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Customer Story

How My Management Accountant uses technology to save time and money

A picture of My Management Accountant

My Management Accountant (MMA) was built from the ground-up as a business first and an accountancy firm second. When Martin Bown founded MMA, his intention was to center operations around flexibility, so that his team or clients weren’t limited in what they could achieve.

The gap between firms that embrace technology and those that don’t grows every day, and Martin made sure MMA were early tech-adopters.

Though they’re based in Yorkshire, by combining online tools and their depth of expertise, they provide top-tier accountancy services to clients all over the UK.

Collaborating for better results

In early 2020, a few weeks before it was mandated, Martin moved his team to work from home. The jump-start of a few weeks meant they were fully connected before IT companies became swamped transitioning UK businesses to the cloud. 

When they were working in an office together, Martin and his team had little use for digital in-house communication. But after going remote, it became clear they needed a way to collaborate online. That’s when Martin implemented Karbon.

“Karbon came along for us quite early on in lockdown. Going back to when we were in an office together, we had whiteboards on the walls, we had our own to-do lists written down, we had things in our own heads, we had discussions in the team, but very little in terms of collaboration.” 

Using Karbon in combination with Slack, Microsoft Teams, and a few other tools, Martin finds they’re as efficient now as when they were in the same room. And the flexibility it gives them and their clients is well worth it.

Recommended reading: Controlling your own destiny. A conversation with Martin Bown from My Management Accountant.

How Karbon changed the way the My Management Accountant team works

Martin started My Management Accountant in 2009, and it was just him until 2013. Now, his team is 13-strong. And while this growth was good, Martin was aware of the risks, particularly the potential for losing some control over his firm. That's why he sought out a piece of software that would give him total visibility.

Finding the right practice management software

Karbon wasn’t the first accounting practice management software they. But the first program didn’t suit. As Martin says, “It felt very clunky. It felt quite traditional. It actually felt quite old-fashioned for a piece of software that was supposed to be new in our business.”

My Management Accountant use Ignition and the first software they trialed didn’t work well with it. Conversely, it was Karbon’s native integration with Ignition that endeared it to Martin. And once Martin and his team brought Karbon onboard, they began to utilize the full functionality.

Recommended reading:

Collating information with clarity

Using Karbon as a central source of information has sped up how Martin and his team deal with complex jobs. Karbon’s document management system integration has been particularly helpful in keeping track of all client files.

“We’ve got full sight of what’s being asked and a full list of documents that have been provided. Because typically…someone will say ‘I can't find [a document], can you resend it to me?’ Well, we don’t want to go looking for it, but it’s there, tagged in the background. We can find it and forward it on very quickly.” 

Triage and ‘inbox zero’

The MMA team has set a goal for 2022 of no internal emails. By using Karbon's commenting and tagging functions, they’re saving time not trawling through their inbox. Instead, using Triage, they can figure out what’s important and what isn’t, and prioritize their time accordingly.

Automating onboarding (among other things)

Perhaps one of the most powerful benefits that MMA experience with Karbon and their integrated tech stack is an automated (and expedited) client onboarding process.

“The onboarding of a new client used to be a very manual task.” Martin acknowledges. “Pre-Karbon, when we used to be in an office, we would sign a client on Ignition, somebody would then print out a form and they would have a stack of these forms on their desk. They would manually fill them out. We’ve automated that process now.”

Now, Martin sends a new client an e-document to sign and from there, automations get everything rolling.

“We’ve set up a service that goes out from Ignition, so [after they sign] the first thing that they see is a client welcome: ‘Welcome to My Management Accountant’—a nice little bit of text about working with us. And internally, that kicks off our onboarding process.”

All the right people in the team get notified of their part in the onboarding process. With no ambiguity around roles, the whole process is streamlined.

Client-led is the future

Asking 21st Century clients to conform to 20th Century processes is not sustainable business practice.

Martin recently signed a client who’d left discussions with another accountant because they weren’t sure they could process online payroll, as it wasn't a system they already used. Of course, MMA could help and as a result, signed the client. But Martin can't believe how many firms are still so slow to adapt. 

“I think over time—quite quickly—we’re going to see a big change from that very traditional, ‘these are the systems we use, therefore this is how we’re going to work with you’-type accountancy businesses”, Martin says.

If a client wants to be on the cloud, then that’s where they should be. And if their accountant isn’t helping them do that, then firms like ours will.

Martin Bown, My Management Accountant

Remote and completely connected

My Management Accountant have no plans to return to the office full-time. Through Karbon and other software, they are effective, more mobile, and have more flexibility to meet client needs. 

Modern businesses need modern solutions, and as Martin knows, “It is all about what the client wants.”

Since bringing Karbon on board, Martin can see everything that needs to be done. It’s his way of centralizing staff to collaborate, even if they’re physically distant. 

He knows if something needs to be done, it will be. 

Key Results

  • Successfully serve clients UK-wide by being fully cloud-based

  • Transitioned to remote work without compromising productivity

  • Increased efficiency by automating the client onboarding process