Pat Conaghan MP

Coffs software company goes global

The Morrison-McCormack Government is backing Australian businesses with $5 million to comercialise innovative goods and services.

Coffs Harbour tech and software company XBert has been awarded $350,000 to commercialise its innovative accounting software app devised for small and medium enterprises, bookkeepers and accountants. The app, also called XBert, audits and monitors financial information to identify risks and patterns early and helps businesses make better decisions based on accurate, up-to-date information.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the grant highighted the innovation happening here on the Coffs Coast.

“This is an example of a bold-thinking business excelling in its field and our Government’s support through the Accelerating Commercialisation program will help XBert to commercialise and market its new product in Australia and overseas,” he said.

“I congratulate XBert on creating an innovative fintech app and smartly integrating it with Xero and soon other accounting software and financial data warehouses.

“By investing in themselves and taking the time to write a grant application to our Government, XBert is now taking a new software app to market and is advertising for a new staff member to expand its team.”

XBert Co-Founding Director Aaron Wittman said the grant would enable his company to strengthen XBert’s product offering and expand the development of the custom AI and machine-learning algorithms for region-specific business alerts. In particular, the funding allows XBert to broaden data integration and audit capabilities to meet the needs of specialist, medium and enterprise companies.

“Our trial audit and risk detection software is innovative in that it provides up-to-date visibility over a business’ financial status, automates time-consuming manual process checks, reduces errors and provides hourly business alerts to financial risks that cost money and cause a business to decline,” Mr Wittman said.

“The software has been three years in the making and I want to further develop it for the agribusinesses sector by enabling the input of data from crop yields, weather effects and other things.

“Research and exploration is also underway to expand our risk alerts into more diverse industries such as health and medicine, retail and mining.

“I thank the Federal Government for this grant as it will allow my business to bring on new staff and create opportunities for local software developers and creatives and position XBert as a fintech to watch.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Accelerating Commercialisation program will hasten the development of high-quality projects which have strong local and export market potential.

“The Morrison Government is committed to backing clever projects like these that deliver economic opportunities while solving real-world problems,” Minister Andrews said.

Since the launch of the Accelerating Commercialisation grants in 2014, 489 grants worth more than $235 million have been offered to Australian businesses to commercialise their products.

More information on the grant recipients is available at the Australian Government’s Business website.


Road Back business survey results

Mr Conaghan also today released the findings of a survey of 402 local businesses which has confirmed 2019-20 was one of the hardest years business owners have ever faced.

The survey, conducted by Coffs Harbour-based business Jetty Research, showed 71 per cent of businesses had been directly impacted by COVID-19, 40 per cent had been impacted by bushfire and 23 per cent had been impacted by the drought.

It also found two in five businesses had made changes to its operating model to pivot or try and find new sources of revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters. Hospitality businesses were among the most innovative with 73 per cent claiming to have tried new things to seek new revenue sources.

The survey is available in The Hub section of this website.

Media Contact:

Liz Spry – 0418 928 744