Today on episode 45 of the Cloud Stories podcast I’m talking with Wayne Schmidt. Wayne has over 28 years’ experience in the accounting industry spearheading the Australian expansion for Xero, MYOB and Reckon. Wayne is passionate about helping accounting firms to grow, embrace change and drive profitability. Based in Australia, and having worked in the USA, UK and China, Wayne has a unique global understanding of accounting firms and the latest trends in the accounting industry.
Karbon is task management software designed for accountants.
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In this episode I talk to Wayne about:
- From a young age Wayne was a trailblazer – studying applied computer science at La Trobe University – in the early 80’s. So he had a background in computers before we realised how revolutionary they were going to be!
- Wayne is a programmer and code cutter by trade.
- After university he worked for old traditional company Norwich Life in Melbourne – writing financial planning software for about five years. They still had a tea trolley!
- July 1988 he realised the only way he would get promoted is if someone dies. So he left and set up a programming company called Tailored Solutions. He started writing computer software.
- He did that horrible calculation he timed out his hourly rate by how much he could actually work, plus leave, and realised he was down to not much salary. He’d left a company and just got a job with no one of the benefits of having a job. He realised he needed to do something.
- He looked around and thought why don’t I sell stuff? If you sell something there is no limit to what you sell it’s not like hours. Wayne had a light bulb moment “When you are selling stiff you can sell as much as you like?
- Let’s pick the hardest thing that no-one likes selling and that was accounting software!
- So that’s how Wayne developed an interest in the accounting world!
- Tailored Solutions sold accounting software when accounting software was really expensive, and before MYOB or other well-known brands were around.
- Wayne recognised how important bookkeepers were in the industry and launched the MYOB bookkeeper programme. #Trailblazer He redeveloped all the partner programs including the developer and Certified Consultant (CC) program. He started partner programs from his own business Tailored Solutions.
- Wayne discusses his time with MYOB in the UK. He highlights the lack of development funding and payroll in the solution. Why it was sold and how he sold it lightning fast!
- You need to invest in your core.
- Wayne shares his first memory of Xero. It was while working at MYOB – they had a war room – where Xero’s name came up.
- If you ever hear your staff say let’s have coffee – it is code for I’m going for a job interview. Wayne shares insights into his first meeting with Rod Drury and Hamish Edwards. He thought “This clouds going to go places.” He started as the Country Manager of Xero in 2009.
- He talks about the early days, limited funds, low customer numbers, big image!
- He talks about making a video with early adopter Gillian Rossouw.
- So with all of these achievements what has Wayne won?
- We discuss how awesome the MYOB CC’s program was – gave you a business and let you run it the way you want it.
- Wayne actually knows how to use accounting software!!
- Wayne is self-taught when it comes to sales and marketing. He has done courses, and he observes and analyses and assesses what works for him.
- Yes Clayton Oates gets a mention at the 19min mark!
- Wayne and I are competitive when it comes to social media. He is beating me on LinkedIN (10250!), I am beating him on twitter! Both are a way to build up your personal brand.
- Wayne talks about KarbonHQ a task management solution for accountants founded by Stuart Mcleod. KarbonHQ operates as a triage to allocate email and tasks to staff. It is developing AI, and will be vendor agnostics.
- Stuart McLeod developed a payroll solution that was sold into Xero, and is the payroll solution users will know.
- Know who you are marketing too. You have so much control if you know that.
- Karbon has done a great job of releasing white papers “2016 Karbon accounting trends report” You can download the report here: https://karbonhq.com/downloads/?type=downloads&id=83e07d72-ca1d-11e5-afd8-0236605552d7&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=OK-twitter-profile&utm_campaign=OK-%23KarbonTrends The Marketing Capocha who developed the white paper is Agus Echagüe. Say Hi! to her on twitter @agusechague.
Today’s episode is sponsored by Spotlight Reporting.
Resources mentioned in this interview
- MYOB http://myob.com.au
- Reckon https://www.reckon.com/au/
- Xero https://www.xero.com/au/
- KarbonHQ https://karbonhq.com/
Connect with Wayne
- Twitter @KarbonHQ and @Wayne_Schmidt
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karbonhq
- Website https://karbonhq.com/
- LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/wayneschmidt
Thanks for listening! What’s been your biggest learning from today’s episode? Share in the comments below.