KPMG Spark Blog

TechCrunch: Why big four accounting firm KPMG is betting on technology and startups

This piece on TechCrunch.com details why KPMG is investing in startups, and how KPMG Spark's real-time bookkeeping and accounting software helps growing businesses manage cash flow and plan for the future.

When Zach Olson founded SOHO Skatelab in 2006,he hadn’t counted on the mountain of paperwork his St. George, Utah, store would generate. Worse, he hadn’t realized how unhelpful the old-school business software he’d plucked off the shelf would be, as he struggled to make sense of his cash flow, inventory, payroll responsibilities, future tax liability, and all the other financial pain points that come with the privilege of owning a small business. Adding insult to injury, even though Olson worked on a day-to-day basis, his bookkeeping tools only gave him insights into the financial health of his company at the end of the month.

This, Olson strongly believed, was no way to run a business. Determined to spare his fellow entrepreneurs the bookkeeping headaches he’d been forced to endure, in 2013 he founded a cash-basis accounting app called Bookly, which was immediately embraced by legions of small-business founders and CEOs. Almost as quickly, by 2015, Bookly had closed its second round of VC funding, and by the summer of 2018, Bookly had caught the eye of Big Four accounting giant KPMG. Upon acquiring the company, KPMG retained Olson to be Bookly’s Managing Director, renamed it Spark, and continued  hiring developers, AI and machine-learning scientists as fast as it could.“This is the first time in history that small to medium-size businesses, startups, whatever, have had genuine access to a Big Four accounting firm,” Zach Olson says. “It took six years of blood, sweat, and tears to get Spark to this place,” he adds, “but Spark is now the accounting solution I wish I would have had back when I was selling skateboards.”

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