ApprovalMax & Spotlight Reporting: Sharesies’ secret to agile growth

Have you seen our webinar with Sharesies and Spotlight Reporting? It’s never too late to watch the recording. We chatted to Hannah Korner, Corporate Accountant at Sharesies, about how their cloud accounting app stack has helped them create airtight, efficient AP processes and reports, and how those efficiencies allow them to scale. 

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We discussed topics like

  • What does Sharesies do?
  • How is their finance team structured?
  • What are some of the key challenges Sharesies’ finance team have faced?
  • How do they benefit from automated spend control and AP processes?
  • How do they use tools like ApprovalMax and Spotlight Reporting to improve their processes?
  • How does Sharesies app stack set them up for agile growth?

Download our case study to learn about Sharesies’ complete accounting app stack and how ApprovalMax has helped to change their accounting systems and processes for the better.

Case Study: How Sharesies automated their approvals process & EOFY audits

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Webinar roundup: what will you learn?

If you’re yet to watch the webinar or read the case study, Sharesies are a New Zealand-born fintech company. They operate a platform that allows their users (across Australia and New Zealand) to buy and sell shares in companies across NZ, Australia and the US. 

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Sharesies saw remarkable growth. Hannah and the rest of the Sharesies finance team knew they needed to redesign their finance processes to support the company’s continued growth. They needed tools that would automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks and allow the finance team and approvers to focus on tasks that bring real value to the business and the board. As Hannah put it in the webinar:

“At the end of the day, you want computers doing computer work, and people doing valuable and interesting tasks.”

Sharesies’ finance team is compact, consisting of three full-time members and two part-time staff. Efficiency, value, and timeliness are crucial to the team’s success. After implementing an automated approval process and streamlined EOFY audits with ApprovalMax, Sharesies adopted Spotlight Reporting to analyse financial data and provide real-time insights that bring value to the board and the wider business. Automation has also led to high-quality data which drives the reliability of their reporting, helping the team gain trustworthy insight into their business performance.

“If you can strip out repetitive tasks, then you can use that person’s time to do more ad hoc project work, analysis, and business partnering.”

The benefits of Sharesies’ app stack, including approval matrixes, spend control, streamlined board reports, and financial tracking, are a recipe for success. By using this stack, the company has significantly reduced the time it takes to produce board reports, from hours to mere minutes. This allows them to spend more time on in-depth analysis and commentary, providing even more value to the wider business with robust reports that aid in informed business decisions from the board.

Watch the webinar to discover how Sharesies’ implementation of ApprovalMax and Spotlight Reporting has enabled them to scale their business quickly and efficiently through automated approvals and data-driven reporting.

Webinar: how Sharesies’ tech stack enables their growth

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What are the biggest challenges for accountants, bookkeepers and finance professionals?

According to our survey of webinar attendees, the top challenges cited were: 30% reported that preparing reports for board meetings is time-consuming, and 25% said the reporting process is manual and prone to errors.

See all the results from webinar respondents in the chart below:

When it comes to managing your finance systems, what are your biggest challenges right now?

Reporting for board meetings takes too much time

Reporting process is too manual/error-prone

Our AP processes are slow, manual, and inefficient

Average invoice approval times are too long

Policies for spend control are loose and need tightening

Data that is used for reporting is not completely accurate

Have your say

Let us know in the poll below what challenges you face while managing your finance function!

Unlock the key to streamlined approvals with our checklist, ‘Is Approval Automation Right for Your Business’.

Download the case study now and get exclusive access to our highly-requested checklist.

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How to know if approval automation is right for your business or clients

When it comes to updating your accounting tools, it can be challenging to decide when is the right time. Instead of focusing on timing, consider how a new tool will enhance your business or workflow. Reflect on how often you repeat tasks and spend time on them on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

Approval automation offers more than just timely approval of financial documents. It can streamline accounts payable processes, improve spend control, and facilitate streamlined audits. Here are five key considerations for successfully implementing automation and optimizing your AP processes.


If you haven’t already, adopt cloud accounting

Adopting cloud accounting tools, such as Xero, can greatly improve your business processes by providing access to a wide range of partner apps. By integrating a cloud accounting platform with a cohesive app stack, you can optimise your finance function for efficiency and smooth operation.


Streamline invoicing with OCR tools and integration

OCR tools, such as Dext Prepare, can eliminate delays, enhance data accuracy, and facilitate paperless invoicing. By connecting an OCR tool to your cloud accounting platform, you can scan invoices and automatically input the data into your accounting system. Combining your OCR tool with ApprovalMax, which seamlessly integrates with Xero and Dext, allows you to automate the entire approval process and eliminates the need for manual approvals and follow-up with approvers.


Establish a delegation of authority for automated approvals

A delegation of authority (DFA) sets the boundaries and framework of your approval matrix and is crucial to have in place before automating approvals. By creating a DFA policy, you can design your approval matrix to automatically enforce it, reducing the risk of fraud and enhancing spend control. Setting up this matrix in ApprovalMax is straightforward, and it can be easily modified to adapt to your business as it grows.


Use a reporting tool to deep-dive into your data

Reliable data and accessible reporting are essential for effectively tracking business performance, managing spending, forecasting, making informed decisions, and implementing improvements. Sharesies have opted to use Spotlight Reporting since it integrates with Xero and ApprovalMax. When choosing an app, it’s important to ensure that it will work well with the other tools you use. Take the time to evaluate what you need the app to do and determine if it will be compatible with your existing tech-stack.


Automate repetitive tasks and focus on high-value opportunities

As Hannah perfectly put it, “you want computers doing computer work, and people doing valuable and interesting tasks.” Automation plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. By automating repetitive tasks, your finance team can focus on analysing data and executing high-impact projects. Additionally, automation leads to faster approval times, higher data accuracy, elimination of errors, reduction of delays, and real-time reporting that is reliable.

Automate your approvals with ApprovalMax

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