There’s a lot that goes into the saying “money makes the world go round,” particularly for the businesses and institutions managing all those billions of dollars in capital. Of all the processes companies have to go through to keep their finances in check, having statements audited is one of the most important processes since various other entities — from investors to insurance companies — rely on that financial data to do their own jobs.
As crucial as this process is, it tends to be quite tedious and complex, especially for larger, publicly traded companies that complete audits every quarter. Even though private companies only have to do them once a year, audits can still require owners and managers to compile reports for hundreds of transactions completed during that time. It’s the job of certified public accountants (CPAs) to request and verify all that data so an auditor can sign off on a company’s financial reliability.
Looking to streamline this lengthy process for both CPAs and their enterprise clients is Atlanta-based Audit Sight. The tech company, co-founded by two former CPAs, is leveraging modern technology to speed things up. Using APIs, the Audit Sight platform collects company records and provides auditors with easy access to that data. The startup just closed on a $2.5 million seed funding round led by Hyde Park Venture Partners to build out its solution.
“The critical role that CPAs and auditors play in our financial markets cannot be underscored, bolded [and] highlighted enough,” TC Whittaker, Audit Sight’s CEO and co-founder, told Built In. “Here in the U.S., we have really an incredible capital market; it’s crazy great, and it’s the envy, oftentimes, of the rest of the world. One of the reasons it’s so great is because of the transparency that we have inside of our capital markets. That’s what we’re trying to do at Audit Sight. We’re saying, ‘let’s keep doing these great incredible things that auditors do, let’s just do them in a more efficient and better way.’”
Audit Sight handles the more time-consuming aspects of audits as they’re performed today. A CPA would typically request an income statement from the CFO as well as a detailed listing of each invoice that accounts for the company’s total revenue. After selecting a sample of invoices, that selection gets sent back to the CFO for them to retrieve further documentation proving the transactions’ validity.
With Audit Sight’s solution, that process disappears completely. A CFO logs onto the app and can connect their company’s accounting system and banking records within five minutes, according to COO and co-founder Jonathan Womack. At this point, APIs ingest all that data and match up the banking and accounting records to be compiled on a working paper. In the end, Audit Sight has analyzed the entire data population, allowing the auditor to avoid sampling entirely and focus on any exceptions.
“If you look at the number of CPAs that are being made every single year, it’s flat. The amount of publicly traded companies and private companies keeps growing and growing and growing,” Womack told Built In. “When you step back and you think about this, we’re making [fewer] CPAs. Your first three to four years being a CPA are just brutal. People don’t want to stick it out because you’re working these long hours and you’re keying in this data over and over again. Audit Sight has a chance to change the world for good. We can make being a CPA something to be proud of.”
So far, Audit Sight has seen success for its platform following its August launch and its solution has already been used by several companies across various spaces, including for-profit and nonprofit companies. It’s aiming to bring the platform to CPA firms by the end of the year, according to Whittaker. As it pursues this goal, Audit Sight is investing in building its team. The startup recently made new executive hires to get a head start, including Eric Kingery as CTO and Attila Domokos as executive VP of engineering.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to get the technology talent on the team that we need to write the lines of code to bring this vision to life,” Whittaker said.
Currently five people strong, Audit Sight is hoping to build out its team with six new engineers as soon as possible.