Accounting and Bookkeeping, arguably the oldest profession in the world, has come a long way since the introduction of Luca Pacioli’s 15th-century principle of double entry bookkeeping. Accountants have played a pivotal role in enabling the economy of the 20th century by acting as rule makers, watchdogs and anchors of modern-day business practices. This role will become ever more critical with the growing trend of entrepreneurship, digitalization, eCommerce and cross-border trade.
The invention of PC and mainframes, like all other professions, enabled the computerization of accounting and bookkeeping. Over the last three decades enterprise applications and ERPs, like Oracle and SAP powered the larger enterprises while Small and Medium Business (SMB) used desktop applications like Sage, Peachtree and Quickbooks. Though due to cost limitations, the SMB bookkeeping apps did very little more than keeping the business record. Accounting process automation and associated technologies were expensive to implement and maintain for SMB, until recently.
Cloud applications have proved to be real game changer for SMB accounting. The subscription-based pricing model, instead of traditional licensing one, has made it possible for the SMBs to use advanced technologies that were traditionally available only to the larger enterprises. It is also bringing about a paradigm shift in the way accountants provide their services and the client expectations. Clients expect accountants to deliver real business value beyond compliance accounting, that is increasingly commoditized. However, working with reputed accountancy firms in the UK and USA I realised that accountants were still spending too much time, up to two-thirds of working hours in some cases, chasing paperwork, sorting documents, processing data, finding mistakes and making adjustments. This lack of automation also frustrated our efforts to scale Excelsious, the accountancy outsourcing service that I co-founded. This was our eureka moment: how about a cloud bookkeeping app that handles all the paperwork – intelligently! So, we set out to building one.
Today I am truly delighted to share the beta version of Receipt Bot. Receipt Bot has been developed with a single objective, to make SMB accounting super easy. We are deploying cutting edge technologies to automate some of the most time consuming and least professionally rewarding tasks for entrepreneurs, accountants and bookkeepers.
Below are the highlights of key capabilities of Receipt Bot:
Fast Data Collection
Business owners, entrepreneurs and their accountants will be able to collate, record and share documents in the easiest possible way. Take snaps with Receipt scanner app for iOS and Android, scan and upload documents to a web app or simply forward emails to a service email address, Receipt Bot handles the rest.
Highly Accurate OCR for Data Entry
Receipt Bot leverages the best OCR technology to read text from documents in any format. The data is verified for accuracy to ensure you get consistent and accurate results. It works straight out of the box, you do not need to train the OCR application or do any configuration.
Real-time Accounting for SMB
Receipt Bot is being integrated with leading cloud accounting applications like Xero, Quickbooks Online and Sage One. This seamless integration will enable data entry to your accounting software in minutes. Simply take a picture with receipt scanner iOS or Android app and your bookkeeping is done.
UK Data Centre Based Secure System
Your data at Receipt Bot is protected with 256 bit SSL security, similar to the one used by financial institutions. Our application is hosted on the UK servers of a leading cloud hosting provider with appropriate back-up and recovery procedures, assuring that your data is safe and secure with Receipt Bot.
For us, this is just the start of a journey of continuous improvement. We are working to a development roadmap that will continually review and enhance based on feedback from our clients and partners. The upcoming feature in the second beta release includes the following:
Searchable Archive with Intelligent Tags
Receipt Bot will make documents searchable and will store with tags for easy future reference, so you can always trace documents within seconds when you need. The tagging will also form the basis of subsequent processing steps.
Powerful Practice Management
We are building a detailed and insightful Practice Management dashboard, that will enable Accountants and bookkeepers to manage their practice effortlessly. The Practice Management dashboard will provide a birds-eye view, enabling Accountants and Business Advisors to spot challenges with specific clients and provide support.
We had set-up a strong foundation and assembled a strong team for an exciting journey ahead. We have designed with product foundation to drive the entire process based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. I really hope it makes your accounting, bookkeeping and business management easier. I keenly wait for you to try out our system and share your candid feedback.
Irfan Sharif, ACCA
Cofounder and COO
For any questions and feedback, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org