Who better to create an all-in-one financial analysis, forecasting and budgeting software than proven financial experts. Peter M Vessenes CEO of ProfitSee Inc led his team to being named “Best in Show” at the 2010 Intuit Partner Platform Cloud Jam, proving itself as THE small and midsized business financial analytics software.
ProfitSee serves business owners and their professional advisors with critical financial insights to manage cash flow, analyze financial results, construct budgets, and accurately understand and plan for growth initiatives. ProfitSee Pro, the newest addition to the ProfitSee software family, allows CPAs and financial advisors to monitor all their clients’ financial data from one place and displays actionable information to share with clients.
MO: Tell us more about your background and the background of people on your team that truly makes you the perfect people to create this software?
Peter: I have been involved with corporate turnarounds and transitions since 1982, assisting businesses of all sizes from multinationals to startups during difficult times. I learned a lot about what makes a business successful and not successful. I noticed that more often than not, business owners struggle with understanding the fiscal and asset management of the company. I also found that business accounting is not the same as the fiscal and asset management of a business. This fueled my passion for helping business owners take control of their company’s financials and empowering them to succeed in the market.
We are very fortunate to have smart and committed team members with an entrepreneurial spirit. Peter J Vessenes, CTO, majored in math and computer science at Brown University. After working for a branch of McKinsey Consulting, he left to launch his first web based software business. Since then, Peter has launched more than three other internet startups and designed the entire data management system for ZipCar. Our chief programmer, Martin Moschitz studied at Sanford University and interned in Silicon Valley by the time he was 21. Martin is originally from Austria. Lora Kratchounova, Marketing Specialist, has worked with several technology startups throughout her career. We share the same passion for connecting business owners to the resources they need that will help them succeed.
MO: Is ProfitSee only for those with a lot of experience with the financial side of business, or can a person with little knowledge utilize the software to plan for growth?
Peter: ProfitSee the software is designed so the combination of the simpler screens and audiovisual tutorials allow business owners with little financial background to understand important elements of what it takes to manage their business. Additional features (such as the Scenarios tool) require a more sophisticated knowledge of financial management. All of those features are built around a reflection of how you do business planning and strategizing for your company. All business owners should be able to grow into using ProfitSee with modest effort. We offer a variety of video tutorials and resources to help. Our newest product, ProfitSee Pro was designed superficially for the people who provide advisory services to businesses, such as CPA and consultancy firms that work with small and mid-sized businesses.
MO: Why is your Board of Directors so important to you, and what advice can you give to others in a startup looking at developing their board of directors?
Peter: We are very fortunate to have a broad spectrum of experience on our board. I’ve been doing this long enough that despite my future and past successes I’ve learned not to believe by own press clippings. It takes a group of people with a unique knowledge base and skill set to successfully fulfill the Board of Directors. Mike Muhney, cofounder of ACT! Contact Management Solutions — who believes we have a global product—brings a wealth of expertise to the company. Galen Vettor, former CFO of Franklin-Templeton Funds, is the Chairman of our Board. Galen has a background in accountancy, having spent part of his career at McGladrey. He has a background in accountancy and capital management for companies. His insight into the needs of our target customers will be important as we grow. Another board member, Richard Shorma, has built and managed over nine manufacturing companies in a closely held family business. He has a very firm understanding of what it is like to build a small to midsized business at the grassroots level.
In order to create a great Board of Directors, you have to think carefully about your challenges and limitations as a business and pull in people that can help fill those gaps. Also, look at your customer and distribution channels, and recruit individuals who have experience and expertise in those disciplines.
MO: Why does ProfitSee Pro offer CPAs and other professionals a competitive edge?
Peter: ProfitSee Pro is the only product that allows you to monitor all of your clients from a single piece of software in real-time while both ranking their financial risk and providing granular relevant information that the CPA can use to provide valuable advice to their business clients.
MO: You mention that your software is tied to an emerging shift in the accountancy world towards consultative financial management services. Can you tell us more about this “shift” you see?
Peter: For a long time the accountancy world has survived on audit and tax. Now, with government regulatory laws growing, alterative business services to CPA firms, continuing advancements in technology and a growing number of both small to midsized businesses and CPAs, the value proposition of an accountant’s financial services has diluted. In other words, the margin of CPA firm services is shrinking. We’ve seen a need for financial service institutions to expand their offerings in order to stay competitive and to truly deliver the assistance business owners need.
MO: What are the 8 core elements you talk about in your book “Building Your Multi-Million Dollar Practice”?
Peter: The 8 core elements that all business owners have to be attentive to are:
• The Client Experience (Sales)
• Top Of Mind Awareness (Marketing)
• Operational Workflows; The Back Office
• Compliance and Regulatory Law
• Human Resources & Organizational Development
• Fiscal and Asset Management of the Business
• Strategic and Functional Business Planning
In my experience, I’ve found that Fiscal and Asset Management is the most challenging element for business owners to take control of. That is why I founded ProfitSee.
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