Bookkeeping for startups, powered by humans and software

#1 Product of the DayDecember 04, 2017

Pilot is a bookkeeping company that focuses on startups—with a twist. Their bookkeepers are assisted by software that automates the most error-prone pieces, so the books are always incredibly accurate. Kind of like having a cyborg army working for you, only way less scary.

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27 Reviews4.4/5
Hi Product Hunt 👋 , My name is Waseem, and I’m the CEO of Pilot. Thanks @hnshah for hunting us! Pilot is a bookkeeping company that specializes in startup companies. We started it to solve a very real pain we had in our previous two startups: maintaining our books. 📚 📈 Your bookkeeper does your books today in the exact same way that they did in 1995 💾. They buy a copy of QuickBooks and do a ton of clicking around/hand-entering to categorize all your transactions, make sure all your balances are correct, etc. It’s pretty crazy that it’s so manual, but it’s true. Luckily, software can do a huge chunk of the heavy lifting. But you don’t want more bookkeeping software—you’d rather not worry about bookkeeping at all. So we started Pilot: a bookkeeping service powered by our expert team of bookkeepers here in San Francisco 🌉, who use a bunch of software we’ve written to automate the most tedious, error-prone parts of the work. Every month, we’ll deliver up-to-date accrual basis books for you, in QuickBooks Online (and yes, we can do catch-up work 🏃 or take over from your existing bookkeeper). We have a one-month free trial on the website—but we’ll give two free months of bookkeeping to the first 100 folks that sign up from Product Hunt. So if your company needs bookkeeping, we’d love to have you check Pilot out. We’d love to get your feedback. We’ll be around all day answering questions, so feel free to comment here or email me directly at waseem@pilot.com
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@waseem does it work for startups in Canada?
@mijustin Hi Justin — we do bookkeeping for US entities only at the moment.
@mijustin @waseem I second Justin. Would love to try this in Canada.
🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 I would love to do this for Canada. Realistically it's not going to be any time soon, but I will come back to this thread when that eventually changes.
Pilot is a bookkeeping company that focuses on servicing startups. Rather than doing the bookkeeping entirely by hand like most service providers, or trying to build software to do 100% of the work, they’ve got a best-of-both-worlds approach: they have a team of bookkeepers that work on your books, and also have a team of engineers that are building tools to help automate large portions of the bookkeeping work. Reminds me a lot of Gusto or Stripe, bringing technology and product sensibilities to a traditionally boring/unsexy space.
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Pilot is going to finally make bookkeeping something that founders don't have to worry about! Looking forward to replacing our CFO stack with Pilot asap. Several of my founder friends already use this and love it. Also the MIT team behind this is insanely smart. They've built mission critical kernel software before, so I'd trust them to build financially secure stuff too.
@waseem What's the difference between your product and bench? In just a few points.
@greg_x_willis Great question, thanks! Superficially, fairly similar, but with three key differences: * Our books are stored in QuickBooks Online, and you have access, so you're never locked in. If you need to work with another provider or just don't like us anymore, you can hand your data to any bookkeeper in the world, because it's just QuickBooks (vs. being handed an Excel export from a custom accounting system) * All we do is startup company bookkeeping, so we've developed super-deep expertise in it (vs. aiming to solve it for, e.g. the bakery or yoga studio) * We do accrual-basis bookkeeping (vs. only supporting cash-based bookkeeping)—this is a pretty inside-baseball thing, but it matters as the startup gets larger I don't know how much automation Bench has already built, or if it's all just humans under the hood, but one structural advantage of #1 for us is that it means our engineers can spend all their time focusing on automating error-prone work (rather than needing to build out a QuickBooks clone).
@greg_x_willis @waseem think this is big -- having to use Bench's software was the main thing that turned me off that, so good decision!
@_pulkitagrawal Thanks! We actually had a lot of angst about this in the early days. The trade off is basically: using the industry-standard data store vs. having complete control of the UX. Ultimately, I feel really good about where we landed because we still do have the ability to e.g. build custom dashboard and reports on top, in our own interface, as necessary.
We’ve been using Pilot at Winnie for a little while now as one of their earliest customers. It’s such a lifesaver. It has saved me from a ton of manual bookkeeping work I was doing using overpriced, clunky software. Now I don’t worry about anything anymore. They literally do everything for me. I get my monthly reports without doing any work so I can just focus on running my company. It’s THE BEST.