52 CODE_n CONTEST finalists – that means 52 amazing teams, 52 innovative business models – and – also, 52 exciting interviews: Over the next weeks, we will present each finalist with a short Q&A, giving you a first impression and some valuable insights before you can get to know them yourself during our new.New Festival in September. We are happy to start off this series with BuchhaltungsButler – a Berlin-based startup belonging in our Applied FinTech cluster. Read on to find out all about their “out of the box accounting” tool!
What is BuchhaltungsButler all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Maximilian: BuchhaltungsButler is all about automatizing the financial accounting process. It is designed for the needs of SMEs and automatically turns transactions and invoices into accounting records.
The user just has to connect the bank accounts and upload the invoices. Instead of manually doing the sorting (invoice to transaction) and accounting work, the user only has to validate the automatically generated data.
“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Maximilian: We tried to design an accounting tool out of the box, that not only meets the requirements of freelancers and solo entrepreneurs but still meets the requirements of SMEs, currently working with Lexware or DATEV. Our main focus is automation. We do not want to over engineer our product and might never have all features DATEV has, but we aim to automatize 80%+ of the accounting work through AI, that is currently done manually.
You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?
Maximilian: I believe that the FinTech industry is still behind other industries when it comes to digitalization. It is a sector that is mostly dominated by bigger players with larger resources, who are slowly getting aware of the challenges of digitalization. Although there is huge potential for Startups in disrupting this industry, there is also a big risk of being pushed out of the market by existing players, once they use their resources to build something innovative. So speed is absolutely crucial to succeed in this industry!
We all know that Germans can be a little cautious when it comes to online banking and their financial data in particular. Let’s say I don’t want to connect my accounts with your tool, can I still use it? And speaking of security: how do you guarantee the safety of user data?
Maximilian: That is absolutely right, not everyone feels comfortable to connect his bank account with third party applications. Therefore, we also provide a feature to upload a CSV file with bank transactions instead of connecting the bank account.
Most of our users anyhow connect their bank account seamlessly with our application, which significantly reducing error-proneness and increases comfort.
Regarding the security question: all data is stored in a data centre in Germany that meets highest standards required by commercial banks. Of course, the connection is always encrypted and all data is backed up on a different server frequently.
Thanks very much for the interview, Maximilian!