When Accounting Doesn’t Suck – FlowAccount – Thai Cloud Based Accounting
I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my adult life, and although it’s now been +20 years, I still hate accounting. Moving to Thailand and having to learn the peculiarities of a new tax environment was a massive pain, until I bumped into Flowaccount.com, a new online service that makes Thai accounting 95% painless. Talk about improving quality of life…
What is Flowaccount?
Flowaccount is a cloud-based accounting platform designed for small and medium enterprises. That in itself isn’t really new – solutions such as Freshbooks and Xero have been around for years. Flowaccount’s particular appeal is that it’s built for Thais and Thailand from the ground up. The online forms, invoicing, processes, etc. are all geared towards the Thai system and the platform is fully bi-lingual.
“…Thai people like free stuff, and as a small business owner, I like free stuff,…”
The service is currently running in Open Beta and is completely free to use – “Thai people like free stuff, and as a small business owner, I like free stuff,” Flowaccount founder Kridsada “Gideon” Chutinaton joked in a recent interview.
Startup Motivation? Solve Your Own Problem!
Chutinaton came up with the idea for a Thai-specific accounting solution when trying to keep track of billing for his digital media production company. “It’s easier to solve your own problem than a problem the market has because you know what you want. You don’t know what the market wants,” said Chutinaton, who is 31.
Chutinaton developed the Excel-based system with two coworkers. It is in Thai and English and has features for invoicing, expenses and payroll. Currently features include:
- The ability to create and send invoices, including tax invoices
- Payment tracking
- Sales reports
- Collaboration between three users
SME Accounting Solutions are Always in Demand
It may be two or three years before Flowaccount makes a profit, but with 3 million SMEs registered in Thailand, Chutinaton said there is a real need for small-business accounting solutions.
“When you’re very small, you can’t have a good administrator,” he said. “You’d rather use that money to hire a sales guy or another guy. You end up having to do a lot of the accounting yourself.”
Thailand’s Regional Echelon Winner
The program only launched last year but has already caused a buzz. Flowaccount won a regional startup competition in March, giving them a chance to exhibit or pitch to potential investors at the Echelon Asia Summit in June.
The Flowaccount team is working on a version that will allow users to calculate withholding tax and are also developing an iPhone app. The team hopes to introduce the premium paid version of Flowaccount later this year.
Entreprenuer? Go For it!
Chutinaton has this advice for burgeoning entrepreneurs: Go for it.
“Start with what you know and figure it out later. If you keep procrastinating, nothing gets done. Many people just wait until all the elements come together, which they never do,” he said. “If you never start, you won’t get experience. You just have to go and do it.