mAccounting has provided services to small and medium-size businesses since 2003. When they were established they focused only on providing outsourced CFO advisory services—a bold strategic move that was well ahead of its time—but they have since expanded to deliver additional tax, controllership and bookkeeping services.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Services: Bookkeeping, Tax, Advisory
Years of operation: 15 years
Number of employees: 38
Karbon customer since: 2018
By taking advantage of the most advanced cloud-based technologies, mAccounting helps their clients minimize risk, maximize growth and spend more time focusing on the things they enjoy in their business.
“We see ourselves as an extension of our clients’ teams,” says Melissa Stout, Director of Technology Services at mAccounting. “We are always trying to make them more efficient, make their tools work better together, and make their lives as painless as possible.”
Too many systems and band-aid solutions
The mAccounting team approaches any new system enthusiastically, and they have always used a large number of apps to deliver and manage their work. The problem was that amongst all these apps, they had no single source of truth.
“We love technology, but it becomes cumbersome delivering work with so many internal systems. We needed a way to streamline our information and put as much as possible in one place, for the whole team to share,” says Stout.
They also felt there was potential to improve their client service if they could find a tool that would involve their clients and automate collaboration with them.
We were forced to develop band-aid solutions while we searched for a proper solution. We wanted something for everyone—to make them more efficient, make their day better and ultimately improve the overall client experience.
Faced with these mounting challenges, Karbon was recommended to Stout, so she investigated it when she attended the 2018 Scaling New Heights conference.
Karbon was developed to solve the challenges faced by teams dealing with increased output expectations, fragmented SaaS systems, and a lack of visibility across the multitude of workstreams, data-points and communication required to get their work done efficiently.
“Personally, I was sold very quickly,” says Stout. “I knew it would be a game-changer to have all our communication and client details in one system, while being able to provide clients with timely communication.”
Led by Stout, mAccounting began testing Karbon extensively to make sure it was the right fit.
“We have a large team with a multitude of internal processes and we needed to test a lot of specific scenarios. We had to make sure it would work the way we needed it to, and that our team would recognize an immediate benefit. But once we decided to go ahead, we were all in.”
Two pivotal days
Before ‘going live’ with Karbon, Stout and her team put a lot of effort into preparing, often working directly with Karbon’s onboarding team. They wanted to ensure that their internal processes were fine-tuned, and that Karbon was able to handle their specific workflows and needs.
“We are fairly large, so we first wanted to make sure that our various processes were documented and streamlined as much as possible,” says Stout.
On the go-live date, they reserved a large conference room, keeping the door open for any team members who wanted to drop by for additional assistance.
“We walked them through the basics, but took it a step further and went through all the templates they would need to use, showed them how to tweak things, and what filters would be useful to them. Empowering staff to customize the platform to fit their needs greatly improved adoption and their excitement about using it,” says Stout.
Within 2 days, 90% of the mAccounting team had fully transitioned to Karbon.
Even some of our people who are a little more reluctant at change or adopting new tools were there day one. Once people are in there and it makes sense to them, they are really excited, which is huge. We have always felt that an engaged workforce lends itself to an exceptional client experience. This has never been more apparent than with Karbon.
Delivering a world-class experience
Karbon is now being used extensively across the mAccounting business and has replaced other systems such as Asana.
Stout says that the team is a lot more confident now that everything is being captured. “It’s a lot to manage multiple deadlines, tasks and emails from numerous clients. There is real peace of mind that comes with streamlining work – we don’t have to wonder, ‘did I put this on my to-do list?’ We know it’s all there and we don’t need to worry about it until it’s time to do it.”
Managing an extensive number of clients has also become much easier—particularly when dealing across workstreams or between team members working remotely.
It enables a level of transparency for teams and managers alike that simply wasn’t there prior to Karbon.
“We have so many clients and people who often work from home or the client site. So the fact that you can include comments, get notifications, and see all relevant communication is huge. Our team is more comfortable and more efficient, and this significantly improves the client experience.”
Stout is a big believer in processes and standardization, and she identifies Karbon’s templates as a big differentiator toward helping them ensure consistency across all clients.
“Our goal is to deliver a world-class experience to each client, independent of the client’s industry, mAccounting staff member, or service offering. You customize things a little bit for each client, but now we are able to start every engagement from the same point.”
Remaining loyal to their values
With Karbon now set up and implemented, mAccounting has the single source of truth that they were seeking. Stout says that team members are in Karbon all day, for everything—their own to-do lists and tasks, managing and collaborating on shared work items and clients, and documenting all their processes in templates.
The customer service provided by mAccounting—something that they take great pride in—has benefitted already.
“We really are focused on helping small businesses and being a part of our clients’ teams,” says Stout. “Our customer service has really improved—Karbon allows the entire client team to know what is happening without extra time and extra communication. It has dramatically streamlined that transfer of knowledge”
mAccounting focuses on four shared values: service, integrity, leadership and lifestyle, and Stout points out that Karbon makes it easier for them to remain loyal to these values.
We want to make our the lives of our clients and our employees better. Karbon is helping us achieve both of those goals.
One single source of truth for all client data and communication
Improved customer service
Implemented across 90% of the team in 2 days