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Arlington Company Takes Bookkeeping to the Cloud

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Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

BKE logo (Courtesy of BKE)An Arlington company is attempting to eliminate human error from accounting by focusing more on technology and less on accountants.

Bookkeeping Express, or BKE, is using technology to eliminate as much human touch as possible when it comes to accounting, said CEO Keith Mueller.

“We start with the premise that no data should get into the ledger by someone typing it in,” Mueller said.

Technology is more reliable, and it helps drive the cost down. It is also what sets BKE apart from other accounting firms, he said, adding that he could not go into detail about the business model due to privacy policies.

In general, the company is replacing the traditional roles at an accounting firms with people with computer science backgrounds. Where accounting firms use humans to report and calculate data, one could expect a computer program at BKE.

The accounting company uses cloud-based technology, meaning data can be accessed anywhere instead of on a desktop computer.

“Our BKE applications are all cloud-based to drive client interactions no matter where or when they need access,” Mueller said. “This allows our clients to be more efficient, save time and also allows for easy sharing of data with our team of experts and the client where and when we both require it.”

Traditionally, businesses use desktop applications to do accounting, he said, adding that costs accrue from constantly updating software. Introducing technology to accounting has worked well for the Ballston-based company, Mueller said.

“We’re using technology to eliminate literally all the data,” Mueller said.

BookKeeping Express (Courtesy of BKE)

He added using technology allows the company to keep the costs down and many franchises use the accounting firm because it provides a good quality service at a lower price.

Among some of its clients are big name chains like Five Guys, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Great Clips.

“From a franchisee perspective, we deliver good books at a good cost,” Mueller said.

BKE provides accounting services, including data entry and reporting, as well as expense and payroll management for each of its clients. In addition to its general services, the company provides individualized consulting and accounting features based on different industries.

For example, for gyms, spas and salons, BKE can provide membership revenue tracking and a bookkeeper who specializes in the industry. For quick-service restaurants like Five Guys and Auntie Anne’s, the company can help the franchisees with profit and loss statements, among other services.

Having an office in Arlington has helped the company expand its technological accounting services, Mueller said. The company also draws from the local applicant pool provided by nearby colleges.

“We love being in Arlington,” he said.”Great location. Great restaurants. Lots of talent.”

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