In the dynamic, fast-paced world of technology companies, effective financial management is a cornerstone of success. Anelya Grant, the founder and CEO of AG Accounting, has dedicated her career to supporting tech startups in their financial journey. Her expertise, coupled with her energetic, people-oriented approach, have helped shape the financial framework of 850 startups with a collective funding of over $1B.
In running her accounting firm Anelya found herself confronted with some of the very issues she strived to help her clients avoid. The challenges of adjusting revenue and expense recognition, collecting documentation, setting up payment accounts, and seeking expense and contract backups were consuming her own team's valuable time and energy. Thus, the concept of JustPaid was born. Co-founded by Anelya, and backed by prestigious venture capital firm Y Combinator, JustPaid has created an AI-powered financial controller set to revolutionize the financial landscape for companies. The platform automates bill pay, checks invoices against contractual pricing, and eliminates the excessive costs associated with overcharging – a problem that amounts to a staggering $12 billion in losses for companies every year.
But what does it take to run an established accounting firm and start a financial technology company at the same time?
The intensity of her dual role, managing an accounting firm and starting a fintech company, saw her calendar bulge with appointments and commitments, from as early as 9 a.m. until midnight. Between client meetings, management discussions, and user interviews, she was navigating a trove of essential but nuanced information.
"In accounting, my job is to be on top of things. People are paying me to make sure that nothing is missed."
Indeed a fundamental requirement is to capture the nitty-gritty details of every meeting, a difficult task to manage with over six hours of meetings every day.
"During meetings, I would run notes from my Mac - it was hard to stay present in the meeting while also taking notes, especially if someone is describing a very complex situation."
An attempt to address this with meeting recordings only introduced a new hurdle; the time-consuming task of revisiting these recordings was found to be "an inefficient way of spending time," as it was a non-billable activity and thus a wasted resource for her team. This challenge was only amplified after founding JustPaid. "Everything is 10X now," she shared. Complex product discussions and in-depth user interviews highlighted the critical need for a more efficient and reliable solution for note-taking, since missing detailed notes in the heat of the moment can lead to frustrating setbacks and have a business impact.
The increasing demands on her time and the complexity of the information shared underscored an urgent need for a solution.
Anelya found a unique solution in Cogram, that uses advanced artificial intelligence to automate note taking in meetings. The software creates structured notes, drafts an executive summary, proposes key action items and next steps, and automatically follows up via email within seconds after every call. For the last seven months, it has become an integral part of Anelya’s day-to-day operations.
In the relationship-driven business of accounting, meticulous attention to detail is essential. The stakes are high, as clients entrust firms with the task of managing and organizing their financial affairs. As CEO of AG Accounting, Anelya emphasizes this crucial responsibility: "People are paying us to make sure that nothing is missed," she explained. This is where Cogram proves invaluable. By allowing Anelya and her team to fully concentrate on client meetings without the distraction of note-taking, Cogram ensures full focus on the client and their needs.
"The benefit of Cogram is across everything that I do – It allows me to be fully present in meetings."
In such a precision-oriented profession, every detail matters, and overlooking something could have significant consequences. Cogram empowers the team to meet this challenge head-on, ensuring that nothing is missed and reinforcing the trust between her firm and its clients. But this benefit is not confined to the realm of accounting. Anelya's role as CPO and Co-Founder of JustPaid presents its own set of challenges—back-to-back meetings, user interviews, product discussions, and fundraising efforts. Just as it does at AG Accounting, Cogram steps in to make these tasks more manageable.
For Anelya, Cogram’s support has become invaluable as she continues to redefine the financial landscape with JustPaid, and provide exceptional accounting services to clients at AG Accounting. In her words
"It gives me that good feeling of not missing anything, of being on top of things - which is what we strive for."
On its mission to empower every company to increase their ambition and impact using artificial intelligence, Cogram will continue to evolve to best support innovative leaders like Anelya, and their teams.