Machine learning in accounting is changing how startups manage their finances. Learn how it could apply to your business.
March 9, 2021
24 hours in the life of a startup is a long time. Founders attend to their business daily, and their financial operations deserve the same attention.
But it’s not that simple.
Startups are reliant on a bookkeeper, accountant, or finance team to accurately maintain their finances in a timely manner, and to help identify the key factors affecting changes in their financial position.
If a startup’s bookkeeper is not updating their books regularly, is consistently making errors, or not delivering month-end financial statements until 2-3 weeks into the next month—all scenarios we routinely experienced in managing our startup finances over the years—how can a founder effectively attend to their financial operations daily?
The inability to more proactively manage the finances of our last two startups was a constant point of frustration. By the time we got our month-end books, dug into the spreadsheets, fixed errors, and exchanged emails back and forth with our accountant to get to the root of our questions, we were weeks behind in course-correcting any issues that had surfaced.
It was clear the process was broken and not designed to meet the needs of fast-growing startups. So we created Zeni to bring real-time insights to startup founders via intelligent bookkeeping, accounting, tax and CFO services.
Today, we have officially launched Zeni out of stealth and look forward to welcoming more like-minded startups to the Zeni family.
While operating in private beta over the past 12 months, we grew to manage more than $200 million in funds every month on behalf of more than 100 startup customers that trust Zeni’s AI-powered finance concierge with their startup bookkeeping.
Zeni has raised $13.5M in funding from leading global investors including Saama Capital, Amit Singhal, Sierra Ventures, SVB Financial Group, Liquid 2 Ventures, Firebolt Ventures, Dragon Capital, and Twin Ventures, plus additional prominent angel investors.
Zeni leverages a seamless blend of artificial intelligence and human finance experts to perform daily bookkeeping and manage every financial need of a startup. The speed and accuracy of this approach gives startup founders real-time access to key financial insights for the first time via the Zeni Dashboard — including burn rate, operating expenses, cash/card balance, revenue by product, month-end reports, and more.
Prior to starting Zeni, we spent 5 years building a human assisted AI-powered platform for travel which was acquired by AMEX in 2018, and today serves more than 10 million AMEX card members across the U.S. and U.K.. We understood exactly how a similar platform could be effective in the world of startup bookkeeping and accounting.
In a traditional accounting model, data entry, transaction categorization, and attaching transaction documentation in your accounting software are tasks assigned to humans.
Humans make mistakes. And the cost of human labor for simple tasks is expensive.
Zeni uses AI to complete these tasks, so our human finance experts can easily review for accuracy. What once took hours of dedicated human resources now takes only a few minutes.
The combination of AI and human experts allows Zeni to perform daily bookkeeping, meaning your startup’s financial records are always up-to-date (not just at month end).
The Zeni Dashboard displays real-time financial data in an intuitive, actionable way. Reports highlight burn rate, runway and cash zero date; Total cash balance and credit card balance across every account; Operating expenses and top expenses; Revenues, including cost of sales; Cash in and cash out; and more.
For the first time, founders can see exactly how their startup’s financial operations are performing in real-time, access the transaction-level data supporting the high-level reports, and use this information to course correct as issues arise.
It’s one thing to know your operating expenses have increased, and an entirely different thing to understand why.
Within every report on the Zeni Dashboard, we provide AI-generated insights highlighting the key contributing factors affecting changes to your monthly finances.
No more digging through spreadsheets or going back and forth with your accountant to understand exactly what factors are affecting changes to your financial position. Zeni (literally) spells it out for you.
Our human finance experts are supported by AI to complete ‘busy work’ on their behalf, creating efficiencies at scale.
This allows Zeni to offer exceptional service at an affordable price point, based on a company’s total monthly expenses.
We follow U.S. GAAP and accrual accounting methods for all of our customers, steadfast in our belief that even the earliest stage startups need to set up their financial operations to grow and scale.
Zeni's full-service finance team consists of bookkeepers, accountants, CPAs, tax advisors, FP&A experts and CFOs with 100+ years of collective experience. We've led seed-stage startups, growth stage companies, and public companies through every financial scenario imaginable.
We are excited to officially open our (virtual) doors to bring real-time insights to more startups via Zeni’s intelligent bookkeeping, accounting, tax, and CFO services.
Come see why more than 100 startups trust Zeni’s AI-powered finance concierge with their startup bookkeeping—schedule a demo today.