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Accounting Trends in AI & Advisory: Richard Francis
Episode 369th October 2023 • Accounting Influencers Podcast • Rob Brown (Accounting Influencers Roundtable - AIR)
00:00:00 00:32:43

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Rob Brown has the the privilege of hosting Richard Francis, the visionary Founder and CEO of Spotlight Reporting. As a global business intelligence software company dedicated to serving accounting firms and CFOs, Spotlight Reporting has been at the forefront of transforming the accounting profession. Richard takes us on a journey through his personal and professional evolution, from his early days in accounting to the pivotal moment when he saw the need for revolutionary reporting, forecasting, and consolidation tools.

Richard's passion for driving change in the accounting landscape shines through as he discusses Spotlight Reporting's mission: to empower accountants and CFOs to provide meaningful, value-added services. He emphasizes the importance of advisory services, a topic often overshadowed by compliance, and shares his vision of accountants as catalysts for profound change in their clients' lives.

The conversation delves into the recent survey conducted by Spotlight Reporting, revealing fascinating insights into accountants' readiness to embrace transformation and the shift towards more advisory-focused services. Richard's intellectually curious nature and commitment to innovation shine through as he explores the evolving role of technology, artificial intelligence, and the changing dynamics of hiring in the accounting profession.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the future of accounting and the incredible opportunities it offers in a rapidly changing world. Join us as we embark on a journey of discovery, uncovering the exciting prospects that lie ahead for accountants and CFOs alike.

Richard Francis is the visionary founder and CEO behind Spotlight Reporting, a global business intelligence software company catering to the needs of accounting firms and CFOs. Since its inception in 2011, Spotlight Reporting has grown to include over 50 dedicated professionals spread across Australia, the UK, Canada, the US, and New Zealand. Today, it proudly serves as the trusted tool for over 2,000 forward-thinking firms, impacting over 100,000 businesses each month. Notably, Spotlight Reporting has garnered numerous prestigious awards, solidifying its position as a multi-award winner in the industry.

Before his remarkable journey with Spotlight Reporting, Richard served as a General Manager at Xero from 2012 to 2014. His expertise in software development led to the successful acquisition of his own software business in 2012. Prior to venturing into the tech world, Richard began his career as a Chartered Accountant, honing his skills at a prominent firm. He later embarked on a transformative journey to the UK, where he spent four enriching years.

Upon returning to New Zealand in 2001, Richard and his wife, Julie, embarked on an entrepreneurial path, establishing a 'boutique' advisory practice. This endeavor focused on delivering Virtual CFO and strategic services, further enriching Richard's extensive and diversified background in the accounting and software industries.


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