Harnessing the power of fintech solutions
ICAS’ latest webinar focused on ‘Fintech opportunities and the evolution of accountancy’, providing insight as part of April’s Finance + Technology series.
Susanne Chishti, CEO of fintech investor network FINTECH Circle, presented the session and shared her expert knowledge on the fintech sector, explaining how CAs can harness the power of fintech solutions.
(Duration: <1 hour, Originally recorded 28 April 2022)
When Susanne launched FINTECH Circle in 2014, it became Europe’s first fintech-focused angel investor network. It has since grown to a 130,000 strong community platform. Successful start-ups promoted by the network in the past have included comparison app Bean, acquired by CompareTheMarket.com, bookkeeping app Albert, acquired by Santander, and Cognism, which raised a $87.5m Series C funding investment in early 2022 as part of plans to solidify it's position as the leading European sales prospecting platform.
Susanne opens the session with a sector growth analysis. The fintech sector has expanded consistently over the last 10 years, with investments growing by almost 200% in 2021. Financing activity for private fintech companies has continued to accelerate in the first quarter of 2022, with an average transaction size of $40m being invested into fintech start-ups.
The future of finance
It is evident that fintech will play a significant role in the future of finance, but how does this play into the role of the CA? There are a number of fintech solutions which CAs can embrace to make both themselves and their practice more efficient. Susanne points out that leveraging these solutions can help reduce costs through automation, streamline processes and improve the client experience.
She says that there are three steps to success when implementing fintech solutions. Firstly, online accounting software packages (such as Xero, FreeAgent, Quickbooks etc.) should be adopted as a starting point to provide a strong foundation upon which to then integrate fintech solutions. The insights and strategic business advice which can be garnered from adopting these solutions can then be leveraged to add value and offer a more personalised and efficient service to clients.
Susanne provided some examples of fintech solutions that CAs can adopt to boost their client offering. Most of these solutions offer free trial periods and affordable subscription models to make the adoption process as easy as possible:
- Spending solutions for employees (Spendesk, Pleo)
- Invoice reminders and cash flow management solutions (Chaser, Satago)
- Forecasting solutions (Float, Futrli)
- Financial risk management solutions (ElementaryB)
- Access to funding solutions (Funding Xchange)
- Accounting software solutions (Dext, Onkho)
- Green Fintech - Carbon footprint reporting solutions (Greenr)
Susanne closed by signposting fintech resources to help CAs confidently navigate the rapidly changing financial landscape. FINTECH Circle keep their global community up to date via blog articles, which provide industry insights about leading fintech firms. The network also hosts webinars and roundtables to share fintech know-how and plays an active knowledge-sharing function, having published seven books with Wiley, including ‘Fintech for Dummies’.