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在App盛行的时代,这家公司却在复兴Excel表格

在App盛行的时代,这家公司却在复兴Excel表格

Brett Haensel 2020年11月11日
Tiller Money可以在谷歌表格或微软Excel等常用平台上使用,它能够自动跟踪个人的财务状况。

记录支出是件麻烦的事情,但若想进行财务规划,这件事情又非做不可。一年多以前,詹妮弗·穆德在让客户进行支出记录时就碰到了麻烦。

穆德是洛杉矶Pathway financial Services公司的创始财务规划师,当时,她根本找不到轻松、简单的预算编制工具。Quicken软件提供的个人财务数据过于深入、详细,她的客户大多不感兴趣,而Mint在对支出进行分类时则会频繁出错,比如会把客户在星巴克的消费记到购车支出之下。穆德还注意到,如果某种个人电子表格需要客户手动输入数据,那么不出几个月的时间,客户就会忘了这个表格的存在。

于是,她将目光投向了一家在推特(Twitter)上广受好评、同时得到诸多财务规划师推荐的初创企业——Tiller Money。Tiller Money可以在谷歌表格或微软Excel等常用平台上使用,能够自动跟踪个人的财务状况,省去了手动输入数据的麻烦,而且支持自定义,让用户可以根据自己的需要来设置支出分类及预算目标,简直是穆勒心中理想的工具。

“在试图说服人们尝试新鲜事物时,每多一道障碍,人们尝试的意愿就会降低一分,这时候熟悉度就显得至关重要了,而这款软件恰好与我们客户常用的那些软件没有太大差别。”

Tiller Money由彼得·波尔森于2015年创立,创业之初,彼得原本计划单独开发一款应用程序,但通过与潜在客户沟通,波尔森发现,大家对上手新应用程序并没有多少兴趣,反而更愿意使用电子表格,哪怕得手动输入数据,他们也不想改用别的应用程序,这也让波尔森得出了与穆德相同的结论:熟悉产生美。

毕竟,波尔森大半辈子都在用这些软件,他很理解用户会有这种想法的原因。于是,他放弃了开发应用程序的想法,转而决定对电子表格进行优化。

据波尔森回忆,当时他思考的是:“如果我们真把电子表格提升到一个完全不同的水平会有什么效果?如果我们可以简化表格的使用方法、提供好用的模板、使表格能够自动获取用户银行账户的财务信息,那么效果又会怎样?”

据美国国家信贷咨询基金会(National Foundation for Credit Counseling)的年度财务素养调查显示,2020年,只有不到50%的美国人表示自己有财务支出预算且会详细记录自己在食品、住房、娱乐等方面的支出,这与许多人的储蓄和消费意愿形成了鲜明对比:西北相互人寿保险公司(Northwestern Mutual)的一项研究发现,79%的美国人认为“坚定不移地按照预算管理支出”是实现稳健财务的关键所在。

美国联邦储备委员会(Federal Reserve)于2019年发布的报告显示,如果因为意外支出需要临时拿出400美元,那么有近三分之一的美国成年人将需要举债或变卖一些物品。当前,经济局势尚不稳定,刺激计划也未见踪迹,或许只有做好支出记录才能够确保你可以按时付账、避免陷入“财务危机”。

与其他个人理财工具一样,Tiller Money也预置了表格模板,用户能够根据自身需求将其自动连接任意数量的银行账户和信用卡,还可以对交易进行分类,了解自己是否在外出就餐或零售购物方面开销过大。

Tiller Money的基础工作表。图片来源:Courtesy of Tiller Money

Tiller Money也为新手用户提供了基础模板,支持对月度及年度预算进行自定义。而借助其高级模板(同样支持自定义),用户能够对其净值、储蓄目标、债务等项目进行追踪。

波尔森表示,Tiller Money的活跃客户数量每年都在成倍增长,目前拥有“数万”用户。公司团队共有15人,包括10名全职员工和5名合同工,据波尔森介绍,Tiller Money仅收到过一个私人团队的资助,该团队由资深技术投资者组成,其成员主要集中在西雅图地区。

Tiller Money会先在谷歌表格中填入支出类别,不过用户可以根据自身需要对其进行删改,自行决定支出项目的分类。波尔森说:“我们把规则的制定权交到了用户手中。以在加油站的消费为例,你能够这样设置规则:低于15美元的开销计入“外出就餐”这个类别(可以认为是在M&M买了杯康普茶);超过15美元就计入‘汽油’这个类别,视为加油费。

Tiller Money与Mint等竞争对手的最大差异可能还是商业模式。Mint是免费的软件平台,而Tiller Money则会每年统一收取79美元的订阅费。虽然这看起来不像是竞争优势,但波尔森坚持认为,这完美地说明了Tiller Money比业内其他公司更加重视客户隐私。波尔森表示:“常言道:天下没有免费的午餐。如果使用者无需为产品付费,那他本身可能就成了产品。”(财富中文网)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

记录支出是件麻烦的事情,但若想进行财务规划,这件事情又非做不可。一年多以前,詹妮弗·穆德在让客户进行支出记录时就碰到了麻烦。

穆德是洛杉矶Pathway financial Services公司的创始财务规划师,当时,她根本找不到轻松、简单的预算编制工具。Quicken软件提供的个人财务数据过于深入、详细,她的客户大多不感兴趣,而Mint在对支出进行分类时则会频繁出错,比如会把客户在星巴克的消费记到购车支出之下。穆德还注意到,如果某种个人电子表格需要客户手动输入数据,那么不出几个月的时间,客户就会忘了这个表格的存在。

于是,她将目光投向了一家在推特(Twitter)上广受好评、同时得到诸多财务规划师推荐的初创企业——Tiller Money。Tiller Money可以在谷歌表格或微软Excel等常用平台上使用,能够自动跟踪个人的财务状况,省去了手动输入数据的麻烦,而且支持自定义,让用户可以根据自己的需要来设置支出分类及预算目标,简直是穆勒心中理想的工具。

“在试图说服人们尝试新鲜事物时,每多一道障碍,人们尝试的意愿就会降低一分,这时候熟悉度就显得至关重要了,而这款软件恰好与我们客户常用的那些软件没有太大差别。”

Tiller Money由彼得·波尔森于2015年创立,创业之初,彼得原本计划单独开发一款应用程序,但通过与潜在客户沟通,波尔森发现,大家对上手新应用程序并没有多少兴趣,反而更愿意使用电子表格,哪怕得手动输入数据,他们也不想改用别的应用程序,这也让波尔森得出了与穆德相同的结论:熟悉产生美。

毕竟,波尔森大半辈子都在用这些软件,他很理解用户会有这种想法的原因。于是,他放弃了开发应用程序的想法,转而决定对电子表格进行优化。

据波尔森回忆,当时他思考的是:“如果我们真把电子表格提升到一个完全不同的水平会有什么效果?如果我们可以简化表格的使用方法、提供好用的模板、使表格能够自动获取用户银行账户的财务信息,那么效果又会怎样?”

据美国国家信贷咨询基金会(National Foundation for Credit Counseling)的年度财务素养调查显示,2020年,只有不到50%的美国人表示自己有财务支出预算且会详细记录自己在食品、住房、娱乐等方面的支出,这与许多人的储蓄和消费意愿形成了鲜明对比:西北相互人寿保险公司(Northwestern Mutual)的一项研究发现,79%的美国人认为“坚定不移地按照预算管理支出”是实现稳健财务的关键所在。

美国联邦储备委员会(Federal Reserve)于2019年发布的报告显示,如果因为意外支出需要临时拿出400美元,那么有近三分之一的美国成年人将需要举债或变卖一些物品。当前,经济局势尚不稳定,刺激计划也未见踪迹,或许只有做好支出记录才能够确保你可以按时付账、避免陷入“财务危机”。

与其他个人理财工具一样,Tiller Money也预置了表格模板,用户能够根据自身需求将其自动连接任意数量的银行账户和信用卡,还可以对交易进行分类,了解自己是否在外出就餐或零售购物方面开销过大。

Tiller Money也为新手用户提供了基础模板,支持对月度及年度预算进行自定义。而借助其高级模板(同样支持自定义),用户能够对其净值、储蓄目标、债务等项目进行追踪。

波尔森表示,Tiller Money的活跃客户数量每年都在成倍增长,目前拥有“数万”用户。公司团队共有15人,包括10名全职员工和5名合同工,据波尔森介绍,Tiller Money仅收到过一个私人团队的资助,该团队由资深技术投资者组成,其成员主要集中在西雅图地区。

Tiller Money会先在谷歌表格中填入支出类别,不过用户可以根据自身需要对其进行删改,自行决定支出项目的分类。波尔森说:“我们把规则的制定权交到了用户手中。以在加油站的消费为例,你能够这样设置规则:低于15美元的开销计入“外出就餐”这个类别(可以认为是在M&M买了杯康普茶);超过15美元就计入‘汽油’这个类别,视为加油费。

Tiller Money与Mint等竞争对手的最大差异可能还是商业模式。Mint是免费的软件平台,而Tiller Money则会每年统一收取79美元的订阅费。虽然这看起来不像是竞争优势,但波尔森坚持认为,这完美地说明了Tiller Money比业内其他公司更加重视客户隐私。波尔森表示:“常言道:天下没有免费的午餐。如果使用者无需为产品付费,那他本身可能就成了产品。”(财富中文网)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

A little over a year ago, Jennifer Mulder was having trouble getting her clients to perform a laborious but essential task: tracking their own spending.

The founding financial planner of Pathway Financial Services in Los Angeles, Mulder couldn’t seem to find a tool that made the budgeting process simple and easy. Quicken’s software provided a more in-depth and detailed look into personal finances than many of her clients were interested in, and Mint too often confused categories of spending––a client’s Starbucks purchase could show up as an automobile expense. Personal spreadsheets that required expenses to be inputted manually, Mulder noticed, were usually ignored and forgotten about by clients after a few months’ time.

So, she turned to a startup that was both generating some buzz on Twitterand recommended by other financial planners: Tiller Money. An automated way of tracking of an individual’s finances on the familiar platforms of either Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, Tiller Money was the exact tool Muller was looking for, allowing users to customize their own spending categories and budget goals without having to experience the hassle of manual data entry.

“It didn't feel like something that was all that different from what they were already familiar with, and that's really important when you're trying to get people to do something new––every hurdle you put in their way makes it that much more likely that they're not going to actually do it.”

Founded in 2015 by Peter Polson, Tiller Money was originally designed to be an app, but when interviewing prospective customers before the launch, Polson came to the same conclusion as Mulder: there’s comfort in familiarity. Those Polson interviewed didn’t seem interested in an app; they liked their spreadsheets and were unlikely to switch over even if it meant they had to handle date entry on their own.

Polson understood where these people were coming from––after all, he had used them himself throughout most of his life. So, he abandoned the idea of an app and instead embraced the idea of optimizing the spreadsheet.

“What if we could actually take spreadsheets to a whole other level,” Polson remembered thinking. “What if we could automate them with financial feeds from any of your bank accounts and make it easier to use spreadsheets to give you helpful templates.”

In 2020, less than 50% of Americans say they currently have a budget and closely track their spending on expenses like food, housing, and entertainment, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's annual financial literacy survey. That behavior comes in stark contrast to many people's saving and spending desires: 79% of Americans believe "sticking to a budget and never deviating" is key to financial stability, a Northwestern Mutual study found.

With the Federal Reserve reporting in 2019 that nearly a third of U.S. adults would need to borrow or sell something if faced with an unexpected $400 expense, the economy still in a rather precarious spot, and no stimulus bill on the horizon, carefully tracking what you are spending could very well mean the difference between being able to pay a bill on time and tripping into financial turmoil.

Tiller Money provides customers with pre-built spreadsheet templates that, like other personal finance tools, automatically connect to as many bank accounts and credit cards as a customer desires and categorizes transactions, leaving users with an understanding of whether or not they are spending too much on, say, eating out or retail shopping.

A Tiller Money spreadsheet.

There's a foundation template that provides beginners with customizable monthly and yearly budgets, as well as more advanced templates (also customizable) for tracking net worth, savings goals, debt, and more.

Polson said Tiller Money's base of active customers has been doubling annually, with the company now having “tens of thousands” of subscribers. Tilley Money is made up of a team of 15, including 10 full-time employees and five contractors, and has only received funding from "a private group of experienced technology investors, primarily centered in the Seattle region," according to Polson.

And while Tiller Money will initially populate your Google Sheet with spending categories, you can change and delete them as you see fit, allowing customers to pick and choose which expenses should fall under which bucket. “We let people build their own rules,” Polson said. “I could create a rule that says if it's a gas station and it's under $15, it's probably M&M's and kombucha, so it's eating out. And, if it's over $15, it's filling my tank, so it's gas.”

Perhaps the most important distinction Polson makes between Tiller Money and competitors such as Mint involves the two companies’ business models. Whereas Mint is a free software platform, Tiller Money charges a uniform, yearly subscription fee of $79. While that hardly may seem like a competitive advantage, Polson insists that is perfect example of how Tiller Money values customers’ privacy more than others in the industry. “As the saying goes, ‘if you're not paying for the product, you are the product,’” Polson said.

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