- Case Study -

MassChallenge

From a messy month-end close to a streamlined finance department, MassChallenge found a better way to operate with Botkeeper.

Mass Challenge-10

MassChallenge Hands the Bookkeeping Over to Botkeeper

As MassChallenge has grown its global startup programs, their financial management was becoming more and more difficult to maintain. VP of Finance Jason Pulsifer had a difficulties tracking expenses, monitoring budgets, and closing the books in a reasonable amount of time. After hiring Botkeeper, Jason brought MassChallenge’s monthly close time to within 5 days each month, saved the nonprofit countless hours of bookkeeping time, and streamlined back-office processes—all of which help further MassChallenge’s goal of helping startups succeed.

 

Since 2009, MassChallenge has been a key player in the startup ecosystem from New England to Israel. And by key player, we mean they’ve been a major leader in the world of accelerators. Nearly 2,500 startups have been supported by and graduated from MassChallenge, leading to the creation of more than 157k jobs and $3+ billion in revenue. 

 

“We pretty much knew that Botkeeper would be a good fit right off the bat,”

 

The brainchild of two Bain & Company strategy consultants, MassChallenge is focused on making it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses, and it provides curriculum, expert mentors, access to industry-leading companies, and a global ecosystem of innovators—all at zero cost and for zero equity taken. 


But even with a decade under their belt as a highly sought-after funding option for economic innovation, MassChallenge still faces the same growing pains that any other company experiences at some point.

Day month-end close process

%

Of the books closed on time (within 5 days of the month)

Weeks of bookkeeping salary saved each year with Botkeeper

A Leading Startup Accelerator Overcomes Financial Management Issues

We spoke with MassChallenge VP of Finance Jason Pulsifer to get a better understanding of his department’s operations, successes, and challenges (pun intended). 


“We have a variety of different programs, so we need to keep track of those individual P&Ls as much as possible,” Puslifer said. “We need to understand what profitability is for each program and make sure that transactions are properly accounted for. There’s a great deal of transactional volume.”
 

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To paint a more accurate picture, MassChallenge has nine programs worldwide and operates in four different countries and three different states. It’s easy to see how muddy financial management can get.

Pulsifer went on to explain that even the basic task of tracking expenses caused major difficulties.
 
“I recommend Botkeeper to everybody,” Pulsifer said. “Just go talk to them.”

 

“I had 30 different employees who had American Express cards. Waiting for them each month to submit their expenses so I can close the books was becoming too much of a challenge,” Pulsifer said. “It would never get done.”

Beyond tracking expenses, Pulsifer said that with more than 100 staffers, he had a dozen budgets to monitor, as well. He needed a better way to collaborate on transactions and what was getting posted to each employee’s budget.

“What we were doing was sending an automated email report with an Excel attachment from QBO,” Pulsifer said. “We’d say, ‘Let us know if anything’s wrong.’ They eventually would.”

“Eventually” could mean within hours, days, or even weeks, creating an obviously unideal solution to a problem that would persist if Pulsifer didn’t take action. He needed a better way to be able to close the books and accurately manage MassChallenge’s finances.

MassChallenge Furthers Its Mission to Support Startups With Botkeeper

Pulsifer had learned about Botkeeper while leading a previous accounting startup, and he felt confident that Botkeeper was like nothing else in the market. 

 

“We pretty much knew it would be a good fit right off the bat,” Pulsifer said.

 

After launching with Botkeeper in 2018, Pulsifer has leveraged Botkeeper to save countless hours each month. With Botkeeper’s help, his team has committed to closing the books within five days each month, and they haven’t missed that goal yet.

 
Handshake of businessmen greeting each other 

What’s more, Botkeeper stepped in as essential aid for staffing MassChallenge’s accounting department, but without the heavy investment that comes with hiring a full-time employee to do their accelerator bookkeeping.

 

Additionally, Pulsifer says he now has more accountability, visibility, and context into what’s going on with MassChallenge’s books. That’s provided an immeasurable amount of confidence, and he’s been able to cut out a number of steps in his accounting process, saving even more time.

 

MassChallenge continues to be a force for global economic growth, which is as important now as it’s ever been, and Pulsifer knows that’s possible because of Botkeeper. 

 

“I recommend Botkeeper to everybody,” Pulsifer said. “Just go talk to them.”

 

Automated Accounting Can Create New Avenues to Growth

According to Jason, Botkeeper has provided MassChallenge with a great way to maintain growth and help startups thrive. To learn more about how Botkeeper can be a force multiplier for your business (or your clients, if you’re an accounting firm looking to grow your book of business), click below to get a free personalized assessment today.

 

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