

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Futrli is a multi-award winning, business forecasting and reporting platform. Working with Cloud functionality and financial intelligence, the platform is shaking up the industry. Business planning, budgeting and scenario modelling functions allow businesses to simulate and plan different routes, using their forecast to map the most beneficial growth plan for their business.

Their main goal is to allow small businesses to have the confidence and ability to make informed decisions to optimise their business growth and allow business owners to have confidence, knowing they have a powerful business advisor in Futrli constantly working away in their pocket.

This four year old business supports over 40,000 businesses and 1,100 accountants in 130 countries. Hannah Dawson, CEO and Founder, tells us more.

XU: Where did the idea for Futrli come from?

HD: “Futrli was born from my own experience as a small business owner. I needed a way to run my business that looked to the future, as making decisions are hard and full of risk when you haven’t got all of the information in one place.”

XU: How do businesses benefit from Futrli?

HD: “In the small business economy, so many fail because they haven’t got their fingers on the pulse for why their business is doing what it’s doing. We give that insight. We give it quickly, we give it instantly and we’re pulling that data in automatically. It gives you all the answers that you need.”

XU: How does Futrli improve advisory services?

HD: [Futrli is] all about the future and looking forward to drive business success. I’d say that most business owners are probably sat in a meeting with their accountant at the end of the year and having a history lesson, which is all well and good but, what you actually want to see is where you are going to be in the next 3, 6, 12 months, or 5 years! And how to build upon the foundations that you’ve got. So that’s exactly what we do.”

XU: How do you use Futrli on a day to day basis?

HD: “I use Futrli as the ultimate security blanket to test any hypothesis, plan or idea that we’ve got about where we want to take the business. We put it into a forecast and we visualise it.  I check Futrli because we are a 24 hour business, we have new information coming in all the time. If you need to make a decision, you need to get some insights immediately.”

XU: How do you use Futrli on a month to month basis?

HD: “As much as we’re doing everything real time and making decisions about the automatic insights that are updating everyday, I still want to close off my month. A new month happens, let’s put the old month to bed. I want to make sure everything we said was going to happen has happened and if it hasn’t; Why? Do I need to make alterations to our forecast for the following month(s)? It is an iterative process. Every single time I start a new month I’m back in my forecast making sure everybody who needs to know what’s updated is updated.”

XU: How is Futrli different to anything else on the market?

HD: “It’s so much more than making numbers look pretty! Futrli houses everything you need on the same platform to make things quicker and easier for our customers. When you’re running a business or have a book full of clients, you don’t have time to jump in and out of different tools. That’s why we believe so strongly in combining them! ”

XU: How does Futrli make managing a business easier?

HD: “I’m absolutely obsessive about making sure we’re keeping on top of our bookkeeping! All of the invoices come in automatically, same with the expenses. So all we have to do is reconcile, which I can do on my phone.”

XU: What are your favourite things about Futrli?

HD: “Instant gratification. I can test out new assumptions and straight away go “Ok!, we can’t do that!” or “That’s brilliant, we have to do more of that!”. That’s definitely my top!

Secondly, the fact that I can easily enable my team to understand where I’m going with something because they don’t have to plough through a mile of formulas and numbers. I can present a story to them about where we’re going and why in a beautiful, visual manner.”

On October 23rd, Futrli announced their successful £4m VC funding bid from leading venture capital firms e.ventures, Notion Capital and firstminute Capital. With experienced representatives from all partners, as well as Hannah and Futrli’s COO, Helen Cockle, forming their new board, Futrli is ready to make some big moves.

XU: How will the funding be used?

HD: “This investment will be put to brilliant use, innovating and evolving the platform to revolutionise how small business teams work. We are also expanding our team in our core markets and will be opening in new locations within the next few months, which is hugely exciting.”

When asking their investors for comments, they were extremely excited for the future of the business and their partnership.

“Hannah Dawson and her team tapped into a niche that could change the direction of decision-making forever. Most accounting software today dwells into historic data points whereas Futrli unlocks the power of the future to help SMEs make better decisions.” – Christian Miele, Partner at e.ventures

“We’re very excited about Futrli’s vision. They have already built a fantastic bootstrapped business led by the dynamic Hannah Dawson, and we are very eager to see where the business can go with this injection of funding.” – Jos White, General Partner at Notion

Futrli-Xero integration

Futrli integrates with Xero in a unique way. Xero is all about real-time data. Futrli is the only integrated forecasting and reporting platform that fully utilises this and transforms it into daily operational data for businesses. Futrli uses Xero data to fuel it’s past, present and future services, letting clients learn from where they’ve been, stay aware of where they are and plan for where they’re going. With over 100 reviews on the Xero app, averaging a 5-star rating, it’s clear to see that the two platforms work hand in hand.

Get Involved

Visit Futrli at Xerocon this year with any questions about Futrli and how it can benefit your firm. Plus, be in with a chance to win a bottle of their signature Brighton Gin!

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Hannah Dawson & XU Magazine