Pilot Seamlessly Fills in the “Gaps” of Back-Office Accounting Burden

Have secured strong uptake given ups and downs, Pilot proves to be an unmatched player within the bookkeeping landscape, with its unique “people + software” approach.
Pilot co-founders collaborate with engineering team
Courtesy: Pilot
By | 8 min read

In recent years, the deployment of automation software for sales, marketing and operation has been on the rise as more companies look for ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs as well as increase lead generation and closing rates. As a result, this has led to an expansion in the all-business aspect of automation space, which is projected to thrive beyond – since more companies adopt automation technology and the need for more efficient sales, customer support processes increase.

In line with this trend, Pilot was founded in 2016 with the goal of providing bookkeeping, tax, and CFO services for high-growth businesses. The company aims to help these businesses qualify for valuable funds and fuel their growth.

Distinguished Figures to Work Out Unmatched Formula for Pilot’s Success

Before discussing Pilot’s business model, let’s understand the motivation behind the company’s inception.

The founders of Pilot, Jessica, Jeff Arnold, and Waseem Daher, have a wealth of experience in the technology industry and a proven track record in high-growth startups. They have two successful exits: the first company, Ksplice, was acquired by Oracle in 2011 and the second, Zulip, was acquired by Dropbox in 2014. 

As repeat founders, they said, “enough is enough– nobody else should have to follow in the same tracks.” Pilot offers a lot of products, but ultimately what they sell is peace of mind. “You do what you love, we’ll do the annoying stuff for you”. 

From the start, the founders of Pilot aimed to utilize advanced software development to enhance the accuracy and dependability of bookkeeping. They believed that software should be used to automate this process, rather than relying on people to do it manually. However, they also recognized that as startup founders, they didn’t want to have to worry about bookkeeping at all. Instead, the founders sought out for a solution that would take care of everything for them, so they could focus on running their business. 

Therefore, Pilot was founded to provide this type of solution, leveraging advanced software to automate the bookkeeping process, while also providing expert human support to answer any questions and provide guidance as needed. This approach allows for a more reliable, accurate, and efficient service than other providers can offer, and gives business owners peace of mind knowing that their bookkeeping is taken care of.

Pilot team collaborate with audience and attendees in a meetup event
Courtesy: Pilot

Pilot’s approach to bookkeeping combines the best of both worlds: utilizing both human expertise and software automation. This approach allows for a more reliable, accurate, and efficient service than other providers can offer. Customers can talk to knowledgeable experts who can provide answers and guidance that a computer program cannot, while the software can efficiently and consistently process and categorize large amounts of transactions. Not only does this lead to more accurate bookkeeping, but this also facilitates a more convenient and user-friendly experience for clients.

Additionally, by being trusted with managing a business’ finances, it opens up the opportunity for the provider to be trusted in other areas of the business. With approximately 1% of Americans working as bookkeepers or accountants, and every business needing a back-office to manage their finances, it’s important to have a trustable provider.

Beyond Bookkeeping: Pilot to be a One-Stop Hub that Brilliantly Tailors to SMBs’ Needs

According to the team at Pilot, bookkeeping is just the start of a larger opportunity for the company. They have received feedback from customers who are interested in other products and services, beyond bookkeeping. Once a business trusts Pilot with their sensitive financial information, the relationship naturally expands to other areas. The team at Pilot believes that their platform has the potential to become the central hub for a company’s back-office operations, including loans, credit cards, business analytics, and insurance.

The company is using advanced software to automate many of the traditional manual tasks involved in bookkeeping. They are able to take structured inputs, such as a list of transactions from a bank account and leverage their proprietary technology to automatically process and organize this data into structured outputs, such as journal entries.

This technology empowers transformations in the bookkeeping service landscape by using software to automate many of the tasks that were previously done by hand. This approach allows for greater efficiency and accuracy in the bookkeeping process, which enables businesses to save time and reduce costs.

One of the services they offer is helping their clients claim tax credits by identifying qualifying expenses and providing detailed documentation to support the claims. They work to ensure that the process is thorough and accurate to protect against potential audits and to ensure that the credit is applied correctly. This includes working with third-party providers such as payroll companies to ensure that the credit is applied accurately. The goal is to maximize credit savings for their clients while providing a comprehensive and reliable service.

Let’s say a company is using Pilot to handle their R&D tax credit claiming process. Pilot will first identify all the qualifying expenses that the company has incurred, such as employee salaries, supplies, and equipment. They will then provide detailed documentation to support the claim, including invoices, receipts, and other relevant records. 

Then, Pilot will ensure that the claim is protected against potential audits by the government, by ensuring that all the documentation is accurate and compliant with the relevant regulations. Lastly, Pilot will work with the company’s payroll provider to accurately apply the credit to the company’s tax returns and ensure that the company receives the maximum savings possible. This comprehensive approach allows the company to focus on running their business while Pilot takes care of the complex and time-consuming process of claiming R&D tax credits.

Pilot co-founders in the early days of their development
Courtesy: Pilot

Additionally, we could see Pilot to be a well-funded company as it has raised a significant amount of capital over the course of several rounds of funding. To date, the company has raised a total of $161.3 million in funding from various investors. This funding has been raised over the course of 6 rounds, with the most recent round being a Venture – Series Unknown round that took place on January 2022.

The funds raised in these rounds have been used to support the company’s growth and development, and to help them expand their services and reach more customers. The fact that Pilot has been able to secure such a large amount of funding is a testament to the strength of their business model and the potential of their technology to revolutionize the bookkeeping industry.

Building Trust and Fostering Inclusion: How Pilot Sets the Standard for Bookkeeping Services and Employee Growth

The company places a strong emphasis on building trust with their clients by providing expert bookkeeping services. “When we launched Pilot, Jeff and I spent our days doing all the bookkeeping ourselves. We called up all our friends, signed a few as clients, and got to work. We had experience doing our own books for two companies and knew we could translate it into a quality service.” – Waseem Daher stated.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the key practices by which Pilot has built trust with their clients. The company’s team members are always being available as a trusted advisor. They are not only experts in bookkeeping but also trained to provide knowledgeable and accurate advice to clients.

One example of this is how Pilot handles customer inquiries and questions. They have a dedicated team of bookkeeping experts who are available to answer any questions that clients may have. They make sure that clients have access to the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their financial information. This approach allows clients to feel confident in their understanding of their financial situation, which in turn leads to a higher level of trust in Pilot’s services.

Another example is how Pilot approach to client’s problems. They are proactive in identifying and addressing potential issues before they become major problems. They take a hands-on approach to problem-solving and work closely with clients to find solutions that meet their needs. This proactive approach helps to build trust by demonstrating that Pilot is committed to the well-being of their clients and that they are willing to go above and beyond to ensure their satisfaction.

In addition to these examples, Pilot also strives to be transparent and communicate effectively with clients. They provide regular updates on the status of their work and are open and honest about any challenges they may be facing. This level of transparency and communication helps to build trust by showing clients that Pilot is committed to being open and honest in their dealings with them.

As a result, Pilot is proud to have been recognized by Comparably as one of the best companies for diversity among small and midsize companies in the 2021 Comparably Awards. This is a significant achievement and demonstrates that Pilot is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse culture within the company.

Being recognized as one of the best companies for diversity is not only an honor, but it also reflects the company’s values, priorities and dedication to nurture an inclusive and equitable workplace environment where all employees can thrive. This accolade also highlights Pilot’s efforts in recruiting and promoting a diverse workforce, fostering an inclusive culture and providing opportunities for professional development to all its employees.

Comprehensive Approach: Leveraging Advanced Technology and Personalized Support

Pilot team in a training event
Courtesy: Pilot

Pilot is a rapidly growing company that currently employs between 201 and 500 employees. This is a significant achievement for the company, as it demonstrates that Pilot is not only providing valuable services to its customers, but also creating jobs and supporting local economies.

The fact that Pilot has been able to grow its employee base to this size is a testament to the strength of its business model and the value that it provides to its customers. It also highlights the company’s ability to attract and retain talented individuals who are passionate about the company’s mission and vision.

Having a large employee base provides Pilot with a diverse workforce that brings a wide range of skills and expertise. This diversity enables the company to offer comprehensive and high-quality services to customers across various industries. It also allows Pilot to provide a tailored solution to each customer’s needs.

Pilot’s size also allows for a high level of customer service and support. With a large number of employees, Pilot is able to handle a large volume of customers and ensure that each one receives the resources and expertise they need to succeed. This level of service and support helps customers achieve their goals and fosters a positive relationship with the company.

With that unique team, Pilot addresses the challenges of bookkeeping and financial management by providing a unique combination of personal support and advanced software technology. The company partners businesses with a dedicated finance expert who provides one-on-one support and adopt software that automatically detects and eliminates common errors. This approach ensures that businesses receive accurate financial reporting and dedicated care, which leads to remarkable clarity into their finances.

One of the main benefits of this approach is to let businesses identify inconsistencies or errors that may have been missed out in their financial records. By using advanced software technology, Pilot is able to quickly and accurately analyze large amounts of financial data and detect any errors or inconsistencies that may be present. This helps businesses save thousands by identifying and correcting these errors before they become a major issue.

Besides, the dedicated finance expert provides personalized support, ensuring that each business receives the attention and care they need to improve their financial management. The expert works closely with the business to understand their specific needs and provides guidance and support in areas where they may be struggling.

Furthermore, Pilot’s approach provides a level of transparency and accountability that can be difficult to achieve with traditional bookkeeping methods. The software technology provides a clear and detailed view of a business’s financial records, which can be used to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to achieve financial goals.

Bottom Lines

“If you can deliver a high-quality product that solves a very hair-on-fire problem for your customers (and they’re willing to pay you for it), you’re off to a very good start. Until you’ve done that, that’s probably the task that should occupy 100% of your mindshare.” Waseem Daher stated. Bookkeeping can be a mess for small businesses and a burden for business owners. Pilot was born and solve the problem that businesses are willing to pay for.

  • About: Katie Le
    Join EnvZone as a Section Editor and Analyst, Katie Le manages her section’s content production from identifying and assigning content ideas up to the publication stage. Katie Le has been…