By Accountants For Accountants: The FloQast Origin Story
Oct 13, 2021 | By Michael Whitmire
In the world of accounting, accountants were seen as just bean counters, expected to do more with less and get the numbers to the powers-that-be in time. As a result, they executed their responsibilities much in the same way they had for decades, and it was painfully obvious to anyone remotely familiar with their workflows that change was needed.
A particularly brutal operation accountants are responsible for each month is the process of closing out the previous month’s books. The month-end close was always a highly manual, disorganized process that required numerous, redundant status update meetings and a whole lot of emails, and many late nights in the office.
Now, the thing about starting a tech company is that you don’t need to be a subject matter expert to start one.
If you have the resources, the right people, and the drive to succeed, just about anyone can build “The [INSERT WILDLY SUCCESSFUL TECH COMPANY NAME] for [INSERT INDUSTRY]” and garner the attention of at least a handful of angel investors.
Of course, we knew this, but we had an ace up our sleeve: As former accountants ourselves, ⅔ of the FloQast founding team had actually experienced the problems we aimed to solve first-hand.
Together, Chris Sluty, CPA (inactive), veteran software engineer Cullen Zandstra, and I (also an inactive CPA) embarked on a journey to streamline the labor-intensive and outdated processes accountants are responsible for on a regular basis. In 2013, we launched FloQast. It was our first real foray into the startup world and our first customer was my mom, but our vision was clear: We were going to build the product that we wished was available to us when we were working long hours each month to close out the books.
Today, FloQast has over 300 employees, offices in LA, New York, Ohio, and London, products designed specifically to improve communication and efficiency, automate highly manual and time-consuming processes, and connect the many accounting functions responsible for the month-end close. We’ve got some pretty unbelievable clients like Zoom, Shopify, The Los Angeles Lakers (and many more), and we recently raised $110 million at a $1.2 valuation.
Perhaps most importantly, we did it all as former accountants who desperately wished that something like FloQast existed when we were actively closing the books. 100% of sales engineers and implementation experts are former auditors and accountants, and over 70% of customer-facing staff have experience in accounting.
So, no, FloQast isn’t just the “Salesforce for accountants,” or whatever we used to pitch it as. It’s accounting workflow automation made by accountants, for accountants.