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Custom Application Development Case Study

Simple Numbers Profit Tool

From Methodology by Hand to Online Custom Application

Giving Clients the Freedom to Do More


The profit tool born from an accounting disconnect

As accounting tools have advanced, so have the varied needs of entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, these two rapidly progressing components of the business world have not advanced in sync. Instead, the data provided by typical accountants serves 2 purposes: 1) Be sent directly to the bank and 2) sit in a CXO’s file cabinet to remain unused. The reality is this: Most business leaders don’t base their decisions off of the information they receive from typical accounting, especially in the entrepreneurial stage. Accounting needs a makeover to be applicable to more than just the financial department.

Enter Simple Numbers, a tool that provides leaders with clear, actionable insights into their business in a language common to all industries.

Why Crabtree, Rowe & Berger sought out Cloudbakers

Having already established a profit tool that was helping businesses all over the world, Greg Crabtree, CEO of Crabtree, Rowe & Berger, knew they would need a way to provide their service digitally if they wanted to reach the maximum amount of people possible. If they weren’t going to be able to give their full services to remote clients, they could at least provide an application globally that could perform the reporting businesses were looking for in a streamlined manner.

They wanted an app that could provide data fast, so entrepreneurs everywhere could see reporting on their business in the palm of their hand.

Bringing the application to life

Simple Numbers was developed using the Google App Engine (GAE) which has several perks for developers. With the infrastructure already provided, the Baker team could focus solely on the code. In addition to this being more fun (more time dealing with client-facing development) this reduced the cost to Crabtree, Rowe & Berger.

GAE also automatically handles traffic spikes. This was especially useful in this case because when building, the Bakers weren’t sure the time of month or day the app would be used most. With GAE, no usage means no charges; the app literally shuts down. Spikes in usage, however, are automatically managed, and the app will scale as needed to maintain quality service.

These benefits come alongside GAE’s ease of bug fixes, fast new rollouts of latest versions, and overall simplicity and low price.

Developing a future-proof application

The Simple Numbers application was built as an official Add-On for Xero. The tool pulls client data (excluding sensitive information) from Xero on a nightly basis, meshes this data with the models developed by Crabtree, Rowe & Berger, and produces their valued reports.

That being said, the app was constructed in such a way that other accounting platforms could easily be made to either take the place of or work alongside Xero and feed into the Simple Numbers models. This allows a great deal of flexibility going forward and heightens the appeal of the app for a much broader clientele.

Moving forward: Additional Cloudbakers perks

Now that the app has been successfully deployed, Cloudbakers has made a point to provide additional promotional efforts and further boost the Simple Numbers brand. Whether providing co-hosted webinars, social media posts, email campaigns, or simply word of mouth, relationships with Cloudbakers go much farther than the projects themselves.

Client: Crabtree, Rowe & Berger
Industry: Finance
Business Driver: Streamline profit tool into a global app
Solution: Custom Application built on Google App Engine

Simple Numbers | Website

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