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A start-up that helps freelance accountants succeed has closed a $180,000 seed funding round to fuel its US expansion

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Accodex, an Adelaide-based start-up offering a new tech-enabled platform for freelance accountants, has recently secured over $180,000 from private investors in North America and Australia in a seed funding round.

Here’s how it works. On one side of the platform are the accounting partners as customers who Accodex supplies with marketing, technology HR and training as a service. On the other side are entrepreneurs and start-ups as a client “end user” whom Accodex’s partners provide accounting services to.

Making their first steps in the US

The company, having gained strong traction in Australia, intends to use this cash injection to fund capacity building for the start-up here and overseas.

Last month, Accodex opened its first office in North America to capitalise on opportunities there, with CEO Chris Hooper, 28 (pictured) relocating to the US next year.

Chris remarked, “As a start-up, securing funding is a critical enabler for our growth and success, and we’re incredibly excited that our investors share our passion for Accodex’s potential.”

“While this is an exciting moment in our journey, we are just getting started. Having recently visited the US I can see Australia really is a world-leader in using technology to completely revolutionise accounting as we currently know it and Accodex is keen to share this knowledge globally.

“We see Accodex as not just bean counters, but data crunchers. We are looking at not just accounting technology, but any technology that can capture business data and turn it into management intelligence, it’s a win-win for our accountants and the businesses they service.”

Who has invested in this Accodex seed round?

Investors include angel investor Harry Schiff from Venture Catalysts who met Chris at Startup Weekend. On the investment, Schiff said, “I’ve been watching these guys for a while, so when I saw they were raising to expand in North America, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Other investors include technologists Shawn Webster and Ben Longstaff and fellow accountants Michael Goudas and Aaron Lepoidevin, all of whom are under 40 years of age.

Accodex’s attorney Christos Tsonis remarked, “It’s a sign of things to come, this is what we call recycled capital. When an entrepreneur makes a win, they want to give back to the community that helped shape them.”

From a night of frustrating Googling came light

Chris, who previously worked for a mid-tier accounting firm for a couple of years told Anthill that he started Accodex as a solution to a problem he once had.

“When I first went into practice with my friend, who was also an accountant, Markus Cirillo, at age 24, I had to learn everything from scratch. I had to reinvent the wheel, figuratively speaking.”

“I remember staying up late one night ‘Googling’ accounting franchises – I desperately wanted a turnkey solution. Unfortunately beyond H&R Block there wasn’t much on offer. Reluctantly, we set about building it ourselves.

“The first three years of the business were dedicated to building out infrastructure that would allow the business to grow. It was then I encountered the next challenge: the accounting practice business model doesn’t scale!

“It was then I took a look at the industry and forecast where it was heading. The profession is going through a state of mass disruption, and I was just the first of many young accountants wanting to start up their own practice.

“My suspicions were validated after the acquisition of two small accounting practices. I believe we are at the precipice of young accountants breaking free of the big firms and doing their own thing. “

In 2014, Chris was listed as one of Australia’s top 30 managers under 30 in the Australian Institute of Managers prestigious AIM30 list and awarded Young Citizen of the Year Award in recognition of his work with the start-up community in Adelaide.

And as you may know Chris was also shortlisted as a mention in our recently announced 2015 Anthill 30under30 awards.

He is also a regular on the speakers’ circuit with recent appearances at XeroCon, Australian Taxation Office, Pecha Kucha, AEISEC, TEDxAdelaide, Adelaide University, University of South Australia, Flinders University, Carnegie Melon, Queensland Institute of Business, PaICon, City of Entrepreneurs and MEGA.

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