- Louise Hvala CA has created a platform connecting lawyers and accountants with businesses that need their services.
- The changing nature of work sees businesses wanting access to freelance experts and those experts looking for freelance projects.
- Alifery has become so successful, Hvala has had to knock applicants back.
By Jessica Sier
To help developers understand exactly how she wanted her professional freelancing platform to work, Louise Hvala CA filled paper after paper with hand drawings. “I spent hours pretending I was the user and mapping out how the platform would work and look,” says Hvala, founder and CEO of Alifery Freelance Experts, which connects businesses with freelance lawyers.
When she was finally happy with how a section of the site would function, she snapped a photo and sent it to the designers and developers who were constructing the platform. “When you’re working with developers, you really need to give them the full story or they’ll be forced to design in their own way,” she says.
Louise Hvala CA.
Hvala established Alifery after seeing the lawyers in her recruitment businesses casting around for freelance opportunities. As a chartered accountant, she saw the rapidly evolving future of work in which professionals wanted access to experts and, reciprocally, experts wanted access to new freelance business. So she built a small prototype connecting the two parties and released the platform to a sample group for feedback. “When it comes to design and tech,” she admits, “I’ve discovered that getting something to be user-friendly is really hard work.”
“When it comes to design and tech, I’ve discovered that getting something to be user-friendly is really hard work.”
After collecting, refining and acting on feedback a few more times, Hvala released Alifery to the market and found she was soon having to knock people back. “We’ve had to develop a criteria for applicants,” she says.
Its success with freelance lawyers has prompted Hvala and her husband, John Castello, who also runs their Gatehouse Legal Recruitment business, to branch out to accountants and other professionals.
“Accountants are an incredibly powerful value-add to most businesses,” she says, pointing to management accountants who sit in on all facets of business planning. “Our goal is to create an ecosystem where all these professionals can cross-refer work to each other and leverage technology to focus on using their knowledge and experience.”
A chance encounter with a CTO in her building was crucial to Alifery’s evolution. “Building a big project can be very lonely and very expensive, so asking questions of someone who’s been there before is unbelievably valuable,” says Hvala.
CA Catalyst is a strategic program by CA ANZ designed to help chartered accountants embrace technology and innovation in order to stay relevant. CAs can access practical resources and tools, start-up hub experiences, local events and exposure to new innovations and technology.Read more on CA Catalyst