Sometimes, spotting an inefficiency which has been continually challenging is the first step to streamlining future productivity. FuseWorks co-founders Melissa Voss and Scott Barber could see by automating certain processes, there was a smarter way to do things in accountancy. The aim was to free up time to focus on the human part of work, the client-facing and value-adding parts of the business, and let the tech automate the repetitive processes.
They then started on their mission to develop automated solutions to reshape the landscape of their service offering to their clients in Australia and New Zealand.
The creation of FuseWorks and the beginning of the journey
‘We could see there was a better way to handle our every-day repetitive processes in our own firm, so we set about making that happen and realised very quickly that our frustrations were shared among others in the industry. FuseWorks was then built to create a range of platforms which were specific for the industry.
We wanted to support our clients in a more efficient way, so Scott and I set about making that happen,’ Melissa explained.
‘We wanted the process to be better. We wanted to free up our team by creating an automated and streamlined tech solution. It felt like a smarter approach to our day to day functions. It could answer and address gaps in the system of how we do things.
Scott led the product production and I managed our client referrals and partnerships. We launched our business FuseWorks about ten years ago with our first product FuseDocs. Fast forward a few years, and we launched FuseSign during Covid, which helped us find that product-market fit, offering a tailored digital solution to previous processes, purpose-built for the industry.
We looked to create solutions to streamline repetitive processes in our practices, focusing particularly on:
- Report Collation
- Digital client delivery and signing
- Grouping structure charts
In the end, this led us to our current products of FuseDocs, FuseSign and FuseCharts.’
Bootstrapping to future-proof the business
‘We never wanted to grow too fast or too quickly. We knew that bootstrapping and growing organically and at a measured, thoughtful pace was the right way forward for us. We’ve never sought investment because we wanted to remain in control of our growth model and how fast we excelled forward. It took some courage to resist the urge to go faster and the challenges a start-up faces are real but to us, maintaining control over what was happening was at the core of the business was the approach we wanted to take. We are now at 17 people. We are trying to remain true to our values at every step as we grow.’
What guidance can you offer other tech solutions out there just getting started?
Melissa offered, ‘These points have helped us along our journey:
- Be sure of the validity of your product, get client feedback and contribution to the product design – client centric product design.
- Don’t wait for a product to be finished before you get it into your client’s hands. Get it out and have the clients provide feedback and evolve as you go.
- Be considered in your approach to product updates and feature releases. Prioritise based on client demand to be sure you’re spending time on where it’s best positioned.
- Surround yourself with a passionate team members to fill gaps.’
What does the next year to 18 months look like?
‘Based on the success across Australia and New Zealand, our market and product research has shown an opportunity at a global scale. We’ve launched officially in the UK and are enjoying steady client growth. We’ve again gone through a considered approach to our rollout, with discovery of the market to be sure of fit for the new region.
We will continue to expand our reach and fill the gaps globally.’