A fintech business is set to continue investing in the region after strong international growth, including a deal with Thomson Reuters, saw it record its best year to date.
Inflo, based at the Evolve Business Centre in Houghton-le-Spring, has developed a suite of software solutions with the potential to revolutionise the global accounting industry.
Founded in 2016 by former accountants turned tech entrepreneurs Mark Edmondson and Graham Clark, the pair have developed ground-breaking workflow, data ingestion, data analytics and AI software that has attracted the attention of some of the industry’s biggest names.
The technology takes financial data from an organisation’s accounting system and automatically performs a broad range of analysis to help accounting firms provide more valuable services, such as audits, tax compliance or broader business advice.
Fusing their knowledge of the accounting industry with their love of tech, the company was formed with the aim of using technology to improve the speed and accuracy of traditional accounting services, making the process ‘more robust and trustworthy.’
Mark Edmondson, president and CEO of Inflo, said: “We founded Inflo to help accounting firms of all shapes and sizes access the same benefits of the technology used by the “Big Four” firms that dominate the audit market.
“Since then, we’ve established an enviable reputation for developing accounting software and for incorporating emerging technologies such as AI into our work, which, when used correctly, can significantly enhance the complete accounting process.”
This innovative approach saw the company sign its largest deal to date last year with the penning of a strategic partnership with Thomson Reuters, one of the world’s largest providers of intelligent information and solutions for the accounting industry.
Officially launching in November 2018, the partnership meant Inflo had to significantly increase its footprint in North America and led to the opening of its first overseas offices in the US and Australia.
Mark added: “The response we’ve received since partnering with Thomson Reuters has been absolutely fantastic. Not only has it helped us tap into their network but it has also helped us enhance our reputation.”
Inflo is also making an impact across the wider financial sector after announcing a collaboration with ICAEW – the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales – to incorporate its software into its accounting qualifications.
This initiative, coupled with a version of the software specifically designed for universities and other education providers, will mean all future trainee accountants use Inflo’s software as part of their studies.
This expansion has led to Inflo, which has been supported throughout its growth journey by Sunderland City Council, recruiting a number of full-time employees in both its US and Australian offices as well as continuing to expand its headcount at its head office in the North East.
And, looking to the future, Mark is confident of the company continuing its upward trajectory, with plans in place to double the company’s headcount over the next 12 months and launch a series of new capabilities that will help further increase its market share.
“Our headcount in the North East has continued to grow year-on-year and we are expecting to double the number of people we employ over the next 12 months,” Mark said. “We also have more partnerships in the pipeline which could see us further expand our footprint globally.
“Over the last few years, the accounting industry has had a lot of bad press, from Carillion to the Patisserie Valerie scandal, it’s been a very testing period for the sector. However, as former accountants ourselves, Graham and I are proud to be part of a movement helping to restore faith in the industry by embracing new technologies and making the entire accounting process more robust and transparent.”
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Just last year, Sunderland was named in a major study as one of the fastest-growing hubs for technology start-ups in the UK and when you hear stories like this, it’s clear to see why.
“The success of business centres such as Evolve and Sunderland Software Centre have spawned a whole host of forward-thinking technology companies and Inflo is a prime example of this.
“What Mark and the team have achieved in just three years is remarkable and we’re proud to have supported them on their business journey. We’re excited to see what the future has in store going forward.”