June 6, 2024: Did accounting just become...sexy? 🤔

The latest innovation in accounting solutions plus more AI reads and tech trends


Did we just make accounting sexy?

Teal’s recent announcement is a testament to the importance of innovation and making your product easy to use.

When we say making accounting sexy, we actually mean making it interesting and understandable.

Today’s Quick Take focuses on Teal. Let’s learn more.

The Rise of Embedded Accounting Solutions in Vertical SaaS: A Closer Look at Teal

In the evolving landscape of software services, Teal is making waves by offering a unique approach to accounting solutions.

Unlike traditional platforms, Teal enables vertical SaaS companies to integrate its accounting services directly into their own systems, creating a seamless experience for end-users.

Understanding Teal's Model

Teal's approach is not to service accounting needs directly through their own site. Instead, they provide the infrastructure for vertical SaaS companies to embed accounting functionalities into their offerings. This allows businesses to automate their bookkeeping and financial management processes effortlessly.

The model is akin to a B2B solution, where Teal's customers are other businesses that, in turn, service their clients with enhanced capabilities.

A Comparative Example: Bench

To understand Teal's innovation, it's helpful to compare it with Bench, a company co-founded by one of Teal's founders.

Bench operates as a direct service provider for bookkeeping and accounting. However, Teal extends this concept by enabling vertical SaaS companies to embed these services, enhancing their own value propositions without needing to build these capabilities from scratch.

The Appeal to Vertical SaaS Companies

Vertical SaaS companies specialize in providing industry-specific software solutions. For instance, a SaaS company might develop an operating system tailored for waste disposal businesses. Historically, these companies have been able to monetize by facilitating payments, like charging clients for waste collection services. Now, with Teal's embedded accounting solutions, these companies can offer comprehensive financial services, such as bookkeeping and accounting, directly within their platforms.

This integration has several key benefits:

1. Increased Customer Retention: By offering more services, SaaS companies can become more integral to their customers' operations.

2. New Revenue Streams: Additional services provide new avenues for monetization.

3. Enhanced System of Record: By managing more aspects of their clients' businesses, these SaaS platforms can position themselves as the primary software system for their customers.

Why It Matters

This trend towards embedding services addresses a significant user behavior insight: most people prefer to minimize the number of platforms they use daily.

By consolidating essential services like accounting within their existing software, vertical SaaS companies can offer a more streamlined and efficient user experience.

For Teal, this model means they don't need to acquire end-users directly. Instead, they partner with vertical SaaS providers, achieving scale through these partnerships.

This strategy not only allows Teal to service a wide array of niche markets but also leverages the customer base of each SaaS provider they integrate with.

The Broader Implications

The concept of embedded software is not new, but Teal's application to accounting within vertical SaaS is innovative.

This approach reflects a broader trend of specialization and enhanced service offerings within niche markets. Additionally, it demonstrates how startups can solve fundamental problems—like the need for efficient bookkeeping—by integrating into existing systems rather than competing with them.

Lessons for Founders

1. Focus on Problem-Solving: The success of Teal underscores the importance of addressing real customer needs. Whether through innovative technology or seamless integrations, the goal should always be to solve the end-users' problems effectively.

2. Strategic Fundraising: Teal's founders have shown that raising capital doesn't always need public fanfare. Strategic, quiet fundraising can provide the resources needed to build and scale without unnecessary distractions.

3. Leveraging Previous Experience: The experience of Teal's founder with Bench highlights how previous ventures can inform and enhance new business models. Leveraging past successes and learnings can provide a strong foundation for new innovations.

In conclusion, Teal's approach to embedded accounting within vertical SaaS platforms offers a compelling case study in how specialized solutions can enhance service offerings, improve customer retention, and open new revenue streams.

For tech professionals and founders, it serves as a reminder that the key to success lies in solving specific, real-world problems through innovative and integrated solutions.

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Visit the Schulich School of Business at Collision

The Schulich School of Business is once again a partner at Collision. This year’s conference takes place June 17-20, at the Enercare Centre on Exhibition Grounds in Toronto. Collision brings together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry.

Schulich’s booth is located at Stand E110 in Hall A. Faculty, staff, and students will be on-site to answer questions about Schulich’s MBA in Technology Leadership (Tech MBA), Schulich’s Venture Studio partnership with OneEleven, and the Schulich Venture Academy.

You can also learn more about Schulich’s 12-month programs, Master of Business Analytics, and Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence.

Schulich Startups will also be on hand to discuss how they power the Next Generation of Schulich Entrepreneurs and Innovators through its various programs, build new partnerships throughout the wider innovation ecosystem, and design Innovation-centric Work Integrated Learning Programs.

Hope to see you there!

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