Bookkeeping and legal made simple
9 July 2021
Automating, facilitating and simplifying processes seems to be the definition of the still early 21st century. We learn to do things differently and continuously crave new ways to streamline workflows to make life a little easier. SCC members Bokio and PocketLaw are two companies profoundly shaping and shaking up the old ways of doing bookkeeping and legal; two sectors that can come across as quite perplexing with a need for an in-depth understanding and, at times, a heavy administrative burden. The time has come to put complicated and manual solutions on the shelf and empower companies with the right tech.
Founded back in 2018, PocketLaw is an in-house digital lawyer that provides a user-friendly digital solution for daily legal challenges and guidance; facilitating legal services such as contract, employment, corporate, commercial GDPR, and compliance management as well as providing companies with access to lawyers when they need personal legal advice. The wide-ranging solution stems from a lack of service offerings, or rather competitors not offering the end-to-end need identified by co-founder Olga Beck-Friis and CEO and co-founder Kira Unger. The unique selling point is simple; you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand what legal you need, or to solve your legal challenges yourself.
“When me and my co-founder, Kira, started looking at legal tech - before we founded PocketLaw, we were surprised that so few players were taking the perspective of challenges. Most offerings were aimed at law firms or helped companies with only parts of their needs, such as a contract management system or templates online.” PocketLaw entered the market with the aim to help companies identify and solve their legal challenges in a simple way for a reasonable amount of money so that companies can to focus on what really matters; growing their business.
All-in-one solution for anyone to use
With a similar goal but on the other side of the spectrum, we have Bokio, with the ambition to make bookkeeping as easy as possible. “For us, it’s about breaking down barriers and enabling everyone to pursue their passions of running a company, something that is tedious, and that’s traditionally maybe been reserved for people in privileged situations where you have to have a lot of complex knowledge and capital to run a company. Bokio caters to many small companies. However, those companies generally don’t get the credit they deserve, but they’re still essentially the backbone of the economy”, says Viktor Stensson, CEO and Founder, Bokio. Bokio was launched in the UK in 2019 in connection to the HMRCs’ initiative of digitising tax, offering the entire infrastructure of bookkeeping, VAT management, invoicing and expense management. With an HQ in Gothenburg and over 50 nationalities in-house, Bokio has surpassed 4000 active clients in the UK and growing rapidly.
Empowerment, good looks and being in control
With over 1,500 new companies using their service in just over a year in Sweden, Pocketlaw launched this spring in the UK. A successful pilot scheme meant further deals with external partners such as British law firms and accounting firms and more resources to empower business in the UK. Operating in the digital age has allowed companies to be more agile but has also put additional pressure on quick decision-making and efficiency. Pocketlaw enables companies to do legal themselves without limiting themselves to a lawyer, a specific time or predefined structures. “We have worked very close with our customers and invested a lot in user design to make sure that the platform is intuitive and easy to use. You can create an incentive scheme or a shareholder’s agreement without being a lawyer, and without having to understand all the complicated legal lingo. With our platform, you also have full control of your legal, you know where all your employment contracts are, and you know the legal side of your business is always up to date”.
Catering to customer needs and teaming up with the right partner
Olga and Viktor advocate that the customer focus is sprung from fearlessness, determination and an outstanding team. “Everyone on the team are true innovators at heart; always aiming to push the boundaries for how much of traditional legal tasks that can be digitised. We are really excited about what the future holds for legal services.” Olga continues pointing to the fact that the flat Swedish organisation allows people to make mistakes. There’s transparency which facilitates risktaking and, in its turn, resolves challenges. Although the Swedish traditions leave their mark on the organisation, Viktor adds that the biggest influence at Bokio is the humble entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to understand and really listen to the client needs. “We’re thriving on how to automate and digitalise for the better. For example, taking pictures of your receipts on the go to make sure you can send invoices when visiting a client straight away. We have live bank feeds coming in from a bank account to make sure that we can always be up to date on your financial position”. To verify that the company does the right things, Viktor adds that Bokio utilises a feedback community with 11,000 clients to understand their clients’ needs in Sweden. A similar but smaller-scaled feedback loop has also been implemented in the UK.
Catering to customer needs also mean recommending beyond company borders and in-house knowledge. To offer the ultimate support and create value for their clients, Bokio and PocketLaw partner up and offer their respective clients discounts and unique offerings from the respective services. The two companies share similar missions of transforming an archaic industry by using tech to create more value for companies.
Digital as the new normal
The future looks bright for Bokio and PocketLaw and they both agree that they’ve just scratched the surface of digitizing and techifying their respective sectors. “We invest quite heavily in product development, and we always try to, to move our positions forward. I think that there is a big shift in acceptance, what we’re doing is not a threat to accountants existence. It’s a threat to a part of what they used to do; the more tedious and boring parts that no one really wants to do or pay for. So there is an opportunity for them as well to accelerate their efforts and the value that they can bring to the clients” Viktor adds. Olga agrees that the opportunities are limitless and that we’re just at the forefront of what the future holds for legal tech. PocketLaw is and will continue to be an enabler of digital law in an international perspective, “We want to become the global pathway to every jurisdiction in the world, and given, that all the necessary technology already exists, there’s nothing stopping us. We are very excited about what the future holds.”