Lee Murphy, MD and owner of The Accountancy Partnership and Pandle cloud accounting software, talks about the business.

Pandle is free, cloud based accounting software made with real people in mind. Pandle focuses on sole traders and small businesses and is simple and intuitive to use. It minimises user error with the use of checks and algorithms to ensure that the data being entered is complete and accurate, Lee Murphy, Managing Director and Owner of The Accountancy Partnership and Pandle cloud accounting software, tells us more.

I came up with the idea when... I was running a small business myself and realised how much of a challenge navigating the tax system was. I realised that unless I could afford a bookkeeper or continuous accountancy advice that I was going to have to do some of the work myself. It’s then I realised there was a gap in the market for a company to focus on the smaller end of the market and to simplify the processes and requirements for small business owners through guidance in plain English and intuitive software.

The biggest challenge is... Recruitment. Finding and recruiting quality staff is a very difficult thing to do, especially when your business is small. Companies are always competing for the best employees which means that you have to find ways to attract good people and incentivise them to stay long term. At times, our recruitment has been the limiting factor for our growth and so refining recruitment processes and packages offered to employees is key.

The average day is spent... Software testing of the changes the developers make to Pandle and coming up with new ideas to improve features and user experience. I also spend time recruiting, reviewing company performance reports and acquiring customer feedback from sales, support and accounts to look at areas I can tweak and improve our processes.

The team consists of...

6 developers
4 marketing staff
2 sales staff
7 accountants
2 directors
4 admin

Total: 25

Our/my favourite quote... 'Do what you’re passionate about and you’ll never work a day in your life.'

I am where I am today because of... Focus and persistence. As simple as it sounds, I have found that focusing and working on the same goal every single day will eventually lead to success, no matter how many mistakes you make. Some people will get there quicker than others but persistence will eventually pay off. It is important to clearly define your company’s goal and then define smaller goals along the way to reach this.

And I am who I am because of... A consistent eagerness to learn in order to improve. There is a wealth of information available to entrepreneurs for next to no cost; on YouTube, in books, on blogs, webinars and podcasts. I think every business owner should take advantage of these resources as it will only lead to good things.

The best advice I've been given... Work on the business and not in the business. Whilst this is not always possible, (especially in the early days) I have always tried to adhere to this advice and will spend at least 50% of my day progressing the business rather than working on day to day issues.

In five years I’d like to be... Supplying small businesses all over the world with the best accounting software anywhere

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... It’s not for the faint hearted. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it’s the result of thousands of tiny efforts and dealing with setbacks on a daily basis. Growing a business can be really messy and scrappy and this is not something outsiders tend to see.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... We made some bad hiring choices early on which caused a lot of issues and a knock on effect while scaling. This taught us that even if someone looks good on paper to always listen to your gut instinct.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date... Finally launching our software after a year in development and receiving extremely good feedback from users from day one. This was validation that we were/are on to something and are making a difference to the success of small businesses in the UK.

September 2016