Flex: For the accountants of tomorrow
Flowchart of how our solution works
After speaking with our mentors and other accounting professionals, we identified some recurring problems that accountants face. By delving further into why accountants have to face such issues in the first place and understanding the status quo of clients’ expectations of the accounting firms, we identified the following interconnected causes that left a lot to be desired by accountants in terms of work flexibility.
- The need to physically meet the clients, in part to validate the cost incurred by the clients for hiring accounting professionals.
- During peak activity months in accounting firms (e.g. the months following the end of the financial work year for most companies) accountants work for significantly longer hours, especially at the clients’ companies.
- Clients still tend to provide accountants with the required data in hard copy form. Consequently, a very long time is needed to sort through such a large bulk of paperwork manually.
- Accounting Firms also want to be able to monitor the work and progress of their employees, which till now could not be done without the accountants physically coming into the office.
We wanted to create a solution that addressed all these concerns.
What it does
There are 2 parts to our solution. First, we have a robotic scanner that digitizes all the clients’ paperwork and uploads them onto a Google Cloud account. Second, we have a mobile application that allows the accountants to access the clients’ Google Cloud account.This way, the accountant can work from anywhere and anytime, using their laptop, mobile phone, tablets, desktops or wearables..
How we built it
Due to the short period of time to do the prototyping, we used Marvel app to create a mock-up of what we expect our solution (mobile application) to be like.
Challenges we ran into
We spent a lot of time defining and refining each term of our problem statement. Initially, we did not understand who our target audience is and what are their grievances. But once we had a better understanding of these things we were able to find solutions to address them while at the same time serving the interest of the employers, i.e. the accounting firms as well as the clients that hire accounting services.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Most of us were unfamiliar with each other at the start of this hackathon. We were able to incorporate each of our working styles and interests into designing a solution that all of us are satisfied with.
What we learned
Not only did we learn the various nuances of accounting practices in the business world, we also learned the basics of teamwork and discussions among team members. We also learned various aspects of emerging technologies and how important they are for accountants. It was a fantastic journey of exploration and learning. There's loads of room for improvement in every field or profession! The problems that accountants of today face can (hopefully) be made a thing of the past with the advent of technology.
What's next for 2SV
We would like to make our product into a product available for the accounting firms to make use of though our startup. This is not a competition for our team but a dream and winning this challenge will help us take a step forward into making our startup.