Frustration the mother of invention for 96black's Roll

Frustration the mother of invention for 96black's Roll
Digital agency 96black has created accounting software Roll and is looking for early adopters to trial Roll

Tristan Marris and Mark Osborne tried a raft of products to manage their digital creative agency 96black since establishing it about three years ago.

In true startup style, frustration with what was available drove them to create something that better suited their needs.

They found products developed locally and offshore were either too complex or only helped with part of their business processes, says Marris.

"What we needed was an end-to-end solution, pre-your accounting software. A lot of products handle CRM (customer relationship management) or the sales pipeline or project management, but none that we saw gave you visibility on the business.

"We invoice monthly. We know what our break even point is, but we needed to identify what projects we are going to be able to get into invoicing this month and what does end of month invoicing look like?"

The software as a service offering, Roll, was developed about 12 months ago and Marris and Osborne are looking for early adopters to trial their beta product.

The pair and the team at 96black developed the PHP-based software when their company had 15 staff and say the aim is simplicity.

"We'd been put off by pretty much every product we'd come across by the complexity of it," says Marris.

The software is aimed at creative and web development agencies with between five and 15 users. Companies pay US$15 a month for up to five users and US$49 a month for more than 11 users.