SimplBooks accounting software: how to reach 10 000 active users
- SimplBooks LLC, which has been operating for almost ten years, received the recognition of a successful Estonian company from Creditinfo for its stable growth and reliable credit assessment.
- The 11-member team develops SimplBooks, a web-based accounting software for accountants and entrepreneurs.
- Today SimplBooks has more than 10,000 users in Estonia and Finland.
- In the near future the company plans to expand to other Baltic countries and the Polish market.
SimplBooks, which develops web-based accounting software that is as simple and automated as possible for both accountants and businesses, considers honesty and transparency, taking into account the feedback of partners and customers, and a cohesive team as the basis for its success. Intense competition has also made the team stronger and encouraged them to set new goals and implement them faster.
Courage leads to the goal
As is often the case in business, SimplBooks, founded in 2012, began with the personal needs of its owners. “Nine years ago, there was no web-based accounting software in the Estonian market. It also seemed as if the creators of the previous software had rested on their laurels. This gave birth to the first Estonian fully web-based accounting software. When we had reached 30 customers by the end of the first year, we found the idea sustainable and decided to carry on. The current number of 10,000 SimplBooks customers were still a secretly formulated dream at that time, though our experience shows that courage leads to goal and it is worth sticking to your goals,” says Jaanus Reismaa, CEO of SimplBooks.
Customers value honesty and transparency
One of the key value indicators of the cloud service is the number of users, as well as the growth rate. If more users arrive at a noticeable rate, this is likely to signal both a high-quality web service and customer trust in the service provider. One of the main principles of the SimplBooks activity has been the development of the service in close cooperation with professional experts, including several accountants and accounting firms. “We have taken their feedback into account and have improved numerous developments as a result. We also trained accountants and instructed them on how to solve any situation more easily and automatically. Additionally, we collaborate inspiringly with various universities in Estonia, such as TalTech and EBS, and their students,” Reismaa describes.
The SimplBooks team also keeps in mind customer suggestions. Reismaa mentions: “We have many examples of developments that have come about due to customer feedback, so it helps us make the use of software more convenient and better. We also follow reviews on Google and social media. It is a pleasure to note that the overall average rating so far has been five out of five.” A software satisfaction survey conducted in early 2020 found that the simplicity and good user support of the SimplBooks software is most valued. “Positive feedback makes us especially happy when we were able to exceed customer expectations and they are extremely satisfied with the service offered. The helpfulness and speed of our support are often praised. Accountants themselves also stated that SimplBooks is one of the best value-for-money services currently offered in the market,” the CEO says.
According to Reismaa, however, not every proposal is immediately directed to development, and the principles of honesty and transparency are followed in the provision of the service. “Honesty does not always pay, so unfortunately we cannot make everyone happy. For example, if a customer makes a request in which we do not see a so-called ‘software birthmark’, then we will tell him so. We also explain a client, who asks if he can do all the accounting with SimplBooks himself and give up the accountant, why SimplBooks does not replace the accountant and why an accountant is still necessary,” says Reismaa. He adds that the need of micro-entrepreneur for an accountant depends on his own skills and experience – the more knowledge, the more likely he is able to manage his own accounts.
Joint events create an active team
Currently, SimplBooks has 11 employees. As the growth strategy forecasts expansion in the near future there are plans to increase the team. Nevertheless, the common values of work culture will be honoured along with the expansion. “Our team is well kept together every working day with common lunch around a dining table. We talk about personal life as well as discuss the most important events of the company. We often take part in various sports events in team, which help to strengthen the team feeling, offer a lot of excitement and keep the spirit fresh. For example, we participate in the events of the Estonian Company Sports Association for the third year in a row. Many of our employees are blood donors, and we have been donating blood with the entire team. Several times a year we take other exciting joint trips, such as a swamp trip, sailing, visiting an escape room, etc. Joint activities are necessary for a good atmosphere in the team, for all team members to be involved and to feel comfortable in the work environment,” explains Reismaa. Due to the widely spread coronavirus, the SimplBooks team has recently remained in home offices, so joint events became virtual.
Expansion to Europe
The company’s mission has evolutionized over time in the course of natural development. Reismaa believes that the initial goal of offering simple and convenient cloud-based accounting software to both accountants and entrepreneurs is largely met. “It has now become our mission to provide high-quality and automated accounting software across Europe. Data openness became an important part of this process. It means that the user of our software can download all the data from SimplBooks and even go to a competitor. We have no faith in keeping customer data in captivity. If the customer wishes to leave us for some reason, he can do so easily and conveniently,“ confirms Reismaa.
SimplBooks finds the year of 2020, which was turbulent for many entrepreneurs, the exciting and successful, given its development and sales. “We consider 2020 to be exciting and successful in terms of additional interfaces, especially banking interfaces, which took us to the next level in the accounting software market. We can now offer users greater automation and convenience. Last year was also great in terms that the efforts made so far began to be more clearly reflected in the growth in the number of customers and in positive feedback,” says Reismaa.
In 2021, software developments will continue, on the other hand, the company focus will largely shift to export markets. “The entry into the Finnish market, which was undertaken almost four years ago, was successful. It gave us the confidence that we can handle the export well. Now we plan to expand first to the Polish market and then to the Latvian and Lithuanian markets,” Reismaa opens the action plans of SimplBooks for the near future.