nml
paul

Making software transparent

As founder and CEO of financial services software firm NML, Paul Cartmel makes it his mission to create smart, user-friendly solutions for his clients, from web design and development to content management systems and cloud infrastructure. “I started the company in 2007 and the idea was to build social software and tie that to traditional business models,” he says. “We are in the business of making software transparent, easy to use and easy to understand.” 

So it made no sense that his own bookkeeping and accounting software was clunky, opaque and stuck in the past. “It really didn't allow me to manage the business that well,” says Paul, who as well as heading up NML is also the co-founder of Atura, an automated chatbot for asset management companies.

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A lot of what we do is get systems to talk to one another. One of the things that really resonates about Xero is the ability to build apps within the housing that is Xero.

Building an ecosystem

Realising he needed a new way of working, Paul turned to PKF Ignite — a cloud accounting extension of PKF South Africa’s business advisory service — who came up with a bespoke solution for NML, powered by Xero, alongside Dext and Spotlight.  “I enjoy the simplicity of the platform,” says Paul. “It's easy to use, the dropdowns are easy to find, custom reports are easy to generate. The naming structures are easy to understand, whether you're an accountant or a layperson. Compared with before, it’s like chalk and cheese.”

As well as using Xero for NML’s accounts, payroll and invoicing, Xero’s API integration has allowed Paul to create his own ecosystem. “A lot of what we do is get systems to talk to one another. One of the things that really resonates about Xero is the ability to build apps within the housing that is Xero.”

I'm a big believer in working smart, not hard – or at least not harder than you have to.

More time for living

The more Paul can use software to automate processes in his business, the more time he can spend doing the things he loves — like competing in the half Ironman world championships. “I also love cycling. I surf and swim, trail run and mountain bike. I’m 47 and I’ve worked pretty hard to get to this point. Balance is important.”

Remote, flexible working is a priority at NML and Xero gives the firm the tools to work from anywhere, anytime. “I’m a pretty free spirited individual. I have this vision for a dashboard that allows me to run the business from the Caribbean one day. That’s the plan. I’m a big believer in working smart, not hard — or at least not harder than you have to.”

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