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Dutch Bank, FinTech Develop SME Robo-Accountant

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Netherlands-based bank ABN AMRO is working with invoice management firm InvoiceSharing, also based in the Netherlands, to develop a new accounting automation solution for SMEs.

Reports Friday (Feb. 10) said the two companies are collaborating on the new tool that will aim to provide easier access for small business owners to their accounting information and be able to more adequately and quickly assess their working capital needs. ABN AMRO and InvoiceSharing are also creating a “robo-accountant” to check invoices, make notes and export invoices to accounts.

Their collaboration is part of the bank’s innovation unit, Econic, reports said, and they are currently piloting their tool with about 20 companies.

“Bookkeeping no longer marks the final stage of an administrative process,” said InvoiceSharing CEO Jeroen Volk in a statement. “Instead, it has become the SME’s starting point for improvement of business. In due time, we want to help as many entrepreneurs as possible make their business smarter so they can anticipate and play into future challenges.”

“We want to provide SMEs with extra added value by offering proactive advice and responding to their financial needs,” added ABN AMRO General Manager for Commercial Clients South, Frans Cuppen, in another statement. “There’s a lot of money to be saved here, as entrepreneurs get their financing needs met at much more favorable rates.”

The Netherlands has a quickly expanding FinTech market. According to the PYMNTS Tech Center Roundup, about 41 percent of Dutch jobs are created by startups.

“Why Silicon Valley is successful is you have a good environment for investment, for risk-taking, and there’s an infrastructure to do it. Here what you have are some similarities, but you also have a place that people want to live in,” Maarten Plesman, VP EMEA for Revinate, said in an interview with Tech City News last year. “It is a magnet for people to come in, and the rest of the infrastructure is building up right now. The investment climate is nowhere near Silicon Valley today, but I think we see a lot of signs that it’s improving — that there’s more risk-taking, more possibilities for startups or for anybody else.”

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