Case studies

A start-up for start-ups? Innovation Investments funds Propel

Propel is a real-time accounting and analytics service designed to help start-ups and SMEs grow

In June 2016 we launched our start-up for start-ups - Propel by Deloitte. Propel, a real-time accounting and analytics service, was borne out of Deloitte’s Innovation Investments scheme - an initiative that encourages our people to turn their start-up ideas into real businesses.

The Propel team’s ambition was to develop an accounting service that could empower new businesses and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow. Deloitte provided the team with the initial investment and gave them six months to build a prototype and demonstrate demand. The team had to challenge traditional operating models and find ways to automate repetitive processes so they could make the service affordable to growing businesses.

Following a successful pilot and a raft of positive feedback from clients, Propel by Deloitte officially opened for business. As well as receiving a full bookkeeping and accounting service on monthly subscription, Propel clients also get bespoke data analytics to track how their business is performing today, and a range of business planning support to help them forecast for tomorrow.

The accounting service powers a dashboard bespoke to each client, giving them a real-time view of their financial performance and allowing them to monitor key metrics such as business growth, gross profit and sales by day. The dashboard also analyses non-financial data through the integration of additional business management apps - this allows clients to track everything from web traffic to top-selling products, providing a more holistic picture of business performance.

As a founder and MD, responsible for the day-to-day running and growing of our business, having a really top-class finance function is liberating, confidence-building and strategically essential. Whether helping us with the granular detail of our cash-flow forecasting, assisting us on nuanced challenges with our franchisees or supporting our long-term forecasting, the Propel by Deloitte service has been a revelation to us as a business. It’s a game changer.

One of the first Propel clients - Max Henderson, the founder of Hot Pod Yoga

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