founder_haywood
Haywood Shum – Binery Co-founder

The Binery Journey (so far)

AI accounting service Binery is out to revolutionize the world of bookkeeping! We caught up with co-founder Haywood Shum to learn how Binery came to be and his future plans for the startup.

Contents

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Who’s Afraid of Bookkeeping? Most People, Apparently 

It’s no stretch of imagination to consider that most business owners aren’t fans of the bookkeeping process — and polls appear to back up this notion.  A survey by TD Bank revealed that small-business owners found bookkeeping to be their least-loved activity. Almost expectedly, a whopping 96% of owners said that they would much rather spend time to engage with their core business.  

Another poll showed that 40%  of business owners feel that bookkeeping (and taxes) are the worst part of running a business. Naturally, the sentiment is understandable to any non-accountant who has ever attempted to manage their own books. The process is famously tedious, confusing, time-consuming, and prone to input errors.   

Moreover, the option to delegate the duty by hiring accounting staff or procuring the services of an accounting firm may be too costly, especially in the initial or growth stages of a business. 

This is what my business partner Calvin Lui and I, co-founders of Binery, noticed as well: that business owners love their business, but generally loathe the bookkeeping aspect.  

The good news is that we believe that the Binery’s AI accounting service can solve the stumbling block that bookkeeping appears to represent for many business owners with a cost-effective, tech-based solution. 

Our system merges the benefits of maximum automation for accounting tasks, artificial intelligence applications, and incorporates the knowledge of human accounting experts to manage the books for business owners. This way, they can spend less time on bookkeeping and more of it focusing on what they do best. 

team binery at work
Team Binery at work

Binery — The Founders’ Inspiration  

Tales of bookkeeping woes are universal, the predicament of business owners with a small budget and little-to-no accounting experience is felt all around the globe.  

As two people who aren’t formally trained accountants, Calvin and I know the pain of having to ‘handle books’.  This is why it was important to us that our AI bookkeeping service be utile for everyone, even those without an ounce of accounting knowledge.   

The work and process to craft such a system began in January 2020, where we painstakingly attempted to reverse engineer the automation prospects of every possible task within the spectrum of bookkeeping.  

For example, Binery provides easy recording of receipts and invoices, processed through AI. Customers will only have to upload these documents via Binery’s platform and the system will manage related core activities. These include sorting and storing of receipts and invoices, recording the transactions, as well as automatically posting them to generate financial reports.   

These services and more are offered at the lowest tier package , apt for companies with monthly revenues of under $10,000. For companies with more complex accounting needs, Binery provides a wide range of add-on services to scale such as billing management, custom API setup, management of Accounts Payable/Receivable and more.  

We also appreciate that budget concerns are a major factor for why business owners attempt to manage their own books.  

With Binery, all package tiers enjoy an included subscription to Xero, a premier cloud accounting software system that will be managed by our CPA-certified accountants. This formulation helps our customers to save more as we provide access to powerful accounting software and expert accountants.  

Innovating this side of the back-office to reduce, or eliminate where possible the repetitive, resource-sucking elements of ‘traditional’ bookkeeping will remain a priority as we continue to enhance the service.  

In addition, we want business owners to be able to get the most from their books. For instance, they should be able to easily gain insight to help them make better business decisions, prepare for tax submissions, and apply for loans with ease and at a low cost.  

Producing books that are clean and professional, meets international accounting standards, and that can be used to facilitate the growth of a business is our primary goal.  

Customers and Prospectives 

Calvin and I identified that Binery’s lean and effective software-as-a-service (SaaS) accounting system would benefit any type of business, but we’ve pegged small businesses, start-ups, ‘solopreneurs’, and even businesses in the growth phase (e.g. SMEs) as our core customers at present.  

We’ve had relatively modest beginnings, securing our first customers with just a few cold emails. We have since made leaps and bounds have been recorded in just a short period of time! We’ve been honored to provide our services to Ola Tech, Public Lab, Hustle Fund (also an investor), and Reap amongst others. 

Here’s what Kevin Kang, Founder at Reap had to say about working with us: 

Binery really understood how our internal system and operation worked was able to provide a clear and easily understandable online dashboard, bridging the disconnect between management and accounting so we could focus on growing the business. Thanks to this arrangement we’ve saved on costs and time previously spent on accounting.

Kevin Kang – Founder of REAP

What’s next for Binery? 

In the coming months (and years), we plan to expand our operations in a multitude of ways.  

We aim to acquire more customers across Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US; to continue building on the software as we reinvent and digitize bookkeeping; and to expand our sales and technology team.   

We also believe that there are incredible prospects for our services within the finance industry to help bridge a connection between our clients and financial institutions. We’d also love to explore the possibilities of working with traditional accounting firms to help them digitize their bookkeeping services and stay lean. 

Thank you for believing in us 

We’d like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to all our incredible supporters — starting with our customers and the Binery team! You are especially owed a debt of gratitude for believing in us, thank you for joining us on this journey! 

We’d also like to acknowledge that the execution and expansion of our mission would not be possible without our financial backers! We have successfully raised capital of slightly over $1 million USD, thanks to our incredible group of global investors that include Gobi Partners, Hustle Fund, Calm Fund, Impiro Group, Inspect Element and more.  

Special thanks to our partners 

 Xero, a juggernaut in the world of online accounting software and support has been instrumental to our success thus far! Xero powers our software on their impressive platform. As Xero’s Emerging Accounting Partner of the Year for Hong Kong 2021, we look forward to this flourishing partnership and continued mutual support. Thank you Xero! 

We are proud to be associated with McMillan Woods, a recognized global network of professional, qualified accountants and advisors. An extra special thank you to Dato’ Seri Raymond Liew of McMillan Woods, who tirelessly provided guidance that has proved invaluable to us.   

Announcement: We’re Hiring! 

Come join us as we attempt to revolutionize the bookkeeping experience for all! We’re looking for creative problem solvers to join our sales and tech teams.  

We’re also happy to announce that we’ve embraced remote work! It offers critical flexibility to our international team as we navigate a complex, globalized business environment.  

If you’re interested in helping us grow and being part of our story, get in touch with us via email at [email protected].