Votee – Xero to Help Decision Making
Being able to make smart decisions is often dependent on having access to quality information and opinions. This is true for not only individuals, but for businesses as well. Unfortunately, quality information and opinions are not easily obtained unless one is proactively looking for them.
For Calista Hung of Votee, having prior experience working in large corporations and being a fan of politics has allowed her to recognize and understand the unique difficulty associated with information gathering. “Despite having a big impact on societies, it seems like groups of influence would often make policy decisions based on gut feelings,” she said.
Wanting to facilitate the sharing of ideas and opinions, Calista joined Votee, a platform that offers an efficient method to gather opinions in a cheap, fast, and accurate way.
Identifying the Opportunity and Pivoting
“We saw that many groups lacked effective means to gather the opinions and sentiments of key segments of our population,” said Calista. “Regardless of what type of group is collecting information, developing an effective feedback cycle of information collecting can allow you to have better products, policies, and even more effective implementation.”
Despite being incorporated over 6 years ago, Votee has constantly had to decide between growth or rebuilding. At first, Votee was marketed to users as a fun and private way for individuals to vote, and get instant opinions from friends and family, however “as time went on we realized there were more practical uses of our application in business.”
In the last two years, Votee has launched Votee Insight, a version of their platform designed for businesses. Whenever a brand wants to gather insights from their customers, they approach Votee who will send a list of questions to qualified panels within their database. In return for responding to the questions, respondents will receive coupons for the brands in question.
This pivot has been an incredible success. Votee now helps businesses not only gauge their customers’ experiences, but also their opinions on concepts, events and marketing initiatives. However, this influx of customers has brought about a new set of issues at Votee – they needed an accounting platform that could scale with their business.
The Need for an Efficient Accounting System
When asked about what made them realize changes needed to be made, Calista said, “originally, we were using Excel to manually track all our income and expenses but it became too difficult to maintain as it made understanding our company incredibly difficult.”
Ironically, the lack of a proper accounting system meant that Votee’s decision making process was negatively affected. “When we only used Excel, it took too long to perform manual entry that we didn’t have time to efficiently analyze this information and use it in our decision making process.” Deciding that something needed to change, Votee approached FastLane for help transitioning to Xero, a cloud-based accounting platform.
After having used Xero for several years, Calista said there was a noticeable improvement in how their company operated internally. Much like how Votee aims to help change how insights are collected for better decision making, Xero’s ability to provide real-time information has allowed Votee to make better decisions in regards to their company.
“We rely heavily on Xero’s automated bank feeds for our data-entry tasks. The platform is even able to auto-generate whatever financial reports we need, as we need them! I think from an efficiency perspective, Xero is really helpful. Time saved is money saved.” But what surprised Calista most wasn’t that Xero could address all their issues, but that it went above and beyond what was needed. “Xero became our centralized data hub. We knew that the platform had a lot to offer but only realized how collaborative our processes can be after we talked to FastLane. Now they are assisting us with our audit and tax related work with the information residing in Xero, letting us focus more time on growing our business.”
A Platform to Grow
By adopting Xero, Votee has an established platform from which they can grow their business. “At first, we thought of Xero as solely an accounting platform. We didn’t realize it can be used as a one-stop solution for all our other third-party applications!” With over hundreds of applications that can be integrated, Xero has become Votee’s platform of choice for which they can run their business through.