Silverfin’s story speaks to the resourcefulness of a group of accountants and tech enthusiasts who recognised an opportunity in the accounting industry.
The idea of Silverfin originated in Belgium in 2013 from co-founders Joris Van Der Gucht and Tim Vandecasteele. During his years working for top accounting firms, Joris noticed he and his team were spending too much time on repetitive, low-value tasks such as data entry, reconciliations and manual reporting while constantly fighting against human error and a lack of standardisation within their processes. This frustration synched perfectly with Tim who was a software architect looking for a tough problem that could be cracked using the cloud. Together they turned their thinking to how both data and the cloud could make life easier for accountants.
So what was the opportunity? To embrace digital automation and capitalize on where it was missing in the work that accountants do. Cloud and low-code developments that suggested to Joris and Tim that accountants could be freed from many repetitive tasks and that those tasks could then be amplified by automation.
From the practical and useful data hub through to the birth of Developer Accountants (one of our unique selling points that can aid firms in retaining and attracting staff), Silverfin has been transforming accountancy workflows and building a culture of efficiency for an increasing number of firms globally.
Today, Silverfin is a cloud-based platform providing a centralised financial reporting and compliance solution for accountants across the world. The software offers a range of features that enable accountants to work more efficiently, which includes automatically extracting data from a variety of sources, such as ERP systems, Excel files, bank statements and invoices, which are then used to generate financial reports and other documentation. Once the real-time homogenised data is available in the cloud, the platform offers automated workflows that deliver accurate and standardised reporting and insights.
The co-founders had the foresight to know that the nature of different businesses and their unique accounting requirements needed a flexible solution that could be tailored to firm and client needs. Therefore, they set out to create a customisable cloud software solution that could be tailored to the needs of each individual client.
Ten years later, Silverfin is proud of its international presence working with 800 firms ranging from small up-and-coming firms to established members of the Big 4. Silverfin has grown beyond its native Belgium and is now in firms in countries as varied as Denmark, the USA, Canada and South Africa.
The story of frustrations with inefficient processes throughout their accounting careers didn’t stop at our founders. Today, one of the distinct aspects of Silverfin is its hiring approach with more than 80% of our solution architects having a financial background often including an accounting degree or professional qualification. Silverfin has built a team that is uniquely qualified to continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible in the field of accounting and develop a software solution that truly meets the needs of the industry.
Meet Dries and Agustin – Silverfin’s Developer Accountants
Both Dries and Agustin would identify themselves as Developer Accountants having qualified as accountants before making a move towards a more Developer mindset, focused on problem solving and coming up with efficient ways of simplifying accounting workflows.
Dries graduated 10 years ago with a Master in Accountancy and started working for one of the big four in Belgium. During that time he saw a lot of inefficiencies in the way they worked, with lots of room for improvement. Then 5 years ago, he decided to join Silverfin to be at the forefront of providing improvements built around a cloud and low-code philosophy. Today, as a Solution Architect, Dries is able to use his experience as an accountant to support our clients on a day-to-day basis transforming their businesses and existing processes.
Agustin has a very similar story, also studying Accounting at University, then joining a firm mainly preparing financial statements and tax returns for clients. He also noticed inefficiencies around manual processes and repetitive tasks – and especially how this role took time from data analysis and providing consultation to his clients. He too wanted to be at the forefront of the change and joined Silverfin in creating automated templates for our customers. As a trained Accountant, Agustin better understands the why behind certain design choices, compared to other technology-educated developers. As a result, he is able to challenge or make comments during the development stage, which is something that is rarely done with other accountancy software, if you don’t have any content experts involved during that phase.
Over the years, Silverfin has continued to evolve and innovate by building a team that is uniquely qualified to push the boundaries of what is possible in accounting technology. A cloud-based accounting platform that was built by accountants, for accountants, Silverfin is truly helping shape the future of the accounting profession.