Simplifying accounting through Embedded Finance | An interview with Contabilizei

Published on Jul 19 2023.

reading time 14 minutes reading

Embedded Finance, much more than the phenomenon that transforms any company into a bank, is the integration of financial services on non-financial platforms, with the objective of offering convenience and a better user experience. Focusing on this concept, the largest accounting firm in Brazil launched, its own digital bank which, with support from Dock technology, has been simplifying things for micro and small businesses.

Created in 2013, Contabilizei was created to lessen the bureaucracy involved with accounting for micro and small companies, by offering online services at affordable prices. Betting on an innovative model, the company created accounting solutions in the cloud, like a type of virtual accounting firm.

Since that time the start-up has expanded its services portfolio in an undertaking that has been hugely successful: today the company serves more than 50 businesses, and at the beginning of this year it launched its own bank, called

In a conversation with Heitor Barcelos, VP of Financial Services at Contabilizei, we talked about how the idea to offer financial services to its client base came about, and how Dock’s Banking as a Service infrastructure helped this project come online in record time.


Contabilizei was created with a focus on managing accounting, although since that time it has vastly expanded the services in its portfolio. How did the services evolve, what are the opportunities you identified, and how did you guide the process?


Contabilizei is a company that specializes in solving entrepreneurs’ problems. The first thing someone needs to do after opening a company is hire an accountant, which is an initial monthly cost of roughly one minimum salary. This is a considerable amount for a company that is just starting out.

In 2013, Contabilizei came onto the scene and offered accounting services for only R$ 49,90 at the time. You can just imagine the difference this made, and the savings it represented to an entrepreneur. That was the first problem we solved.

Another area we identified was the need to lessen the bureaucracy involved in opening a company. Accountants usually charge around R$ 1.500,00 for the process of opening a company. We came up with a somewhat aggressive idea: offer to open a company for free for those who purchased the annual accounting services plan.

The next challenge we saw was that after creating the first company, many people didn’t even know that they needed a corporate bank account, or how important it is for tax purposes to separate corporate finances from an individual’s account. That’s when we started thinking about creating and offering the best free digital corporate account, focusing on the experience of micro and small companies.


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Do you think Contabilizei’s target audience, which is mostly micro and small companies, could find “tailor-made” financial solutions in the traditional market? How has contributed to changing this scenario?


As we became part of our clients’ routines, we realized that there were some challenges in relation to financial institutions. It was very difficult to open a corporate account with a recently created company, because the banks required history and invoicing, and an extensive list of documents.

Seeing this, we identified the opportunity to develop an intelligent solution, using all the information already captured by accounting, which would allow the client to choose to open a corporate bank account at the time it created its corporate registry.

Since we had already opened the company for the client, and therefore we had all the documentation related to the process, it was easier to open a bank account. For most digital banks you can open an account by sending a copy of a document and a selfie; here we do everything with one click. That is, if the user wants to, they can open an account at the same time the CNPJ, or the company registration number, is created.

For example, it’s like creating a new user on a site by just logging in with Google. Imagine that a person opens an account, or further down the road requests a loan, they wouldn’t have to present new documents. Convenience was the key. And Dock was a fundamental partner in providing convenience, allowing us to offer this to our clients.


Watch the video of the interview conducted at Febraban Tech 2023!



How does connecting accounting operations with financial operations help provide a better experience/service/solution for this audience?


The experience is always the top priority. And the price makes it convenient. This is where Embedded Finance <span style="color:#fff">now</span> stands out: integrating financial products into a journey that is already under way, which in our case was accounting.

Infographic about Embedded Finance with a building icon and other elements of the financial universe such as coins, currency symbols, charts, card machine
Infographic about Embedded Finance with a building icon and other elements of the financial universe such as coins, currency symbols, charts, card machine
Infographic about Embedded Finance with a building icon and other elements of the financial universe such as coins, currency symbols, charts, card machine

No one goes to a bank anymore just because it is a certain bank. That idea of my bank is “x” or “y” is no longer as relevant as it used to be. What is really important are the functionalities offered. People want banks to do things, like protect their money, extend a loan to them, or facilitate payments.

With we support entrepreneurs throughout the entire process: opening a company with its corporate registration number, opening a corporate bank account, issuing taxes, paying taxes with a card or in installments for more convenience, and financial management, among other solutions to meet all government obligations. All of this is integrated and extremely convenient.

The one-stop-shop concept allows our clients to meet their needs all in the same place. From our viewpoint, the Embedded Finance experience changes the game completely. The client doesn’t need to compare bank “x” or “y” because our solution is already integrated into their process, and there is no reason for them to want to open another corporate account.


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There are many digital accounts in the market currently. What is the big differential of How do you position yourselves?


When we researched people’s expectations in relation to accounting, one thing that stood out was the desire for everything to be done automatically and to be in compliance in all areas, without turning into a problem. And that is all easier when everything is automated.

Although opening an integrated account isn’t mandatory, in fact most people do this, because, for example, if your account is integrated you don’t have to manually import your bank statement, which would have to be done every month for accounting, so having everything in the same environment is very convenient for the client. The account helps organize the business and it optimizes tax collection.

Additionally, when a bank account is integrated with accounting, operations can be more fluid and transparent: taxes generated and paid, remuneration calculated and transferred, and profits distributed to an entrepreneur’s private account, all done automatically.


In an article about the launch of, you said that many clients still did not separate their private and corporate bank accounts. What do entrepreneurs gain by becoming part of the financial system as a corporation, rather than just participating as an extension of their personal finances?


Financial disorganization, especially in relation to cash flow, is the main reason that companies fail, especially for people who never had a business. It is very easy to forget to charge a client, or to lose control of amounts receivable. It is also common to use a personal card to pay corporate accounts. Unfortunately, great ideas and healthy companies can fail due to lack of financial organization.

Receiving funds in one’s personal account, for example, is a risk. When the Treasury looks at a personal income tax statement, it might see income in the account as the individual’s earnings and tax them at the rate of 27.5%. Following the recommendations of Contabilizei, organizing remuneration, distributing profits, and mainly using a corporate account, you might pay one-third of that amount.

Another interesting resource of a corporate account is that it allows a payment link to be issued, with the option of paying in installments. The system itself helps monitor charges, verifying installment payments, among other functionalities.


So that is actually a type of financial inclusion for those businesses, right?


We have a very important social commitment, which is to protect and foster entrepreneurship in the country. The objective of is to keep improving the financial organization of entrepreneurs, both in terms of cash flow, as well as separation between the individual and the corporate account.

That is also why we don’t sell anything that can be done for free. Our focus, for example, is not to offer accounting services to an Individual Micro Entrepreneur (IME), because the legislation does not require an accountant to be hired for this type of business.

For an IME, what we do is invest in financial education content: our blog is the most widely read reference in Brazil that teaches entrepreneurs how to perform their accounting obligations on their own. Our objective is to train these people to manage their accounting by themselves. And if they exceed established billing limits as an IME, we will be extremely happy to welcome them as clients.

Banner advertising the E-book 7 Priorities for Financial Inclusion in Latin America
Banner advertising the E-book 7 Priorities for Financial Inclusion in Latin America
Banner promoting the e-book 7 Priorities for Financial Inclusion in Latin America


Thinking about creating and developing companies, what are the main concerns that small and medium-sized entrepreneurs should have in regard to accounting? From the financial point of view, what can drive corporate growth?


The first thing to think about is that your accounting is your face to the government.Therefore, the number one rule is to choose an accountant you trust.

Although digital banks are unjustly considered to be less secure, in actuality digital transactions are safer than traditional transactions. This is because automation is only possible when things are standardized and follow the rules. That way digital accounting has no room for “tax maneuvering.”

In regard to financial aspects, the tip is to use tools that make the process easier. The functionalities of a corporate account at help organize the business,optimizing tax collection.


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Now that the operation is a success, what are the next steps? What do you think expansion will look like?


Rather than talking about new features, it is important to explain the position of Contabilizei. Our revenues come from accounting services, so all the products we offer are geared towards positively impacting people’s financial lives and helping our clients.

For example, if we were to extend a loan that snowballed and made it impossible for the client to stay in the market, at the end of the day we would also lose the ability to provide accounting services.

We want our clients to stay with us, using accounting and additional services that seek to extend the useful lives of their companies. We love it when a client grows so much that they can hire someone to do the accounting for them. We are not interested in a company closing.

When we analyze statistics in Brazil, it’s obvious that entrepreneurship is a challenge. However, we see Contabilizei as an initiative that goes far beyond just creating profit. It has the power to transform society and make entrepreneurship much more accessible. That is the positive impact that motivates us to always create the best solutions.


Many companies are adopting the Banking as a Service (BaaS) model, and Contabilizei had a success case with Dock. What were the challenges and points that drove the success of that project?


In terms of challenges in choosing Banking as a Service, the first point is to define the problem you want to solve. If you think: “I’m going to create a digital bank, invest in marketing, and then people are going to want to open an account,” the chances of that happening are low. It is difficult to differentiate yourself in the market that way.

You have to understand what problem needs to be solved, which usually means you need to look at what niches need to be served. In our case, for example, we thought about people who need accounting services.

It’s also necessary to think about how much, in fact, you’re going to be able to integrate the financial services into a certain process, and you have to ask yourself if you would use the service you’re thinking about offering.

Furthermore, the relationship you establish with a BaaS provider is crucial, which in our case was Dock. It is important for the partner to recognize the potential of the partnership, and to understand the market, and having this with Dock was fundamental for successful implementation.

Just think, only 65 days passed from the day we signed the contract with Dock, until the first account opened. The launch was fast, and the results were even faster than we expected. My advice is: know your partner’s background, because migrating later is very difficult.


Dock is a pioneer in Banking as a Service in Brazil, and has a complete banking solution


The Embedded Finance concept allows any company to offer financial services quickly and accessibly, without having to become a financial institution.

As we saw in this interview with Contabilizei, finding the ideal Banking as a Service provider is one of the essential steps for companies that want to create their own digital bank.

From retail to industry, companies from a wide variety of sectors and of differing sizes can benefit from Banking as a Service. Here at Dock, we have helped many companies propel their businesses and accelerate financial inclusion with our Banking solution on the Dock One.

Image of a person holding a card in front of a notebook with a title on it Banking as a service
Image of a person holding a card in front of a notebook with a title on it Banking as a service

Image of a person holding a card in front of a notebook with a title on it Banking as a service


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