One of the most common questions we get from businesses that are considering their bookkeeping options is “how does Pilot actually work?” usually followed shortly by “can I get a demo?”
On the demo question, the short answer is yes; the longer answer is more like “yes, but.” For most SaaS solutions, demos are fairly straightforward – you get a hands-on look at a piece of software that you’ll later use yourself. For Pilot this is a bit trickier, because most of our software is built to allow us to provide a better service. The thing that makes Pilot hard to demo, however, is the same thing that makes us special: for our customers, there’s very little to do.
We describe the Pilot service as people supported by software. This means that when you sign up with Pilot, you get a financial expert to manage your books. Unlike a traditional bookkeeping firm, however, Pilot has developed sophisticated software to assist. By automating tedious, error-prone manual tasks, the software allows your dedicated expert to spend their time carefully checking over the books, and problem-solving any issues they uncover.
How does this play out in practice? Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at doing your books with Pilot (and if you’d rather go through it live, we also give walkthrough demos with live Q&A every Thursday at 10am). Keep in mind that this is what your expert sees as they work on your books – all you have to do is wait for your books to be delivered.
The Pilot Process
You’re busy – that’s the whole reason you need someone else to handle your books. Part of the Pilot onboarding process is getting to know your business, so we don’t need to interrupt you every time we have a question.
Your finance expert will interview you to learn everything they can about your company, your operations, any special issues to be aware of, and anything else they need to know to make sure your books get done right. These notes are kept up-to-date and easily accessible in our systems, and we’ll use them to build a unique checklist for closing your company’s books.
For each month’s books, we follow a rigorous process that ensures you get a consistent, thorough close. We start with a 14-step checklist, which includes both manual tasks done by our team and automated tasks handled by our software.
In the example above, the software suggests a categorization for the transaction, based on how similar transactions have been categorized in the past. Every time a transaction is categorized, the system gets a little smarter, and the books can get done that much faster.
Checking and reconciling a month’s worth of transactions is one of those tedious tasks where it’s easy to make a mistake. That’s why we automate the first level of checks on completed books using our Reviewbot software.
Reviewbot will run through your books; if anything looks questionable or unexpected, it will then flag those things for your expert to take a closer look.
When Reviewbot is finished, your expert takes over. They’ll carefully go through anything Reviewbot flagged, and solve for each issue. Once they’ve finished, your books will then continue on to a peer expert on our team for a third round of checks. The fresh set of eyes helps catch anything your expert might have missed, and helps ensure your books are spot-on for accuracy.
This is a prime example of the advantages offered by Pilot’s software. Without the automated assistance, this level of quality is very labor intensive – which is why traditional bookkeepers are usually either less thorough, or much more costly.
Each month, you’ll get an email from your finance expert with your books attached, along with any notes – for example, an anomaly your expert may have discovered when going over your books.
For Pilot customers, it’s that simple: onboard with your expert, go back to running your business, get accurate, on-time books every month. If that sounds pretty good, you might be interested in our weekly live demo – every Thursday at 10am, one of our product experts goes over the Pilot process in more detail, with a chance to ask questions afterwards (or, if you have a lot of questions, consider signing up for a one-on-one session with a specialist).