Bringing end-to-end accounting to Habu’s coworking software

Habu

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Jak Ollett is the CEO and co-founder of Habu

“Jon and FD Works being Xero people is one of the things that attracted me to them.” Jak Ollett, Habu

Habu is powerful and elegant software for managing coworking hubs and flexible workspaces, that supports their customers in getting the most from their office space. We’ve been working closely with the guys at Habu since the end of 2015 to help them build a scalable financial operation and get them on track for growing their globally focussed business.

We had a chat with Jak Ollett, CEO and co-founder of Habu, to talk about using Xero online accounting, streamlining their finances and how having a virtual FD in their business has helped them to scale – plus how we’ve brought a true end-to-end accounting service to their start-up business.

“I went with them because I felt they were a long-term partner rather than just someone to do the books.” Jak Ollett, Habu

A long-term partnership that helps them to grow

We love working with businesses that have real ambition and belief in the potential of their business idea: and that’s certainly true of Habu.

Jak and his team originally came to us to sort out their accounts and to help them improve their financial operations, but that soon grew into a much more productive relationship where we’ve been helping Habu to scale the business. And it’s these additional value-added services that have really added to the working relationship, as Jak explains:

“One of the things I’ve found with FD Works is that there are a fair range of excellent accountants out there – and there are plenty of accountants we could have gone for. But FD Works’ approach is about putting you to work from the stage you’re at and to basically work within your financial constraints.

So they’ve helped us out with pricing and other financial elements and I feel that they’ll work alongside us as we scale. They’re in depth and experienced across their organisation. I went with them because I felt they were a long-term partner rather than just someone to do the books.”

A truly flexible way of working

Once we’d sorted out Habu’s prior year accounts and ticked all the compliance boxes, we then got stuck into helping them review and improve their internal financial processes, with a view to getting them on track for growth.

And it’s this ability to pin down what a business needs, provide the right numbers and give the most insightful advice and guidance that’s core to what we do here at FD Works.

“FD Works are always looking out for what we need and working around that so the finances sort themselves out. But as we grow and make more money they’ve brought us along that process… and the more money they’ll make from us.

So it’s almost like they’ve been investing in us, which means being able to pick up the phone and ask them a few questions about PAYE or any number of little questions that another accountant would have not answered if you’d scheduled an hour or so.

It’s basically working in a very flexible way around our actual working needs and understanding whether that will lead us where we’re going.”

“FD Works are always looking out for what we need and working around that so the finances sort themselves out.” Jak Ollett, Habu

The benefits of a Xero online accounting system

Xero online accounting is the bedrock for all the financial work we’ve done with Habu – and the ease and simplicity of Xero as an accounting system has certainly made it easier for Jak to keep on top of Habu’s numbers while also giving us the business data we need to help him drive their expansion.

“The great benefit of Xero is that I can continue to file payments and transactions as they come through, and FD Works can continue to do the work that they need to on the books. We can work on the same things at the same time, which was really useful with the handover of a year’s worth of books.

Jon and FD Works being Xero people is one of the things that attracted me to them. With the Xero approach, it’s almost a no-brainer to go with an accountant that thinks like that.”

A holistic view of your business

We’re never satisfied with just doing the financial basics for our clients. We’ll always go one step further than just delivering the accounts, and that means getting under the skin of the business and asking the right questions about their goals and long-term plans.

Talking to Jak and his team, it’s clear that Habu have ambitious plans to grow. And by getting to know them and the business in more detail we’ve been able to really add some value to the relationship.

“I’d probably call FD Works end-to-end accountants. If you’re a start-up, they can basically handle whatever stage of development you’re at and help you scale.” Jak Ollett, Habu

“I would say that FD Works think about the entire process, not just the things you ask them about. Sometimes they know more about your accounts than you do and they’ll guide you far beyond the scope of what is necessary. They answer important questions that you didn’t know needing asking. And I would say that when you begin working with them that it’s a very smooth transition.

They’re also super-friendly and great people. With a big accountancy practice, you’re essentially passed around the organisation. But with FD Works, you’ve always got your point of contact and they’re already familiar with things. You’re building a relationship with people who understand your business. With that relationship, you don’t have to explain the same thing to different departments and questions can be answered quickly.”

The perfect business partner for your start-up

One of the key things that our clients love about FD Works is that we’re not your average accountant – we like to think we’re just as entrepreneurial and innovative as our start-up clients. And that makes for a perfect working relationship with businesses that are starting out and need a virtual FD on the team to put some business expertise behind the financial decision-making.

Working with Habu has certainly been a great experience and we’re hoping we’re just at the start of what is an exciting journey for their business. Jak’s been a big advocate of the FD Works way of working and our holistic way of analysing and improving every aspect of their business model.

“I’d probably call FD Works end-to-end accountants. If you’re a start-up, they can basically handle whatever stage of development you’re at and help you scale. They understand the whole thing and make it very easy to start using them. And as you grow they can help you with more stuff.”

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