Three things accountants fear will make their jobs obsolete: Robots, cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, the advancement of technologies shouldn’t be viewed as a threat but an opportunity—and, Workspez is all about seizing that opportunity.
A question they get rather often: “Are you a coworking space?”
Well, far from it.
Founded in 2016, based in Kuala Lumpur, Workspez is a new start-up which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the time-consuming aspects of closing the books.
It offers small and medium-sized businesses, which they identified as their niche, a platform to automate painful accounting and financial processes.
During the team’s visit to aCAT Penang, I had a chat with Jason Sian, the jovial co-founder, and CEO of Workspez, on what prompted him to launch this startup in Malaysia.
Most startups are built on the premise to solve a general problem.
Additionally, with the proliferation of inexpensive yet user-friendly technologies, more and more startups are now able to get their ideas off the ground.
So, it is no surprise that accounting automation is happening now—and this is how Workspez came into being.
After years of being in the corporate world, from the field of banking to logistics and software delivery, Sian found the reconciliation of financial tasks still—a rather manual process and not to mention—tedious.
“Accounting procedures were so mundane and time-consuming and I wished that there was a more efficient method,” says Sian.
“After all, time is money, right? And, bookkeeping really isn’t the most exciting task.”
It is also to his observation that most accounting software today are designed for either mid-range or large corporations with demands that go way beyond accounting.
“There are not many in the market for those that are way smaller in scale, which is why smaller companies are always having trouble finding an accounting software that fits their needs and requirements,” says Sian.
He explains how small and medium-sized businesses are also unlikely to purchase the latest software if they think they can manage without it, simply due to cost as a stumbling block.
But at the end of the day, accounting is still, somehow, pivotal in one’s business.
“The right accounting software is the solution to one’s accounting needs, for it helps one to make the right business decisions and saves you lots of time.”
And this is where Sian had a lightbulb moment: To disrupt the field of accounting.
So, geared with an aim to develop the ideal accounting solution that eliminates paperwork yet caters to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, along with his co-founder Ricky Wijaya, a new company was born.
“Every ringgit counts in a small business, we all know that. With the establishment of Workspez, we want to bring expensive accounting solutions to small businesses,” says Sian.
That’s all well and good. But how does this platform work?
How Workspez works
In an effort to eliminate paperwork in accounting, here’s how the AI-based platform works: Users will scan and submit their receipts to Workspez, which converts them into a machine-readable output.
The data will be encrypted and allocated to one’s account.
The platform will also gradually self-learn as “Workspez is based on the application of machine learning. It is a concept which recognizes different representations of data to learn when and where users tend to file their invoices.”
“As our focus is to help accountants work more efficiently, the system will be better over time and will eventually become more systematic in dealing and allocating different types of data for our users.”
But what that is believed to be a more intriguing prospect is the high level of automation of accounting and finance procedures that most companies usually have to input manually.
It is by integrating the elements of AI and machine learning, accountants can then better manage their client’s financials through this solution.
“The entire accounting process will be digitized and organized online, in the cloud. All of your work will be centralized in one system—and thereby, increasing your efficiency by a ton. It will also personalize the service based on what they have learned about you.”
And in light of this change, data-entry is ought to be less mundane.
Moving forward, Sian intends to keep the cloud-based platform at an affordable rate for all their users.
But more importantly, he aims to help more accountants to work in a more efficient manner.
“We are not here to replace accountants but to work with them,” says Sian.
“In fact, we already have some accounting firms on board with us before we even rolled out our platform.”
Exciting times are to come, indeed.
Workspez will be releasing their product in the month of November and we can’t wait to see what’s in stores for them.
Some Thoughts on the Co-working Space
The Workspez team also recently joined us at aCAT Penang as part of their team bonding session a few weeks ago.
“My entire team loves Penang!’’, says Sian. “They really do.”
“Plus, aCAT is such a nice place to work at with its quiet and cozy environment. We got some work done despite it being a team outing. We will definitely return for the coworking space again sometime soon.”
We are glad you enjoyed your time here at the space and hope to see you all soon!