REDD – Business and Technology Podcast Episode 007 with Dan Beck from PT 2.0
In Episode 007 of REDD’s Business and Technology Podcast our hosts Jackson Barnes (BDM – REDD) and Brad Ferris (CEO – REDD) interview Dan Beck, Director at PT 2.0, a Data and Insights business for Accounting Firms
Listen to Dan Becks journey at PT 2.0 and how his company are on a mission to end excel in accounting firms.
Thanks for watching!
You can read the full transcript below:
– Welcome to REDD’s Business and Technology Podcast. I’m your host, Jackson Barnes.
– I’m your co-host Brad Ferris.
– And today we’ve got a very special guest, Dan Beck, who is a director of PT 2.0. He shares his unique story of going from a data focused accountant to forming a separate business unit, PT 2.0, who’s focused on helping accounting firms utilise data for success. What did you get out of the episode, Brad?
– Look, I thought it was really cool to hear from a fellow accountant who’s made the transition into commerce and commercial solutions. So I think we vibed quite a bit on that, but I’ve had a similar journey. Look, I really enjoyed the conversation, to be honest. He was really honest and open. We had good pre-conversation, a good post-conversation. We’ve discussed, we do need to get better at bringing some of those pre and post-conversations into the show. But yeah, look, I thought they’re onto something. I think there’s a lot of opportunity and good tidbits for all of our listeners, especially those that do run an accounting or any kind of professional service firm really on the power of data. I mean, at REDD, we’re big advocates of that. We definitely subscribe and we drink that Kool-Aid. So yeah, look, I thought it was quite insightful and really good.
– Thanks Brad. He definitely provides some insight and a lot of value in this episode if you do own an accounting firm or you have worked in there before. So let’s cut over to the episode. Welcome, Dan Beck to REDD’s Business Technology podcast. I really appreciate you coming in. I know you’re living out in Toowoomba. We hope to get value out of this conversation around your unique background and what you do for accounting firms across Australia. Did you want to start with your background?
– A hundred percent. Thanks for inviting me here. So, as I said, I’m Dan Beck from PT 2.0. I’m a director in that business and what surprises most people is I’m actually an accountant by trade. Spent my formative years doing audit and local government-type work.
– Here, here, here, here.
– Before moving into… My first job out of accounting was actually as translator. So working for a large accounting firm, trying to translate IT vision to business operations. So very young, very green, but I was the only one in the organisation who could kind of balance between it. But obviously, that wasn’t a full-time job. So I moved into business intelligence at the same time. So it was a really cool start for a young person in the early 2000s where technology was just booming. And we had these new technologies that were coming to get started in a data field inside an accounting firm. So look, over my career, I have worked in multiple industries. I’ve run engineering firms, accounting firms, and in the last eight years, I joined up with an accounting firm after spending a bit of time running engineering, civil and construction firms to get back into the accounting industry to start making a bit of a difference into how we use data. So I joined a firm up in Toowoomba called Power Tynan, which we started off by just improving services and data and how that firm uses data. So they were our Guinea pig essentially, to how we did these data services.
– So and when you started at Power Tynan, what was your role? And maybe if you touch on like who Power Tynan is and then, what you started doing there.
– Yeah, cool. So when I started at Power Tynan, I started as the general manager at Power Tynan. So Power Tynan’s an interesting firm. It’s got offices in Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Roma, and Brisbane. The Roma and Brisbane offices are just service offices, but a multidisciplinary accounting firm. So financial planning, accounting, super, audit, leasing of finance, management accounting, and what makes us a bit different, it’s data analytics as well.
– Okay, so you started there straight into general manager?
– [Dan] Correct, correct.
– So you were doing a bunch of accounting and technology and data analyst roles and straight into general manager of an accounting firm?
– Yeah, so during my career, even when I was working in accounting, I’d moved to business intelligence and running accounting firms as part of when I was doing that role, which is quite split, so for a large operational and data focus in there, because look, data runs the world. So professional services is all about data and knowledge. So I got it to a point where I had maxed out what we were doing and this was a very large accounting firm, a couple of thousand people, and we were maxing out what we were doing with the data. I needed a bit of a challenge, so I ended up working in being general manager in that firm for 27 offices of the accounting group. And so, then from there I went and moved into engineering to run a firm, ’cause engineering’s very much like accounting. The only difference is the larger scale projects and different thought patterns with people, still data driven. So we worked a lot doing the Roads to Recovery programmes in Western Queensland doing the flood recovery works. So we were managing all of that building systems, processes, automation, data flows to enable a relatively small but really quickly growing team to leverage these massive projects and things like that. But then, when I joined Power Tynan, the CEO there, Amanda, who is one of my directors in PT 2.0, had been trying to get me to join for years. So back when I was at the accounting firm before I moved into engineering, because we had a lot of competency in some of the practise management systems.
– So Amanda saw what you were doing in that business and went and tried to poach you for a number of years.
– For about six years, she’d tried to get me to come across and eventually I came across to do a little project, and then the rest is history, when I joined up.
– So I saw in your LinkedIn bio when you were exec director of Power Tynan, you offer CIO for clients. Can you go into detail, it’s very weird for an accounting practise to be offering, I guess, a CIO as a service for their clients. How does that work?
– So how does that work? So accounting firms traditionally are compliant shops, but realistically, they’re their advisory firms. Now, advisory firms doesn’t mean doing, it’s just offering advice. So for some of our smaller clients, and just to be really clear is that we do this for the smaller businesses. By the time we get to the larger businesses, we actually bring partners in to make sure that those services are being offered just because there’s obviously, as you guys know, a wide breadth of skills that’s required to do that. So, yeah, so we got into that to just help out clients get started in the journeys, because a lot of them didn’t know where to turn. So they’d go to their accountants for help. And I think that’s probably been the beauty of why PT 2.0 has grown so much, is that we’re not experts in everything, but we are trying to connect people together. So where we can help, we’ll help, where we can’t, we get partners involved.
– That’s a pretty unique service offering for an accounting firm to do that. So that’s very interesting. And then from there, then you found a need in the market for PT 2.0. Do you want to go into who they are and why you started that?
– Yeah, so PT 2.0 was interesting. PT 2.0 was started on a car trip as me and Amanda were driving back from the coast from a bit of a strategy retreat where we had been talking about the accounting industry’s move into advisory and the fact that it was using different parts of people’s brains to actually offer advice as opposed to compliance, yeah. We moved from recording to questioning. So we’ve been talking about that and I said, “Look, I really want to do something.” We’ve been asking for help from other accounting firms to around data and their reporting and automation. And I said, “Let’s give this a go as a part of a business.” So let’s actually create it. And being accountants, we’re not all that creative. We’re creative, but we’re not. So the name PT 2.0, Power Tynan 2.0. So, we came up with the name, no one could think of anything better, so PT 2.0 stuck. And I think that that’s probably what differs us a little bit is that there is this accounting firm that then sits behind this advisory, which means that ’cause of our client base, we’ve got the best test ground out of any firm out there. We can ask, we can test all these technologies, automations, reporting and insight on our own team and then offer that to other accounting firms.
– So they’re separate businesses?
– [Dan] Separate businesses all part of the Power Tynan Group.
– Okay, right. Okay, cool. And what were the problems you were solving with PT 2.0 when you started, it’s obviously data, but what are the actual problems that other accounting firms had that you were hearing?
– Yeah, so accounting firms are these unique beasts. They have all of this data, they’ve got massive financial information, they’ve got massive client information, They’ve got massive relationship information. But in the whole, they don’t exploit it. They don’t even let alone exploit it, they don’t use it. So what we had is we had a couple of firms who we had been working at and we do a lot of talking at Account Tech and Business Expo and for APS and MYOB and those other systems, we’d been on various discussion panels talking about Power Tynan. And so, all these firms started contacting us saying, “Well, how do we do this? How do we do that?” And we went, you know what, there’s a business in this, there’s a business to help accounting firms leverage their information. And so, that’s initially what the core was, is that a large part of it was APS and MYOB reporting out of their systems to actually, rather than using good old SQL reportings to bring into things like power BI, power automate to just trigger and enhance it.
– So just so I can understand the model, so Power Tynan original 1.0, if you call that. That is a traditional accounting firm.
– [Dan] Full service accounting firms.
– Small to medium servicing SMBs. And the spec, audit to financial advisory, financial services licence.
– All that. Okay, financial planning. And then PT 2.0 and your PT 2.0 is also serving those customers, so call it a retail model, but also a wholesale type model where you are servicing other accounting firms.
– Yeah, correct. So we probably work with 100-150 accounting firms across Australia and New Zealand from small regional firms up to most of the mid-tiers users for one service or another. So most of our clients are actually not Power Tynan clients. Most of them are accounting firms who use us to solve either their internal problems or then help them with client problems. And is there any issues knowing that you kind of are a competitor on the left hand, but on the right hand you’re selling the product? Do you ever come across that?
– Look, we often have people remark, so we’re often quite forthright about it that it was there. But I think that’s what actually makes us different in it, is that we’re not just cramming reporting in analysis down people’s throats. Everything has been tested on the firm. So when somebody comes and says, “Oh, we want some productivity analysis,” it’s not coming in there and saying, okay, well what do you want to measure? It’s us going in there saying, okay, this is what we measure, this is how we do it. Your type of business is 1, 2, or 3. And we know that this is works, this is the drivers and this is how we do it. So it’s actually a strength that we find.
– Yeah, no, that’s cool. So is the model effectively in PT 2.0, would you say it’s a platform or there’s a platform, so you will kind of do a consultative engagement and then you have a suite of reports that you licence that clients can subscribe to?
– Pretty much most of the stuff that we do is bespoke reporting. So we will actually come and do a project with the firm, to come up. We do have some subscription services from reports that we have built. The issue is that obviously, firms are different.
– So you’re leveraging your IP and creating a derivative of your core set, so to speak.
– Customise it to them.
– You customise it to them, correct. And that’s worked quite well for us, but it also just means that people get what they want. There’s a lot of offerings on the market that are, I was going to say-
– 80-20 kind of thing.
– 70-30 maybe.
– So we’ll leverage what we’ve got, bring it up. But it’s always what the firm or their clients want.
– So that’s cool. So I mean, I guess you’re seeing, where do you see the growth potential in the business, obviously and/or in the group PT 2.0, is that driving?
– Well, we’ve actually got some pretty big growth targets for the entire business. PT 2.0 is one of those ones that we, well, we have been getting hyper-growth in each year, year on year. And look, I think that our big thing is here is, is maintaining our partnerships and getting everything. We’re a referral business. We don’t do any marketing really out there. We work with firms, we work with partners. We get referred in, we make sure that we do a good job, we rest on our reputation to do it. That gives us more work than we can deal with in a lot of circumstances. But the industry, I guess our big drive is actually to get accounting firms to move from being financial advisors to actual business advisors. So they’re using data to actually start talking about operational metrics as well as financial metrics, because we know that operational drivers lead to financial outcomes. So let’s start earlier, use data to help business advice.
– And do you have a preferred BI platform? Is it mostly.
– Yeah, so because we’re dealing with accounting firms, mainly accounting firms on Microsoft shops. We do 99% of stuff through Power BI, host data warehouses and Azure and everything else like that.
– And Power platform you’re using.
– Yeah, so we do quite a bit of Power apps development for generally Power apps development isn’t for the accounting firms, but for their clients down the line, but do quite a bit where there’s not an off the shelf solution. We’re a big believer in don’t custom dev unless you have to. Yeah, so it’s really as a case of last resort that we will go and build it. But we normally use Power apps as a data ingestion method rather than trying to replace applications, if that makes sense. So data into our systems and processes and then reporting it out.
– How big is your team in PT 2.0?
– So the team is seven people, so looking to grow, but obviously, there’s always that finding good competent people.
– Well, and the skillset, the type of.
– Yeah, so half the team have got accounting backgrounds. My right hand man’s an electrical engineer by trade.
– [Jackson] There you go.
– But yeah, we’ve got scholarships. So we run a scholarship programme as well through Power Tynan. So that’s where probably half our greater team come through our scholarship programme, but we’ve got it through University of Southern Queensland, which then allows them to study, get exemptions for quite a few subjects and work full-time. So they end up finishing the same time as full-time people, but with years of experience. So we’ve got a couple in there that are doing that as well. So yeah, some computer science people scholarships, so where the scholarships have come through that are studying IT and data.
– So when you say scholarships, it’s kind of a nicer way to say grad programme.
– [Dan] Yeah, correct. So, an undergrad programme essentially. So start from first year and it’s all the way through.
– I like that way to describe it.
– Are you finding it challenging to find software engineers in Toowoomba that want to come and do what you do in such a niche?
– It’s hard to find them anywhere. Just not just Toowoomba. Yeah, look, it is difficult and I guess, ’cause what we try and do is I often say that we’re an advisory firm first, we’re a tech firm second. Okay, so what our core business is helping businesses do better business. So what we need from our team is not just to be able to have the tech, but also, how do we relate that back to a business context. So what we either need to do is we need either need to take advisors and train them up in data skills, or we need to take tech people and train them up in business skills. But at the end of it, we’ve got to help some young people get some grey hairs, like some experience.
– So to that end, do you have anyone working remotely? Obviously, being in Toowoomba, you’re a bit out of the capital city, so it’s even more, it kind of augments those problems. Do you have people working remotely? Are you expanding your talent pool?
– Yep, so number 1, I’m going to be the remote worker in a couple of months time. I’m moving to Brizzie,
– So good one, welcome.
– Yeah, so that’ll be great. But we’ve got outsource team over in India, so they work remotely. Look, Toowoomba was one of these fantastic places that didn’t have much lockdown during COVID. So we got all our guys in the office most of the time. But that being said, life happens, right? So people need to look after kids and things like that. So we’re actually quite flexible in how we let the team work. But there’s nothing like getting together to have a bit of a chit-chat or we do quarterly hackathons where we just get everyone together to solve a problem and do stuff like that, which is really quite cool. Get that innovation out and things like that. So, it’s nice to have the team altogether. Yeah, definitely. I’m a big fan of, it’s weird working in IT company, but more a fan of being in the office. Maybe, that’s just, maybe I’m weird.
– We wouldn’t be able to do this Jackson if we were remote.
– Yeah, it’s exactly right. That’s actually the only reason I come in.
– Actually, we are going to be expanding in time. We’ll have the remote capability to do these as well, but definitely sitting next to Jackson you can’t replace it.
– So I want to talk to you on the elephant in the room or the missing elephant being your beard.
– Yeah, I looked up your LinkedIn profile.
– A bit different, but I guess the people who are listening on Spotify Music and not on YouTube, Dan usually has this big, glorious beard, is in today with a couple days growth by the looks of it.
– [Jackson] Go into what happened there?
– Yeah, so one of the things that Power Tynan Group do is we’ve actually got a charitable trust that we set up many years ago with the sole purpose. It’s staffed and manned by the team. Most of the donations come from the team as well. But we’ve given away over $200,000 to community organisations over the last, I think it’s 10, 11 years. So I have a quite a sick daughter who has undergone many surgeries and we have been fortunate enough to have services like Ronald McDonald House and HeartKids support us during these journeys. So most people don’t know the value of their beard. I know that mine’s worth about $8,000 as we were able to raise $8,000 for HeartKids.
– Oh, that’s awesome.
– And Ronald McDonald House. So that this is a week old. I feel cold and naked and the first thing my wife said was it’s coming back all right. So yes, so it is different.
– By the time we see you back in Brizzie, it’ll be in fine form.
– It’ll be back to its former glory.
– Good to hear. I guess, back onto PT 2.0, I was going to ask what your unique value proposition is to accounting firms, but is there any other competitors you have in Australia doing what you do?
– Yes, and we’ve helped build some of them.
– [Jackson] Oh, well. So look, this landscape is massive. So I’m a true believer that data services in accounting firms is going to what actually needs to evolve and grow. One business isn’t going to be able to do that. So we actually do a lot of training and education to help other accounting firms build up their data capabilities. So we for instance, have a Power BI training programme designed for accounting firms to be able to sit down there and train them up on how to start using and exploring data.
– So is that part of the consulting service when you do the bespoke or is that a separate?
– So what we try and do it with as many firms as we can. So we do the bespoke offering to build the reports, but then train team members on how to use the tools at the same time. So to a degree they can self-service, they can start building, but we are always there to support them. You’re not going to learn Power BI in a couple of days, let alone a couple of weeks or a couple of months. It takes years to master. But what we do is we empower them to at least start exploring and playing and we come in and longer term we still sit there and help them week-to-week, day-to-day as they run into issues. But at least they’re starting to use the information to make better decisions.
– How do you deliver that training?
– Generally face-to-face. We did it online over COVID, but it was not as good a result, because we try and make it extremely practical. So for instance, we do a theoretical component the first day where we use dummy data to explain concepts and probably even more explain the design process, which is probably harder than the actual technology as to how do you identify drivers for business and things like that, what do you actually want to measure and things like that. So we do theoretical, but day 2, we actually work on a project for the business. So we actually at the end of the workshop that not only do they have something that they’re going to use, but they’ve built it on something that is going to be meaningful to them rather than the canned examples that then turn into, oh yeah, that was great, but now I’ve got no idea how I’m going to apply that back at the office. And through that, we link up their practise management systems and everything. So they’ve got this nice little base.
– So you do integration as well?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. Look, part of the team do development of connectors. As much as possible though we try and use off the shelf something that doesn’t need to be maintained by the team. But we get software at times that is so far out there that you’ve just got to do something.
– So to that end is kind of like you said, 99% of your BI suite, because accounts are Microsoft is Power BI. Is it similar in the ratio of Xero, MYOB?
– Yeah, so when we get to practise management systems, MYOB’s the big player in the room. APS is then smaller. We’re seeing XPM just increasing. And that’s a lot to do with the fact that the industry’s in this place at the moment where everything’s going next gen, but it’s not implemented yet. So everyone’s just cautious. So XPM’s probably the stable next gen platform that’s there.
– That’s Xero Practise Manager.
– Xero Practise Manager, sorry, yeah. So we see that. Now back to client accounting, we’ve just seen this explosion towards Xero, where we’ve probably got 80, 90% of firms have Xero as the basis for their client accounting, which is good and bad. Competition’s always good. But then, on the good side, it means that as we’re trying to mine data out of things, you got a whole lot of consistency, that you can get the data-
– Got repeatable processes internally.
– [Dan] Correct, correct.
– I’ve done a lot of work with accounting firms over the years, and one thing that I noticed is getting some of the old school accounts to change from MYOB to something else, because they’re just so set in their ways and they’ve customised to get familiar with it, is like almost impossible. The tech that you’d build and/or just the processes or how BI dashboards or whatever, do you have any resistance in them actually using it or they adopt it because there’s so much value it brings to them?
– I’d like to think that they adopt, because of the value, but I also think that there is, we got people involved. Everyone’s got their own WIIFM, what’s in it for me? And so, we try to address that. I think the change in systems is largely due to, just being used to it. And so, we’ve got to be able to show people a better way forward to be able to deal with it. So then, when we get to the reporting and the analytics, we actually try and make it fairly standardised. Doesn’t matter what platform you are using, we’re trying to look at these we call ’em the core six pillars of how you run an accounting firm. So you actually bring the data out. Current day systems, so even the legacy systems are still pretty good. They’re great data stores to hold information.
– What’s a legacy system in your words?
– So legacy systems like MYOB AE and APS and things like that, which is still SQL database-driven, non-API kind of systems. But wealth of information, and let’s face it, we all love a good SQL server. You can get some cool transactional data. Problem is being you no two-way communication between other software. And that’s the way the industry is going is SaaS-type products. So it is that, trying to get over that. So for instance, we had to build an API for APS we developed internally just so that we could get cloud-based systems working with a legacy practise management system. So, there’s ways around it, but the industry is just in that flux state at the moment, where if you were to say who would I go to? It would be wait for the next gen to actually appear and be used.
– So next generation in your words, Xero Practise Manager, they’re almost there, that’s what they’re striving for. Fully cloud based or SaaS, but full practise management functionality.
– Yeah, so full practise management functionality, it’s a good product, it’s been out there, it’s a bit limited for large businesses. So once you start getting over 100 people, it’s not that you can’t use it, it’s that you’ve got to put work arounds and you’ve got to get structures right in it. We’ve got MYOB is got their new MYOB Bus Professional Services coming, which is based on MYOB advanced, which Acumatica out of U.S.. So great system, just needs to be battle proven in the accounting industry essentially. And then, we’ve got APS who’s working on their Ledger Plus and Contacts Plus kind of systems. And obviously, have just been bought by Access Group who have got their own platform that’s being built on Salesforce that’s getting released. So yeah, we’ve got these other systems that are coming,
– Coming soon.
– But are all SaaS-based. But yeah, we just want to see great implementations in the wild before we go down there.
– So in PT 2.0 again, still trying to work out what kind of business it is. It’s tech, half tech, half accounting really. Well not accounting, but more advisory. So you mentioned that you’re doing obviously a lot on Microsoft and Azure. Are you a Microsoft partner? Are you providing Microsoft licencing, Azure subscriptions? Who do you work with?
– So most accounting firms have a provider already. So, we actually work with the providers to be able to do it. So we’re not a Microsoft partner. We’ve got Microsoft certifications and very, very basic levels. But we don’t try and handle that kind of thing. Let’s face it, that’s a skillset in itself, it’s a massive thing. So we tend to work with technology partners to make sure-
– So you’d work with a company like us I guess to help you configure all the backend and give you access to that or whatever it’s you need.
– Correct, absolutely.
– So let’s say, one of our listeners owns an accounting practise for example, and they’re looking at, oh, is the system we have the best? Or maybe they’re setting up something. What are some key takeaways and advice you would give? ‘Cause you’re definitely an expert in that.
– Yep, so very, very first thing is for now systems, I would stay where you are. I think the big thing at the moment is actually working out the data you’ve got in the system, the data integrity, cleaning it up and start using the data that you’ve actually got already, ’cause it doesn’t matter if you’re an XPM, APS, MYOB or anything, you’ve got this plethora of data that’s not being used. So we know industry trends, we know about how efficient your staff are. We know how often they’re picking up and putting down work. We know who’s lying on their time sheet. We know all of these things about the processes inside an accounting firm just from the data that’s stored in these systems and firms aren’t using them. So when firms come to talk to us, largely, it’s around profitability and utilisation. So performance-type metrics inside the business, which are my profitable services, who are my profitable people? What is my utilisation? What’s my wastage? And all of these kind of things as well. Where can we market additional services to clients we already have? And things like that.
– So why are they not using that data now? Is it because it’s buried in MYOB for example?
– Yeah, so a lot of the reporting programmes that sit off the practise management systems are not entirely user-friendly. So they require somebody to be trained up in them or if you’re a SQL DBM, you’d have a wonderful time in there, but accounts aren’t that.
– Especially not a 20-person accounting firm.
– Especially not a 20-person accounting firm. So as a result, people run a lot of Excel-type reports out of there, but then can’t connect the data together. So they might run a client list out and then try and align it to a whip ledger or a billing sheet or something like that. So we just get this cumbersome mismatch of data. So what we’re trying to do is get people to the point where they’re spending hours a year on internal reporting, not hours a day or a week on it. So really leverage the data that they’ve got. And look, having spent the last couple of decades in professional services and running firms, there’s a few things that we know are key drivers that we can help firms identify, address and get some efficiency on.
– So I saw your key offerings being data analysis, data integrity. Is that part of you would, I guess your engagement, would be to do a workshop around where they’re at right now and then you would lift the hood and look at what they have going on with the current data.
– Correct, correct. So we do what we call is a now where how analysis, when we first talked to a firm, where are you now, where do you want to get to? And then, it’s up to us to get how we actually do it. Now, a lot of that how is not actually starting with us. It’s actually starting with their other providers and their partners to do things. We quite often get, “Oh, I want do X, but my system’s not stable.” “Okay, well, let’s not worry about the data you’re trying to get out there, let’s get that right first and let’s get that all sorted.” “Oh yeah, I’ve got this, but I don’t have all my team or all the clients in the database or system.” “Okay, let us help you identify where you got missing, incomplete and inconsistent data, but let’s get that fixed before we do any analysis.” So, in a lot of cases it’s that journey that we try and take people down, but at the same time, not trying to do everything ourselves at the same time.
– Yeah, we do something similar when you look at IT really. You have that conversation about what issues you have, but when you actually lift the bonnet and see what’s going on, I imagine you would get this kind of issue where people are like, “Oh yeah, and here’s my CRM,” and they pull it out a bit of paper and hand you over an Excel document printed out, for example, and then when you ask for data, they just can’t bring it up. And you uncover more problems than you initially spoke about when you were pitching, “This is what we do.”
– So here’s the two big events that happen in an accounting firm every year around data. First one is Christmas cards.
– Yeah, right.
– Everyone spends hundreds of hours doing Christmas card lists. I’m actually doing a little bit of a webinar with another group who have had this issue, because we don’t maintain the integrity of our systems every year people pull Christmas card lists, it goes to partners, it gets approved, cards get done up, it get sent. Just a colossal waste of time. The second is, is the accounting industry has this wonderful thing at cleaning their data in July. Things lockdown the lodgement deadlines have passed. Everyone’s in that little bit of a chillax, but not as much as it used to be in the past, but they start including their data. So what do they do? They export it all to Excel and they got this nice big long list of data they’re going to claim they start from the top, top starts with A, start working down the list, but then they get to C, by the time the work comes back. So, we’ve written some data integrity tools for MYOB and APS that go in there and fix the data and things like that. A to C it’s fantastic, D onwards is filthy. So this is this, we’ve got knowledge workers with massive amounts of data, but not harnessing it. And that’s what we want to change, is we want to change that and make sure that firms are using their data to make better decisions about their clients.
– I could imagine you facing that, ’cause accountants love Excel and-
– [Dan] Love Excel.
– You’d be telling me all the time to stop using Excel for this, you’ve got systems in place.
– But look, the big thing is we’ve been trying to tell people is that Power BI is Excel 2.0. It’s the next iteration, it was based out of Excel, built out of Excel and became its own thing.
– And if you really want, you can export your Power BI report into Excel and muck around with it a little bit more if you really need some nostalgia.
– Correct, correct. Or don’t learn to use the tool, but yes.
– So what’s next for PT 2.0?
– Other than taking over the world, look, we’ve done a lot with accounting firms. We’re working on some more subscription-type services for people. We’re looking at things like Reporting as a Service for firms so that, we’ve just said that we’ve got people who aren’t up together with the tools is actually coming in and running the reporting for their organisation so that they’ve got someone who knows what they’re doing in the systems to actually come and where the boards and the partners have questions, there’s someone there who can access the data to leverage. But I think a big thing is going to be that continual education and actually trying to get more firms to become data-aware. Yeah, they’re going to need other resources around them. But yeah, let’s actually start doing that. And we’ve just recently picked up our first clients in the U.S. in the UK.
– Oh wow, excellent.
– Geography doesn’t matter for data-type services. We can do it anywhere, because there’s nothing physical in it. The only thing that’s a bit of a challenge at times is obviously time zones in there, but data is data.
– It’s a great story and it is a unique one to be honest, like your background and then Power Tynan and pivoting to PT 2.0 from a conversation in the car, it’s really exciting. And what you’re doing is that niche around data and accounting firms. So I really appreciate you coming in, Dan. You’ve provided some great insights. Where can people, if they have similar problems or want to reach you for a conversation, where can they find you?
– Yep, so you can jump on the website’s. Probably the easiest way is pt20.com.au or just look me up Dan Beck on LinkedIn. You’ll certainly find me there. Yeah, or give us a call. But I’d say go to the website, that’s always the easiest way to get started.
– We’ll have contact details in the show notes for the listeners.
– Awesome, thanks Dan. Thanks for coming in. Thanks for listening.
– Thanks for having me.
– Thanks Dan.