Xero’s app marketplace has over 800 apps which help small businesses and their advisors reach their goals. Each month we celebrate an app partner who stands out for helping small businesses thrive. Find out more about Xero’s app partner program here.
Introducing SuiteFiles, our October app partner of the month
SuiteFiles is a cloud based document management system that provides a single source of truth for all documentation.
SuiteFiles started in 2012 and launched their integration with Xero Practice Manager in October 2013. It is a simple, cost-effective document management solution offering businesses an option to use a fully fledged document management system in conjunction with XPM. In particular, when a new client is created in XPM, SuiteFiles creates a folder using a standardised structure. Templates (both documents and emails) can also be pre-populated with data from XPM.
Co-Founder, Andy Sims shares how he saw an opportunity to create a cloud-based solution to help businesses connect and securely manage all their documentation in one place.
“While working as a cloud computing consultant with small to medium businesses, I saw the same issues consistently arise for them. There was a lack of document storage in the cloud that suited the needs of modern businesses, especially those in professional service environments,” says Andy.
When Callum McNeill came on board as Co-Founder and CTO, a new way of working with documents in the cloud was formed and SuiteFiles was born.
Building on strong foundations
Like many startups, SuiteFiles started from an idea and a determination to make it work. However, in the early stages, it was easy to get distracted. “Pick a route and remain focused on it and the end goal. It’s easy to lose time and money going down paths that deviate from your original goal and doesn’t serve the big picture,” Andy advises.
The team has experienced many wins along the way that they have built on. One of the biggest was the integration with XPM. It enabled them to build relationships and grow their accounting vertical. This enables them to better tailor the product to meet the needs of accountants and bookkeepers.
A solution to a problem
Suitefile saves users hours each week by automating repetitive processes. Client information, documents and communications is all stored in a centralised location ensuring it can be accessed from wherever.
“We continually look at how we can help accountants, bookkeepers and financial services to communicate and connect with their clients easily and securely. Using Sign in with Xero makes it easy for all involved to access the information they need, when they need it.”
Building a deeper integration with Xero
As a cloud-based solution, SuiteFiles has always had a relationship with Xero but a deeper integration with Xero made sense.
“The initial integration took approximately two or three months to build but we continued to add to it, making the connections stronger each month. We feel we can add more value for our customers by making our integration with Xero deeper.”
The Xero ecosystem has been SuiteFiles biggest channel for growth, providing exposure to thousands of customers. “We really believe that our product provides a benefit to Xero accountants and bookkeepers. We’re lucky that the Xero team can see these benefits, and talk about our product with their partners. The Ecosystem team do a fantastic job of keeping us across what’s happening more broadly at Xero. The ecosystem experience has been amazing.”
A rewarding journey so far…
Andy and the team love connecting with people, and learning what they want in a cloud-based file management solution. Xero offers opportunities to catch up with customers, hear their feedback and show off the product to prospective buyers. “I think I’ve now been to 10 Xerocons and it’s an amazing opportunity to connect with accounting firms and find out what they want.”
The team discovered firms were saving between 3-5hrs per user, per week by using SuiteFiles after conducting some research. “We have customers who have thrown away their printers because SuiteFiles has enabled them to be completely paperless, or customers who have accidentally lost all of their data, but have been able to restore it from back ups. Those stories always make me smile.”
The future is looking ‘suite’
Suitefiles is ready for growth. Expanding into new markets with their eye on the US and UK alongside New Zealand and Australia,
“Every market responds to different things, and so we have spent a lot of time customising our message to suit different regions. I think it’s absolutely possible to create significant and sustainable growth – you just have to be strategic in how you approach it.”
The team has just launched SuiteFiles Connect. This will be a massive focus for them in the short term as they continue to add more functionality. They also plan to improve the document signing platform. They’re building additional automation into the platform, especially around email and task management, and an iOS app is coming soon.