How a Crypto Management Platform Gets Their Books and Taxes Done Right

With Chandan Lodha, Co-Founder and President

When it comes to cryptocurrency, Chandan Lodha is in the know

Chandan Lodha, Co-Founder and President of CoinTracker

Ask him about the newest coin, cryptocurrency exchange, swap, forks, airdrops, or guidance from any number of taxing authorities, and there’s a good chance that it’s on his radar.

It’s a passion that can be traced back to 2014, when Chandan was given bitcoin by Coinbase as a token of appreciation for some integration work that he did as a product manager at Google. He didn’t give it much thought at that time but held on to it anyway.

That all changed in early 2017 when Chandan decided to see how much his bitcoin was worth and how it had performed over time. The price for a Bitcoin hit $1,000 that summer before reaching what was then an all-time high of nearly $20,000 by the end of the year.

By then, Chandan already had a strong interest in fintech.

He dove deeper into the crypto space reading the Bitcoin whitepaper, setting up a Monero full node, building an Ethereum miner and next thing he knew he had 15 different cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. Chandan discovered the freedom that comes with having full control over assets, which are fully digital. He could even pay international contractors without asking for their bank account information and invasive privacy details, without relying on multiple intermediary financial institutions to carry out payments, and without dealing with foreign transaction fees.

It didn’t take long for Chandan to quit his job at Google and pour all of his energy to a project that would later become CoinTracker.

Meet CoinTracker — a handy platform to monitor your cryptocurrency investments

Trying to stay ahead of all the ever-changing rules, trends, and innovations in cryptocurrency frequently can be exciting, yet exhausting for even the most seasoned investors or traders.

For those people who buy, sell, or simply possess a number of cryptocurrencies at any given time, trying to keep track of them all, monitor the performance of each one, recall when transactions took place, and get the documentation they need to comply with local tax regulations can be a huge hassle.

It’s a real-life struggle that eventually inspired Chandan to create CoinTracker with Jon Lerner, the company’s CEO.

At its core, CoinTracker is an all-in-one platform that enables traders and investors around the world to track all of their cryptocurrency transactions, view their portfolio holdings, and see the market value for each one. 

Savvy investors and traders can even use performance data for individual investments to make informed trades and take advantage of money-saving, tax-harvesting strategies. 

Native integrations with more than 300 cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, including Coinbase, Gemini, Ledger, Exodus, and Binance, ensure that investment details are updated automatically in real time. CoinTracker also supports more than 8,000 cryptocurrencies, so collating all of your investments into a single place is a cinch.

As an all-in-one solution, CoinTracker leverages all of this collected investment data to automatically produce accurate tax reports that show capital gains or losses.

Why DIY bookkeeping to save money didn’t work

When CoinTracker was just getting off the ground, Chandan recalled the need to run a tight ship on a lean budget: “We had no money, we were spending no money, and we were just doing our corporate bookkeeping manually. I honestly didn’t really know what bookkeeping was. We had a spreadsheet where we kept a list of all of our expenses.”

Although this DIY-approach to bookkeeping worked for about a year and a half, the CoinTracker’s finances became a little more complicated once employees were hired.

Between paying employees and keeping tabs on even more expenses over time, it became increasingly difficult for Chandan to mind the company’s books.

“It was just getting crazy to manage it myself. I had a business to run. The last thing I wanted to spend my time on was bookkeeping. Surely someone has solved this problem.”

A valuable lesson learned from a bad experience

After connecting and chatting with Pilot CEO and Co-Founder Waseem Daher, it didn’t take Chandan long to realize that a little bit of outside help could go a long way for CoinTracker.

It became clear that we needed some kind of bookkeeping software so we could focus on the thing we do well and stop spending a lot of time on things that we don’t have any expertise in doing.

At first, Chandan thought he could find a company or software solution that could provide the same bookkeeping and tax preparation services as Pilot at a lower price. 

“I was very resistant to sign up for Pilot,” Chandan recalled. “I was like, “I really don’t want to do this. It seems like it’s too early for us, and it’s a waste.”

But a culmination of at least two events eventually convinced him to bite the bullet and at least give Pilot a try:

  • At some point, Chandan leaned on a Pilot competitor to prepare and file CoinTracker’s tax returns. It’s a decision that he now regrets. “They screwed up our tax return and caused me endless nightmares,” he recalled. “I’m so glad that’s over. I chose them because they were cheap at the time.”  
  • During a gathering with his wife and a few of her business school friends, Chandan spoke about his hesitancy to hire an outsourced bookkeeper: “They were talking about accounting, and I said something like, ‘This is ridiculous. It’s going to cost me hundreds of dollars a month, if not thousands. I could just do this myself.’” Their response, Chandan recalled, helped him come to his senses: “They said something like, ‘Yeah, but they’re just going to do it right, and they’re going to automate it for you. Why are you even thinking about this?’ After that, I was like, ‘Fine, whatever. We’ll try it.’”    

Why Pilot is CoinTracker’s bookkeeper and tax provider of choice

After doing some research and evaluating all of his options, Chandan narrowed his search for a startup bookkeeper and tax provider to two companies. 

In his own words, here are the four key reasons that convinced Chandan to choose Pilot as CoinTracker’s bookkeeping and tax provider of choice:

  1. Pilot was built for startups and already had a number of startup customers. According to Chandan, Pilot “understands how startups work” and can scale with their customers. 
  2. Pilot is really responsive to the needs and concerns of customers. Back when Pilot was just getting off the ground, Chandan recalls having many conversations with Waseem. “He would take all these annoying phone calls from me where I complained about his pricing and he’d talk me down, which I really appreciated,” Chandan said of Waseem.
  3. Pilot works seamlessly with QuickBooks. “The interoperability element was there, which was really nice.” 
  4. Pilot prefers to use accrual-based accounting for bookkeeping customers. “I didn’t realize this at the time, but I guess every serious, big company eventually needs to use accrual accounting. I was like, ‘Why go through the hassle of doing this the wrong way if you're eventually going to have to switch over to the right way anyway?’”

How Pilot helps CoinTracker make informed decisions

In the years since then, Chandan — and CoinTracker — have found even more reasons to trust Pilot with their tax and bookkeeping needs:

  • Leveraging their books and Pilot’s monthly burn rate report to create long-term forecasts. CoinTracker’s finance team now uses data from monthly books prepared by Pilot to create three-year forecasts and see what their runway will look like over time. These insights, gleaned from data prepared by Pilot, enable CoinTracker’s executive team to create plans for growth, expenses, and fundraising. “It allows us to make sure we read the numbers, understand them, and make sure there are no errors.”
  • Always knowing when CoinTracker’s expenses are rising or falling. Whenever CoinTracker’s expenses rise or fall, CoinTracker’s finance team receives an automated email that notifies them of this change. Chandan can also see trends in Flux Insights — via Pilot’s customer dashboard — to ensure expenses are in line with expectations, which are important for managing CoinTracker’s burn rate and keeping costs in check. “It just makes me feel like I have a lot of trust in Pilot — it feels like you're paying attention and have my back. It feels like one of the very rare cases of an assistant that actually seems helpful and useful, compared to every product these days that's trying to be an assistant and doesn't really do anything.” 
  • Having a familiar, go-to person who’s working on your books or taxes. Chandan always knows who he can contact at Pilot for a question about CoinTracker’s taxes or books. Before he turned to Pilot, things were a little different. “Historically, it was a little annoying,” Chandan explained. “It felt like our bookkeepers would change every six months or so. It was fine. It worked seamlessly. It was just like, there's a new person, there's a new email, and the context is changing a bit.”

Why Pilot is the right solution for CoinTracker

All things considered, Chandan says there’s a simple reason why Pilot is just the right fit for CoinTracker: “It just works. It saves us time and gets the job done.”

So, looking back on it now, what does Chandan think about his decision to hire Pilot?

“It’s a no brainer. I haven’t looked back. Can’t believe we didn’t sign up sooner.” 

CoinTracker is a portfolio and tax manager for cryptocurrency that enables seamless cryptocurrency portfolio tracking and tax compliance.

Life before Pilot
  • Bookkeeping done manually in a spreadsheet
  • Increasingly difficult to mind the company’s books as they grew
  • Bookkeepers would change every six months
  • A cheap solution resulted in a badly managed tax return that caused endless nightmares
Life with Pilot
  • Loves that Pilot is really responsive to their needs and concerns 
  • Pilot understands how startups work and can scale with their customers
  • A familiar, go-to person who’s working on your books or taxes
  • Able to create long-term forecasts that aid in plans for growth, expenses, and fundraising
  • Accrual-basis accounting

Read similar stories

How One Startup Fundraises and Wins Competitive Grants, Thanks to Pilot
Read trash's Story →
How Pilot Made Passage AI’s Acquisition More Seamless
Read Passage AI's Story →

Ready to get your books done right?

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.