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Located on Trinity Street in Dublin, Fitzgibbon Financial Services works mainly with businesses in the hospitality sector, mostly cafés, restaurants and pubs. While there are other types of companies on its books, the main reason for this focus is down to its founders’ background.

A long-time pub owner, Colm Fitzgibbon combined that with his accounting business, running the two concurrently but when the recession hit, he moved away from the pub industry to focus on offering financial services full-time.

Along with his brother Paul and one other staff member they help small businesses deal with the financial side of things without eating into their finances or more importantly, their time.

Considering that there’s no such thing as an off-day for cafes and pubs, it can be difficult for owners to make the time for financial services until they’re required to calculate and pay tax to Revenue.

“It’s for small businesses who have a need or cannot afford to take on part-time or full-time financial staff,” he said. “And in many cases, their work is seven days a week so time is limited for them.”

The main goal for Fitzgibbon Financial Services is to offer accessible financial services for small businesses at an affordable price. Many cafes, restaurants and pubs are small entities, not related to bigger chains or companies, so offering a way to use their services without breaking the bank was a crucial component.

To help them with their work, Fitzgibbon Financial Services uses Big Red Cloud which brings a number of benefits.

Initially brought in by a client who had bought Big Red Cloud, because of its simplicity and ease of use,he was immediately won over.

“I quickly liked what I saw and taught myself pretty much how it works,” he said. “I found it to be very user-friendly and very forgiving.

“When my brother Paul and I got together, we said ‘look this is the thing to do, we bring everybody we have to Big Red Cloud’. If someone comes along today and says can you look after my figures… we encourage them to buy a Big Red Cloud subscription and then we’ll manage it for them.”

One of the big benefits, as hinted by Big Red Cloud’s name, is that it’s accessible anywhere. This means that they can access it remotely, useful for when they visit a client at their establishment, or their clients can access the system.

This fits into the philosophy of offering what is as close to a real-time service as they can get. Doing so helps meet the needs of clients better, says Fitzgibbon, and keeps them in the loop. Both to provide a bigger picture and to ensure they’re not in for a surprise when new or unforeseen expenses emerge.

“One of the things that people would always question when you give them a P&L is ‘what is a consumable?’ All sort of things go into consumables… [and] you get an excellent understanding with Big Red Cloud as to what is included in that category.

We believe that by providing our services using Big Red Cloud we give an excellent all in package for the many cafes, pubs and restaurants we look after.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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