Powered by Spotlight: Nigel Smellie from Findex New Zealand

Nigel Smellie has been working at Findex Alexandra for almost 20 years. Having recently been promoted to Partner, Nigel talked to us about Findex and his appreciation for Spotlight Reporting.

Highlights at a Glance

The Findex Family

Findex is one of Australasia’s largest providers of integrated financial services with approximately 110 locations and 3,000 employees spread across metropolitan and regional areas of New Zealand and Australia. While a large focus of their business is Accounting and Business Advisory services, they also offer Consulting, Tax Advisory, Corporate Finance and Insurance services, amongst others, as part of a holistic approach to business. The result is a collaborative, supportive experience for their clients, who range from well-established, large companies, to small start-ups.

When asked what the favourite part of his job was, Nigel affirmed that along with the family-feel of Findex, what he loves is his ability to help people.

“I get a buzz when a client’s working towards something, and I’m able to assist them to be able to do that,” Nigel says. “And when they say, ‘thanks for your help’, you feel appreciated. It’s nice just to help people, and know that you’re making a difference in their life.”

Saving Time with Spotlight Forecasting

The ability to promote Spotlight Forecasting to help people came to the fore when the pandemic hit New Zealand earlier this year. Nigel with his clients have been looking into business loans, and worker retention schemes. In preparing an application for an available funding option, Nigel used Spotlight Forecasting to project two years’ worth of cashflow, in order to ascertain a realistic financial amount to apply for.

“We set the base budget, and then ran some scenarios using the scenario tool,” he says. We save around four hours by doing that, rather than having to use something like Excel, which is fantastic.”

The resulting report is visually appealing, which makes scenarios easy to compare—and clients easier to engage.


"I sometimes recall talking to clients and getting to a certain point where they just get this glazed-over look, and you know that you're starting to lose them,” says Nigel.

“Everyone picks things up differently—some people are very detail orientated, love the numbers, others prefer to see the headlines. With Spotlight, you can give them the headlines, in charts. It's a good way to grab their attention."

Another drawcard is how intuitive Spotlight software is to use. When shopping around for reporting and forecasting apps, Nigel found that for him, Spotlight was the one that resonated the most with him, as an accountant:

“At the end of the day, what we liked about Spotlight was its simplicity,” he says. “... it's structured in a way that's easy to follow, and logical. I think this is because it's been developed by accountants, who understand fully how accountants think, and what we're looking to see when it comes to reviewing and working through, especially in the forecasting tool. So it's logical, easy to follow, simple to understand, and produces some great reports which are nice and visual as well.”

Ready for a test drive? Start a free trial.


For more information on Findex, their people, and the services they offer, visit their website here.

To read more about our people, read our series, “Designed by Accountants, for Accountants”.

Findex NZ Limited, trading as Findex. While all reasonable care is taken in the preparation of the material in this communication, to the extent allowed by legislation Findex accepts no liability whatsoever for reliance on it. All opinions, conclusions, forecasts or recommendations are reasonably held at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice. Findex assumes no obligation to update this material after it has been issued. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material. The title 'Partner' conveys that the person is a senior member within their respective division and is among the group of persons who hold an equity interest (shareholder) in its parent entity, Findex Group Limited. The only professional service offering which is conducted by a partnership is the Crowe Australasia external audit division. All other professional services offered by Findex Group Limited are conducted by a privately owned organisation and/or its subsidiaries. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the thought or position of Findex. ©Findex Group Limited 2020. All rights reserved.

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