A missing $10,000 check and how it led to a new bank feed solution

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It all started in 2012, when financial analyst Maurice Berdugo decided to do his own taxes.

Berdugo had claimed $10,000 in healthcare costs. Two years later, his accountant informed him that the IRS was requesting a copy of the check he had written for that amount. Berdugo confidently logged in his Bank of America account online, but quickly found that the image of that check was no longer available. He called the bank up, and staff informed him the bank only stores check images for one year.

Well, the IRS’ window for audit is three years, and Berdugo had a problem.

After multiple phone calls with Bank of America, Berdugo had to send a formal letter — yes, on paper — to get an image of his old check. He knew there was an opportunity here.

“I talked to a lot of accountants, and this was a problem,” Berdugo said. “They said just getting copies of checks is a big pain, and every accountant said they have one or two clients that make it very difficult to gain access to their bank feed.”

While many online accounting software platforms do offer bank feed integration, those feeds typically populate numerical data into the software. Check images don’t transfer over. So Berdugo recruited an accountant as his business partner, Chris Ragain, CPA, and together they created LedgerSync.

LedgerSync gives real-time connection to client’s bank and credit card accounts, and stores them indefinitely. The software uses optical character recognition (OCR), provided by AutoEntry, to read checks and statements populating the numerical data into the user’s accounting software.

There are third party extensions that offer such deep bank feed integration capabilities, such as HubDoc, which Berdugo says is LedgerSync’s closest competitor. But unlike HubDoc, LedgerSync is focused just on perfecting banks feed integration, and doesn’t foray into areas like document management.

One of the most distinguishing features of LedgerSync is that it currently integrates with 850 banks. Berdugo uses technology to go “right in the front door” of bank feeds, so doesn’t have to wait for agreements from banks to integrate. This is significant, as the native bank feeds available within Xero and QuickBooks are limited to certain banks with which the software companies have agreements.

To create the solution, Berdugo and Ragain hired a team of software developers through regular job sites like Indeed. The developers are located remotely — mostly in Canada, which Berdugo said has helped keep costs down.

Technology is now Berdugo's full time gig, and he has taken on the role of CEO for LedgerSync, having bought his partner Ragain out early on.

“The plan now is to integrate with QuickBooks Online, Xero, and possibly expand into building a small business accounting solution, because we already have the data,” Berdugo said. “A lot of our accountants are telling us, ‘look, you’ve got all data’ — all most businesses need is profit and loss statements. That’s all they care about — am I profitable?”

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