How Tabworks started delivering work to new clients within 5 business days
Growing up as a child to a self-employed parent, Tabatha Morrison knows all-too-well the complexities and struggles of running your own business. That’s why she is passionate about offering her clients a genuinely solid support system.
When she started her own accounting firm, Tabatha was determined to provide her clients with true support and a solid understanding of their financial health—from day one.
“It is super-important that all of our clients understand how their business is performing financially, while their dreams are fulfilled as we go. That’s our philosophy in a nutshell,” says Tabatha.
“I'm passionate about offering a strong support system. Otherwise most self-employed people feel very much alone.”
Taking the time to deeply understand and connect with clients
The majority of Tabworks’ clients operate in the trade industry, so naturally, they are highly skilled tradespeople and professionals in their field. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily skilled at managing their business’ finances.
“We’re very focused on making sure they’re not spending time or energy stressing about these things, and that they’re comfortable and confident that we’re taking care of it.”
Understanding client strengths and weaknesses helps Tabworks provide tailored and suitable services for each of their clients.
“We love working with the clients that make us feel like we’re a part of their team,” explains Tabatha. “We’re in the trenches, helping with accounts receivable, payable management, payroll, interim tax remittances, management reports and cash flow reporting.”
Tabatha’s experience means she understands that a business owner can’t be all things at once. There must come a time to delegate.
“Any business owner needs to be good at three things, but no one is actually good at all three. You need to be passionate about the service or product that you provide, you have to be able to account for it, and you have to be able to market it.”
“But I don't know any self-employed person that's good at all three. So the best thing to do is to outsource what you're not good at and focus on what you are good at.”
“So in a nutshell: delegate, live longer, do what you love.”
The difficulty in keeping up
Because Tabatha relates to and understands her clients so deeply, her business naturally began to grow. Today, she manages 14 staff who provide a wide range of services to clients across Canada.
And as a result of the complexities of a growing business—including more clients and a larger team—without having the right systems and processes in place to manage it all, tasks were slipping through the cracks.
Deadlines were missed, clients were neglected. And Tabatha had to work around the clock, pulling late nights and working on weekends simply to keep the business afloat.
Finding rescue in the right tech solutions
“At one point, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to downsize because this isn't working for me’. I felt like I had no life, and felt like I was dropping balls everywhere,” Tabatha recalls.
“And Karbon just sounded like a lifeboat for me.”
“Bringing Karbon on kind of gave me that incredible spider's web—a safety net—that could catch me. And things don't fall through the cracks any more.”
The decision to move to Karbon
Initially, Tabatha chose Karbon because it was recommended by the vendors of the solutions in her existing app stack.
“It was almost like a friend referring you to a great hairdresser. So it's kind of like a friend telling you, ‘hey, this would be really good for you’.”
“And from there, it was also the amount of free webinars and information that Karbon provides to educate people without being sales-heavy. So it was that soft, kind and patient approach—Karbon really waited for me to be ready for it.”
Released from ‘email jail’
Before Karbon, as well as struggling with a growing bookkeeping firm, Tabatha felt trapped by her email inbox.
“I found myself spending an entire day churning in my email and not being able to do that worthwhile work,” she explains.
And on top of that, she was consumed by note-taking, constantly chasing information, and trying to remember every client detail and communication.
But Triage in Karbon has solved those issues at Tabworks.
Plus, with Karbon, Tabatha knows exactly what her staff are working on and if they’re communicating well with clients.
“Now if I have an issue, I can immediately go into Karbon. I have full disclosure and visibility of where the problem started, how it evolved and what the best case solution would be.”
Decreased client onboarding time by 80%
One of the most pivotal moments for Tabatha once her firm began using Karbon was their new ability to streamline their lead-to-client turnaround. And Tabworks begins this process in a unique way:
“Before I even talk to a lead, I send them a Karbon task because that's how we communicate at our firm.”
“So Karbon actually pre-vets our clients. If you're not technically savvy enough or understand that we want to protect our communication through a Karbon pin, then you don't want to be a Tabworks client because you're not going to be happy.”
But Tabatha finds that her new clients are enthusiastic about checking off Client Tasks in Karbon, asking questions and providing documentation.
And, as a result, Tabworks reduced the time it takes to start delivering work for a new client by 80%.
“Before Karbon, client onboarding took a month and we still weren’t getting paid. Now, we’re at 5 days from when a person contacts us. Because of the application partners that work so well with Karbon and because Karbon works so well with them, everything jives smoothly.”
“We're doing real-time work within 5 business days from people just enquiring, and that’s just unbelievable to me. It makes us a better firm.”
Staff onboarding a breeze for a growing bookkeeping firm
It’s those unexpected wins from new tech solutions that often bring firms the most joy.
For Tabworks, it was the ability to use Karbon to help onboard new staff members.
“Obviously, the day-to-day workflow is amazing. But I didn’t realize the extent of what Karbon could do,” says Tabatha.
“Previously, we didn’t have a formal training process. But now, we have this amazing workflow based on a Karbon preset staff onboarding template and then we just personalized it.”
“I feel like we set up our new hires for massive success and they work more competently now.”
By being able to streamline the day-to-day operations of her accounting business, Tabatha was able to grow her firm in a way it never had before.
“Other than our two new hires, we have probably added at least 20% to our client base. But we only added maybe 4% to our staff.”
“We hired two people for the first time at the same time, and we thought ‘this is crazy’. But with Karbon, it was easy because we could assign onboarding tasks and due dates, schedule meetings with our HR Manager, and ask for feedback on the process.”
An accounting-specific tool
Workflow management isn’t a term specific to the accounting industry. But the needs that accounting and bookkeeping firms have are unique, which is why Tabatha knew she needed an industry-specific solution.
“Karbon just makes sense—it understands the accounting workflow, it understands that not one person does a file from front to back, and that there are different players across many pieces of work.”
“And it’s not just technology in general. It’s specifically the Karbon features—the automators, the workflows, the suggestions, the ability to delegate and be confident that they have all the information to complete the task to the same efficiency and quality that you would do yourself. It's a game changer.”https://karbonhq.wistia.com/medias/ibxri1gq0b?embedType=iframe&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640
“It understands that I just need a laptop to work. With Karbon, I can travel and can still manage my team, touch base, have full visibility and provide support.”
What makes Tabworks unique
At the heart of everything they do at Tabworks lies their clients. Every decision, every communication, every business move—everything must help Tabatha and her team deliver the best possible results to their clients.
“I think our secret sauce is really understanding that the service we provide makes a big difference. It does make the world a better place in our clients’ lives.”
Instead of struggling with their bookkeeping at the end of long days at work, their clients can focus on what matters most.
And her team makes a point of celebrating the wins: “Success is also about cheering on the progress, not only internally for the team, but also externally for our clients,” explains Tabatha.
“If you go to sporting events, you don't sit in the stands all meek and mild until the end of the game and then go, ‘yay, you won!’ No, you cheer the progress during the game. And this is how we support our clients.”
“We take something that is very numerical and black and white, and make it an emotional experience for our clients. We attach humanness to it, and we work hard to make the world a better place for them.”
Decreased client onboarding time by 80%
Increased client base by 20% with only a 4% staff increase
Onboarded multiple new staff members simultaneously for the first time in company history
Successfully escaped ‘email jail’
Services: Bookkeeping, Payroll, Consulting
Location: Stratford, Canada
Firm Size: 11-20 Employees
- Decreased client onboarding time by 80%
- Increased client base by 20% with only a 4% staff increase
- Onboarded multiple new staff members simultaneously for the first time in company history
- Successfully escaped ‘email jail’