The Intuit Developer Spotlight series continues with two developers and their successful app journey. Before I share their story, I want to thank the developers who have already participated in this series. They have provided me, and therefore the entire Intuit Developer community, with thoughtful, in-depth insights into how they’ve found success with their app and through their QuickBooks Online integration.
Today’s developers, the founders of Veryfi, continue this awesome trend. They were very articulate, so I’ll stand back and let you enjoy their story through the words of Ernest Semerda and Dmitry Birulia.
How Did Veryfi Get Started and What Does It Do?
“One sunny surfing weekend in Pacifica, CA, while waiting for a wave to arrive, Dmitry and I engaged in a bookkeeping automation discussion. It wasn’t exactly Point Break. Our families have roots in accounting and construction, so we shared firsthand the hassles involved in collection, data entry and trying to make sense of colossal amounts of data. It was that moment that we decided to combine forces to do something about it,” Ernest says.
He continues, “As the only software developers in our respective households (by degree and experience), we felt this was a challenge worth tackling. As a team, we’d move mountains! The result was Veryfi. Software that lives in your pocket, on your smartphone, doing smart bookkeeping work with minimal user input.”
Veryfi serves various industries, including the construction industry, the “second-least digitized industry in the United States.” It accounts for 10% of the country’s GDP and 70% of those in construction work outside of the office. Because of this fact, Dmitry and Ernest consider Veryfi a “game-changer” for the industry.
“Veryfi is software that takes the work, error and frustration out of construction bookkeeping while enabling real-time field intelligence. Starting with automation of time and materials to digitize and end 90% of the time wasted doing it by hand and chasing records. Traditionally, bookkeeping is a monthly ritual. At Veryfi, we have seen exceptional businesses reach financial prosperity when they steer in real-time, not at the end of the month,” he says.
“This is why we focused on building Veryfi as a mobile-first bookkeeper for teams. This makes it easy, fast and reliable for teams to get information from the field (physical world) and into a system of record (digital world) with minimal user intervention. Veryfi is building the next generation of construction bookkeeping automation software with pure tech, and without the restrictions of legacy technology or methods.”
As noted on the app’s QuickBooks App Store page, the key benefits include:
- Save time with no more data entry using proprietary OCR (optical character recognition) to extract data in seconds
- Eliminate lost receipts by snapping receipts with their iOS and Android mobile apps
- Rest easy with secure cloud storage and Veryfi’s 100% machine-powered back office
Veryfi is HIPPA, GDPR, and CCPA compliant. It also has a variety of pricing options, from a-la-carte to specific preset plans, all of which you can view here.
Ernest also mentions Veryfi’s Real-Time Platform. As a self-proclaimed “gearhead” who used to race cars on the track, which obviously requires the need for speed, he says, “Speed is in our corporate DNA, and that includes our architecture and processes. The Veryfi API handles unstructured documents like images, pdfs, html etc. by turning them into structured data (in seconds) that can be used to meet statutory tax obligations or provide real-time job site intelligence. No waiting or processing queues required.”
For the construction industry, this is thinking outside of the box. Veryfi pushes the boundaries of what the industry has been able to do with legacy systems. Dmitry calls it a “contrarian approach.”
This approach has met with user approval, such as this one who left a glowing review on their QuickBooks App Store page. “I have been using Veryfi for a couple years now and it makes collecting receipts so easy! I can either snap a pic of a paper receipt with my phone, or forward an email receipt, and within seconds it will automatically create an expense in QB that will match with my bank/cc transactions. It has saved me a lot of time, and space now that I no longer need to hang on to paper receipts.”
And it’s important to note that the app ensures data security with something they call the “Veryfi Shield.”
“Construction clients push hundreds of thousands of financial transactions and enormous amounts of project activity data each day through the Veryfi platform for automation and reporting. The Veryif Shield is a set of principles, technology, and processes we built out internally focusing on data privacy, security, and user experience,” Ernest says.
Why Did Veryfi Integrate with QuickBooks Online?
“At first, it was due to customer demand. Our customers were asking for QuickBooks integration so they could get all the data Veryfi extracted in the field into their QBO accounting. We built it and listened. And the demand kept on growing, so we continued to invest more time and resources into deeper integrations with QuickBooks,” Dmitry explains.
The second reason he says is Intuit’s apps.com marketplace.
“It’s no secret that intuit is the leader in accounting software and millions of users use the apps.com marketplace to find apps. The self-serve portal Intuit built allows developers to move with speed and grace (agile) launching and testing their MVPs (minimum viable products) on the Intuit apps.com marketplace,” he says.
Joining the Intuit Developer community has brought with it some great benefits, including opening the door to unparalleled support. Both Ernest and Dmitry say they and their team have been able to get help, even at short notice.
“This triumphs the traditional Google search-for-answer approach or speaking with a bot to get support. The Intuit Developer team understands this and have been super helpful in guaranteeing efficient communication, intros, listening to our feedback and making sure support is on hand when we need it,” Ernest says. “So far, we received feedback and support on marketing our app on the Intuit apps.com marketplace, introductions to influencers and thought leaders, and white-glove technical support.”
Additionally, Ernest says the Intuit Developer team has helped them get Veryfi noticed in the QuickBooks App Store arena by answering such questions as, “How do you differentiate yourself?” and “How do you get in front of the right people?”
Ultimately, working closely with Intuit has been a relief for Ernest and Dmitry. “The daily life of a startup founder is like that—daily problem solving. When you have the right people around you, a phone call or email away…it is uplifting, empowering, and in a lonely founders’ world, energizing!”
Any Advice for Other Developers?
Veryfi’s journey within the Intuit Developer community has been instrumental in their success. And their journey, which includes being able to go through the Y Combinator program, has left them with some expert advice for other developers who are in the middle of their own journey or perhaps just getting started.
Citing Paul Graham as the source for this advice, Ernest says developers need to talk to their users, build what they need, and iterate fast. “Focus on those three things and you will be steering the ship towards what truly matters: your customers. That’s how you create value. Everything else is a distraction, a hamster wheel. Don’t get lost spinning that wheel.”
According to Veryfi’s founders, developers should be paying attention to Machine Learning (as a solution to automation) and to Augmented Reality (as a bridge between the app and the real world.)
They also have some personal advice. “Stay healthy through regular exercise (endorphin boosters) and eat well. And develop a circle of friends, mentors and experienced been-there-done-that connections you can reach out to for support and advice when you need it. Because you will.”
Great advice, and I want to thank Ernest and Dmitry again for their time and their words of wisdom for other developers in the Intuit Developer community. For even more details into Veryfi, you can check out an informative Firm of the Future post by Ernest.
Finally, don’t forget that you can contact our team with any questions or feedback at any time. We look forward to hearing from you!