Shagun Malhotra Founder of SkyStem hagun Malhotra has been fortunate enough to have enjoyed living in various countries, attended prestigious schools, and was given the tools to expand and grow her life to where it is today. Shagun took it upon herself to ensure that she can inspire and empower whomever she met in her journey through her myriad of experiences, especially women. As a female entrepreneur in the FinTech industry, Shagun has always sought to promote women in the historically gender imbalanced finance and technology world. She incorporated SkyStem—a company that delivers a powerful month-end close and_ reconciliation-solution, which is easy to implement and a pleasure to use—consisting of diverse women in all departments.

Shagun makes a conscious effort to include outstanding women on the team continually and encourages women to take on roles in the finance and tech industry. Her commitment to breaking the gender imbalanced fields is shown at financial and tech shows, where most vendors and attendees are primarily men. She diligently works to establish a positive reputation for SkyStem’s female team while leading the company to even higher levels of success. She continues to break gender inequality in the FinTech industry and is a fervent advocate of minority women in the workplace. As a minority woman herself, she understands the imbalance by seeing it through her own experiences as an auditor.

Shagun is also passionate and committed to her customers as well as her colleagues. She started her career in the travel and hospitality industry, and through her experience in audit and investigative accounting, she ultimately fell in love with the world of audit, controls, and the accounting process. From her previous career as an auditor, Shagun knew first-hand the multitude of problems and risks accountants face when employing manual methods to close the books and complete reconciliations. “Whether it’s a large corporation or a small company, closing and reconciling is part of the routine function in the accounting department. Although not the most glamorous part of accounting, it is the last line of defense to identify fraud and/or errors, hence a crucial organizational process,” explains the steadfast leader. “This realization along with the experience I had in investigative accounting became the spark that compelled me to establish SkyStem, a SaaS provider that aims to create an affordably priced solution to help automate month-end close and reconciliations. SkyStem’s flagship solution, ART, was brought to the market shortly thereafter.”

Closing the books, reconciling the balance sheet, and performing flux and variance analysis are essential activities for every corporation. Failing to close properly and efficiently can put organizations at a competitive disadvantage, affect their stock price and potentially run into regulatory and compliance issues. Mid-sized companies, in particular, are uniquely challenged with having to close quickly and report accurate numbers, often with a lean accounting team. The task of closing each month produces as much administrative work as strategic work, forcing limited resources to focus on manual and low-value activities. Mid-sized companies are also often operationally complex and can benefit from automation during the close but sometimes lack the excess capacity and resources to make a large investment and undergo a multi-month implementation. This is the core of SkyStem that offers an affordable solution to help automate the month-end close and reconciliation process that can be set up in less than one month.

SkyStem’s solution, ART, is an enterprise technology that helps CFOs and Controllers shorten the month-end close and time to issue financials by automating balance sheet reconciliations, managing month-end tasks, and providing insightful reporting. ART's key benefits include close, reconciliation, flux, and variance analysis automation, real-time reporting, instant access to documents, and fast implementation. The web-based solution streamlines and eliminates up to 90% of manual activities while strengthening internal controls and corporate governance.

Accounting is filled with so many micro-processes and tasks. There has always been limited focus on the small things that make the accounting world tick. Shagun would like to continue to build and refine SkyStem’s offerings to mirror what customers need. As SkyStem continues to acquire customers, it is astounding how many great ideas come from the customers. SkyStem also plans to continue to inject intelligence into the core offerings, which will enable their customers to do more with less.

SkyStem hosts webinars every month to share what’s important in this industry with trending topics like The State of Affairs - Benchmarking Accounting and Finance, Fraud Diaries, Ace Your Close in Turbulent Times, and Purveying the Risk Landscape. They also maintain a global presence in various FinTech conferences throughout the year. “We’ve expanded our channels to include podcasts of our customers’ experience with adopting automation, to ease their month-end close burden,” she adds. “This is another way SkyStem freely disseminates information and valuable knowledge for others to learn and apply where appropriate.”

According to Shagun, strategic vision, commitment to innovation, and progressive leadership approach is essential to success. She has been personally involved in various entrepreneurship endeavors in the community. Being a member of the Department of State’s panel for women entrepreneurship and a judge for the NYC Business Plan competition has made her a known leader in New York City. Through these programs, she mentors entrepreneurs and motivates them to strive for their dreams. Maintaining a progressive leadership philosophy, she encourages women to learn about what it takes to run a company. Employees at SkyStem are encouraged to take classes to progress their career trajectory and pursue their passions.