Rob and Ashleigh Hole, Octopus Creative

When Rob and Ashleigh moved to Bonnyville in Alberta, with their new surroundings came a new business opportunity.

photo of Rob and Ashleigh Hole, Octopus Creative

Watch Rob and Ashleigh's story

Watch video here

The perfect storm

Most of the businesses in Bonnyville weren’t online at the time and, when recession hit, those businesses felt what they were missing. It was then that Rob, Ashleigh, and a friend realized they had a solution to the problem.

With Rob’s history building websites, Ashleigh’s experience as a graphic designer, and a friend whose background was in marketing, they made the complete package. And that’s how their agency, Octopus Creative, was born.

Moving on up

Octopus Creative wasn’t just an important move for Rob and Ashleigh, but also for their town. The aim was to help people in need, and that’s been their driving force ever since.

“We think a small town business matters just as much as a city business does. It’s really just as important in a small town to have good awareness and to exist.”

Not having any real idea of what money was coming in and out of the business became a bit of a problem.

“It made us realize that we really needed to spend time to find a great accountant. Because with our previous accountant, everything was done manually and by paper, so when we wanted numbers, they couldn’t give them to us.”

Figures at their fingertips

When Rob and Ashleigh met their current accountant, Emily, she filled in lots of blanks. She introduced them to Xero, which offered secure access to their financial information in a click.

“The software is actually straightforward. Information is backed up, with multiple means of access to expenses and income. And seeing that gauge on the dashboard being updated instantaneously is one of my favorites.

“My sales team has access to that information, so they can make sure we’ve invoiced what we planned. We can do quotes, invoicing and bookkeeping on the fly. Everything is ready and available to everybody who wants to have access to it.”

Ahead of the game

Now that Rob and Ashleigh are well equipped with Xero, they don’t miss a beat.

“Every morning we go into the account and reconcile it. We can see what’s overdue, and our expenses and profits. I have friends that own businesses who talk about their bookkeepers doing this and that. And I’m like, I do my own. It takes seconds. I love it. It’s fun.”

With the help of Emily, the pair are now ready for an audit at any time.

“It’s so much easier knowing we could have an audit come through and have it resolved the same day. It’s quite exciting. I never thought the words audit and exciting could exist in the same sentence, but they do.”

For Rob and Ashleigh, running a business is all about doing what they love with people they love to work with. And they’ve found that when you’ve got that, and support from Xero, even auditing can get you giddy.

Explore more

See how our customers are making the world a more beautiful place

See how accounting software can work for you

Start using Xero for free

Access Xero features for 30 days, then decide which plan best suits your business.

  • Included
    Safe and secure
  • Included
    Cancel any time
  • Included
    24/7 online support