Karbon’s values in action (part 2): Elevate our customers in everything we do

Stuart McLeodCEO & Co-Founder, Karbon

At the end of the day, accountants are helpers. I know this because I’ve been privy to countless conversations with some of the best accountants around the world.

We founded Karbon because we believe in helping the accounting industry. 

We believe in helping the accounting industry because we knew it was a field packed with some of the brightest minds and most authentic hearts out there. 

Yes, accountants are numbers people, but they’re also often people people. Like many others in service industries—teachers, nurses, firefighters—accountants put community first. The way I see it, our job is to put accountants first, making it easier for our customers to do what they do best: help others. 

Recently, the Karbon team set out to revise and refresh our company values, placing emphasis on action

This article is the second installment of my take on Karbon’s values—the most critical components of our company culture. Today I’m focusing on the importance of elevation. 

Karbon value: Elevate our customers with excellence in everything we do

"Accountants are the unsung heroes of the global economy. It’s our role to advocate for them and help elevate their public profile. We provide the tools, guidance and support so they can do their jobs with excellence. We help them deliver exceptional work and elevate themselves to be the revered professionals that they deserve to be."

When we say accountants are the unsung heroes of the global economy, we really mean it. 

Think about it: A monumental shift has occurred. In the process, accountants became not just financial experts, but therapists, distributors of government relief funds, and confidants.

Accountants may not save lives, but they do save livelihoods.

It’s a deeply trusted industry, but despite the overarching perception that accountants are sensible and ethical individuals, it is still sometimes a thankless job. We constantly ask, What can we do to ensure our customers are revered and celebrated within their communities? 

As advocates for the essential work of accounting professionals, we focus on lifting up our customers (accountants) in multiple ways: 

1. Enabling excellence with technical tools 

I’d be negligent if I failed to talk about our software in a conversation about Karbon’s values. We are, after all, a software company first. We believe that Karbon is an exemplary tool that allows progressive, forward-thinking accounting firms to thrive. We believe:

  1. Correct usage of great software drives efficiency

  2. Elegant and enjoyable UX helps engage employees and contributes to positive cultures 

  3. Accountants are the experts and they know what they need to do their jobs at the highest of levels

To put it simply, our practice management software allows firms to better serve their clients. 

2. Guiding greatness by connecting the best of the best  

We are deeply committed to ensuring our tools and resources are the highest quality on the market. Part of how we achieve this is through feedback mechanisms that allow us to constantly gauge the wants and needs of our customers

Karbon invests more time in R&D than any other practice management software for accountants. We do this to ensure the tools we develop generate true value to users, but we also do this to ensure that we understand the industry. 

We’re not an accounting firm. We’re a software company. And we know that the best way to develop premium software is to listen

We believe the reason we attract such wildly successful accounting firms as customers is because we are a premium software company. Understanding the inherent value in Karbon’s tools requires a certain keen insight into what it means to find success within the industry

So while we get the privilege of learning from and talking to some of the most innovative accounting leaders in the world, why keep that knowledge to ourselves? Let’s share our ideas. After all, what is helpful for one accounting firm, may be helpful for others as well. 

This concept manifests itself in many ways. We relish the opportunity to bring talented, like-minded accountants together in the same place so they can learn from, grow with and thrive off  one another at roundtable events and our conference, Karbon X. But we also share these ideas through the resources we publish, the software updates we choose to implement, and the tools we develop.

3. Supporting successful firms with partnerships and initiatives  

We believe in supporting firms with software, but also in supporting firms beyond software. We do this with strategic partnerships and initiatives aimed at solving problems within the industry.

Our partnerships with Liscio and GoProposal are just two examples of how we join forces with like-minded SaaS companies to improve accountants’ workflow. But we’ve also partnered in less tangible ways. Take our partnership with Jason Blumer, Founder and CEO of Thriveal CPA Network. He’s become a regular contributor to Karbon Magazine, developing valuable resources for forward-thinking firms looking to grow. 

Another soon-to-launch partnership is with Jeff Phillips, CEO and Co-founder of Accountingfly, a firm that connects remote accounting firms with qualified applicants.  

Another example is how we partner with accounting leaders all over the world, giving them a platform to speak to our audience and share their story and wisdom to help others.

I’m also eager to continue working towards our vision of launching a marketplace for accounting firms looking to grow, which will provide them with significant exposure and a way to capture and qualify potential new clients at scale.

Some of these efforts may not seem directly in line with the work of a SaaS company, but when accountants succeed and thrive, we succeed and thrive. It’s a win-win. 

And just as our customers care deeply about the success of their clients, we care deeply about the success of our customers. 

Helpers at heart + a passion for accounting = compounding excellence

Our relationship with accounting firms is a symbiotic one. 

As Karbon grows our functionality, features, and tools, our users stand to benefit. Our software gives accounting leaders the time, space, and insight to move towards practice excellence. As those firms excel (and share their expertise with us) we are able to further enhance our offerings. The cycle continues. 

And with mutual respect, reverence, and commitment to the accounting community, we’re driven to support accountants in becoming the best version of themselves through elevation.

Stuart McLeod
CEO & Co-Founder, Karbon

Stuart started his first business 11 years ago and has had many successful ventures, including Paycycle, founded in 2009, which he sold to Xero in 2011. He then built the global Xero Payroll team that delivers payroll software across the US, AU, UK and NZ markets. Stuart is now paving the way for smarter tools to improve how knowledge workers collaborate with their colleagues and look after their clients.

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