While there’s a need for automation of manual tasks typically performed by junior accountants, there’s also demand for solutions for the sort of processes performed by accountants who’ve been in the industry for 15 to 20 years.
And those more experienced accountants and large accounting teams still handle many tasks in spreadsheets — including finance and financial reporting.
“There’s definitely a lot of opportunities in that part of our market, and that’s what we’re focused on,” Jotham Ty, CEO and founder of Gappify, a provider of automation solutions, told PYMNTS.
Expanding the Use Cases
Gappify recently raised $6 million in Series A financing and said it will use the money to build new products, evolve its existing automation suite to support the accounting close process and expand sales and marketing.
“From a market perspective, we’re still focused on the mid-market and the small enterprises, but within that there are still so many processes that are not yet automated,” Ty told PYMNTS.
Maintaining Appropriate Levels of Compliance
Gappify’s customers tend to be fast-growing companies that are either ramping up to go public or have just gone through their initial public offering (IPO) — firms that are looking for a solution to handle Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting and meet stricter compliance requirements.
“The benefit of our solution is not only the cost savings and the efficiencies, but it’s also maintaining appropriate levels of compliance,” Ty said. “So, when you now pitch to a CFO and you tell them, ‘Hey, if you’re going to grow by X next year, you don’t have to increase your head count as much and you’re going to comply with requirements A, B and C,’ it makes it really easy for us to come in and propose an alternative to spreadsheets and emails.”
Executives and senior accounting management have been traditionally resistant to change, Ty said, but they’ve started to change their minds about replacing spreadsheets in favor of platforms that automate routine tasks. As a result, they’ve opened up budgets for finance and accounting.
“Back in the day, it was more that whatever software and systems budget you had was allocated to sales and marketing because you’d help with their top line, but now it’s, ‘Hey, we’re running our business inefficiently, we’re exposing ourselves to risk, we need to take care of our accounting team’ — and the way to do that would be through automation.”
Performing Work Efficiently in an Automated Way
The push was also accelerated by the pandemic. Those who were trying to manage a business on lockdown saw the need to get financials rapidly to help make strategic decisions. Automation meets that need as well as solving the continuing challenges posed by working remotely.
“Now, we’re looking to collaborate from people around the world — accounting teams are hiring from different parts of the country and the world — and of course automation is going to win out when it comes to performing work efficiently in an automated way,” Ty said.
He said Gappify is already closing its first deals of the new year. This is typically a quiet time for accounting providers because accountants are focused on closing the year-end books. He said interest now is a sign of continuing high demand for the adoption of technology in the accounting profession.
“From a brand perspective — because we’re a company founded by accountants just like them — we are laser focused on getting more solutions in the accounting profession’s hands,” Ty said. “There’s just such a huge opportunity in accounting, and we’re really pumped about just pursuing that and getting more technology in the hands of accountants that need it.”
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