As CEO of Cashbook Ltd., Greg Coulter is a hard-working, positive minded and determined businessperson who considers his responsibility towards his family, employees and the customers to be his top priority. When Greg first started out as a business owner, he thought mostly about his personal success. Over the years his thoughts have changed towards his responsibilities. He considers his number one responsibility is making sure his family is ok, for his own peace of mind. Following that comes, the people he hires who are dependent on the Cashbook business for their families. Employees fulfilling their ambitions and being successful is something Greg spends a lot of time on. Next, he considers his customers to be his key responsibility. Cashbook sells large ticket deals where the customers are putting their trust in Cashbook’s business, to help them achieve specific quantifiable goals. Greg ensures that the processes the company puts in place for projects and software development, lead to great outcomes for their customers.
In recent years due to business success, Greg is thinking about the wider community in Limerick, Ireland and how Cashbook can positively impact the environment.
Building a Global Fintech Business
Having worked with different businesses, Greg noticed, there always seemed to be one over-riding consideration – cash. So basing a business around automating cash seemed like a good idea to him.
It started when Greg and some other employees did a Management Buyout of the Cashbook business. Since then Cashbook has expanded their offerings to financial automation. Cashbook is a cash automation solution provider for accounts payable, accounts receivable and bank reconciliations. Greg’s ultimate goal for Cashbook is cash forecasting and each year he is getting closer to achieving his aim.
From the beginning, Greg’s mission was to build a global business and take Cashbook’s services to North America. Today, 50% of Cashbook’s business happens through this region, which has been a major achievement for Greg. Having also deployed Cashbook in 25 different countries including China is another major source of pride.
Greg thinks, being a qualified accountant prepares you for all kinds of business.
A Different Approach towards Overcoming Challenges
Many young software entrepreneurs are chasing massive dreams which burn cash quickly and are reliant on external funding. Greg and his team took a simple approach to cash flow. They started balancing money in with money out. It was tough for a year or two, but once they had built up their rainy day cash reserves it became easier and the company was stable.
When Greg first started out with Cashbook, some of the larger customers were very nervous about dealing with effectively a start-up organization. But having built a financial business, with no funding, and keeping it growing for 15 years while competing against the top Silicon Valley competitors, Greg has come a long way. Though, after running the business for 15 years, most of these hurdles have long gone.
Making of a Salesforce in Cash Processing
Most of the Cashbook’s customers are household names, not only within their home markets but across continents as well. Their software processes over €60 billion in transactions annually in more than 25 countries. Having a presence in such a wide market is a credit to their unique services, to which Greg says, “We are unique in that we automate accounts receivable and accounts payables and bank reconciliations.” Cashbook has an extremely large scope of growth. It’s probably over ambitious, but Greg explains that many companies don’t get to see the complete vision as they focus just on one module. He believes Cashbook could become the Salesforce of cash processing. With their 4-in1 solutions approach, Greg has helped making Cashbook essentially become, a mini-ERP for cash management and automation. The next step is to complete cash forecasting on the cloud, after which there will be no company too big or too small for their solutions.
One biggest lesson Greg learned working in this industry is to listen to the customers. Greg says, “Many of our best ideas come from sitting with customers and watching how they do their daily job.” Greg considers it to be “incremental improvement continuously.” Building these strata of up gradation into the company culture and ethos by hiring conscientious people has been key for Greg to grow Cashbook to new heights. He also considers, giving ample opportunity to the people he hires and letting them use their skills is very important.
Apart from this, Greg points out the absolute need of having a rainy day cash reserve as vital for any business to survive.
Be prepared for any Situation
Advising to someone starting out in the industry, Greg says, “Doing a serious scenario planning will go a long way in helping you grow your company.” It is important for any entrepreneur to carefully carve out a strategy and plan out a specific path of growth for the future, according to the industry trends and market evaluation. You have to be prepared for the possibility of anything happening, which may or may not happen. Knowing the triggers in your business plan for expansion or contraction and to your success, focuses the mind and helps you to move forward towards achieving it.
More recently, as the company has grown, Greg had to teach himself more about management, motivation and company structures and processes. Greg attributes his success to his hard work and dedication towards providing the best solutions to his clients as well as his continuous commitment to his employees and his own success.
Greg recognizes, having a good work ethic is a given for any entrepreneur. Though, a good sense of humor also helps.