Afirmo – makes small business set-up and growth available to everyone.
The pandemic changed many things about the way we work and many New Zealanders were motivated to become self-employed. Out of the disruption of lockdowns and the mass resignations of the ensuing years, a new app, Afirmo, was created to support and help people with their business journeys.
Afirmo makes running a business easier, and helps people get their ducks in a row, says Afirmo co-founder and CEO Robert Rolls. With the financial management sorted, businesspeople have more time and energy to focus on the core of their business, the reason they started it in the first place. Once those ducks are in neat rows, Afirmo helps them scale up efficiently and effectively.
“During lockdown a lot of people who had previously been employed started to think about their options – and they didn’t have the support they needed,” says Rolls. “They didn’t really know where to start in terms of getting a business going and we wanted to make it easier for people to get into business.”
Those who start going into business don’t necessarily know where to go for all the answers – and may not even know what the right questions are. Afirmo streamlines the whole process. It’s a one-stop shop for small business support.
There’s a huge overhead in time when you’re starting from scratch, and you don’t yet know what you need to know,” says Rolls. “Spending a lot of time going to the end of the internet and back again may not even bring you the right answers.
When someone signs up with Afirmo, they start with a 22-point checklist of all the elements needed to start and launch a business.
“Afirmo motivates and encourages people into self-employment and we’re really passionate about that. We really care about ensuring people with entrepreneurial spirit get the right support from the beginning of their business – right through to scaling up and being able to have the right tax and accounting support.”
At the set up stage, Afirmo takes the hard work out of finding out what the business owners need to know. The Software as a Service (SaaS) app has tools to help people set up their business whether they’re a sole trader, partnership, or a limited liability company.
The app guides them all the way through the set up stages, including marketing tools, tax tools, sales invoicing; everything needed to set up a business. There is a helpful checklist with guidance material in addition to the tools to actually do the job.
Self-employment, either in addition to or instead of employment is becoming more mainstream, and the Kiwi entrepreneurial spirit is strong. “Our job is to completely democratise people to come into business,” Rolls says, “to look out for them and make sure they are making smart choices.”
Millennials are the most likely generation to have a side hustle, for a variety of reasons – from dealing with rising costs of living, to reducing their reliance on one source of income, or simply having some extra disposable income. Turning a side hustle into a fulltime business requires the right tools and systems, and Afirmo aims to make small business attainable for all generations.
When it’s time for businesses to scale up, Afirmo securely brings a business’s bank transaction data into the app. The software supports businesses in scaling up, using Afirmo’s integrated tax, insurance, and money tools, along with business insights.
It’s a dynamic process, so every time an invoice is raised, a bank transaction is categorised or an expense claim is added, Afirmo updates the GST and income tax liability calculations. In addition, Afirmo has BNZ-issued business wallets which allow and encourage customers to put money aside to match liabilities that have been calculated for them.
Afirmo offers a comprehensive financial and tax management system that can take people from the very start of their journey right through to ongoing running of their business: “We educate on one hand and then solve the problem in a really simple-to-use fashion on the other,” Rolls says.
Leveraging technology that’s currently available, like Akahu (which provides open finance infrastructure for New Zealanders), means Afirmo has a unique, world-class offering for Kiwi businesses. It’s the closest we have to open banking and full tax automation in New Zealand.
“It’s not here yet,” Rolls says of open banking, “but it’s coming and it’s going to revolutionise how banks function, and how financial services and other sectors function. People will use their own data with consent to power the next generation of apps.
“With the Akahu partnership, we are able to offer open banking-type tax and financial management technology. It’s exciting and very innovative and we have many cool features and finance-related solutions that allows Afirmo to help our small business super-heroes more and more.”
Afirmo is at the forefront of pioneering finance technology in New Zealand and is looking to the future with new partnerships and pursuing finance and technology opportunities to make life easier for business customers.
For more information: afirmo.com