By David Wylie/contributor
A Kelowna entrepreneur has his head in the cloud.
Simon Shaw, founder and CEO of Kelowna-based tech company Bean Cruncher, wants to completely revolutionize the way accounting is done.
“The idea itself was many years in the making. It’s me, it’s my experiences,” says Shaw. “Honestly, I was tired of apologizing to people for software that just wasn’t working. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I can build something that will fill the gaps.”
Bean Cruncher was born.
Shaw’s background is at the curious crossroad of commerce and coding. He’s a chartered accountant who has been a computer programmer for 35 years. He’s merged the two talents and created a unique customizable accounting software that operates in the cloud.
The company has customers all over the world, including Africa and Australia.
Shaw launched version 2.0 at the end of July. It’s a complete behind-the-scenes overhaul to the source code.
Shaw says this update pushes Bean Cruncher well beyond the boundaries of what’s on the market.
Kelowna business owner Ryan Deacon came to the launch party at the Kelowna Yacht Club to learn more about how the software takes advantage of cloud-based computing. His web design business, Oracast, is spread out across two provinces.
“I’ve got a business partner in Alberta and we both need access to the books,” he says. “I’ve been looking for a cloud-based solution for a while.”
More and more businesses have locations across different cities, provinces and countries, says Shaw, and keeping accounting available to all in the cloud is the most elegant solution.
“You can use it on any device,” he says. “For example, you have your employees file field reports from their phone that includes locations, times and photos. One employee could use the software on a business trip across the world, while another uses it back at the office.”
Chem Tec West, which was Bean Cruncher’s first customer, uses the software to track inventory across four warehouses.
“We’re able to track inventory at all times,” says Chem Tec West CEO Les Weiss. “I can look at my inventory, I can look at my receivables, I can look at my bottom line any time and see how the company is doing.”
In a way, Bean Cruncher is a testament to the power of small business.
Some of the pieces of the puzzle came to Shaw after he was asked to create an accounting solution from scratch for a large company. The big business had initially hired a large firm to do the work, but after a year, there still wasn’t a workable solution.
Carola Daiber, who worked with Shaw, said within two weeks he had a workable solution in place. Over time, he refined his software.
“The savings are huge,” says Daiber. “You can take a small company and be very lean. Simon is all about customizing – and the big companies say they will, but they can’t.”
Visit Bean Cruncher on the web at beancruncher.com.