We don’t need to do manual reviews, or use QuickBooks to run 10 different reports – instead we use Keeper.”
An opportunity to automate
Pam saw the potential to shift the team’s focus from compliance to advisory. Through automated workflows and best-in-class technology, Pam could reduce the administrative tasks and manual processes consuming her team’s time.
Pam first cut her teeth in public accounting at a traditional CPA firm. Seeing the potential to infuse technology and automation into the accounting industry, she opened up On The Books, LLC in 2016.
Pam leads a team of seven employees who provide bookkeeping, accounting, and consulting services to over 50 clients. “We’ve become very niched in terms of the clients that we work with and where they are in their business journey,” Pam explains. Her ideal clients are early-stage, venture-backed startups in technology and life sciences.
Over the last two years, On The Books has experienced 70% year-over-year growth. Trying to keep up with the growing demand, Pam turned her attention to finding a task management solution for her practice.
“We grew 70% year-over-year and needed a tool to bring order to the chaos”
A single platform to manage tasks and improve collaboration
“The easier we could make it for our clients, the more compliance we got in return from them.”
Pam needed a system that could increase transparency and accountability for her team. “I wanted insights into who was working on what tasks and when those tasks were due,” said Pam. After testing a handful of systems, from Asana to Clickup, Pam admitted that she found specific elements she liked within each system. Ultimately, however, Pam said, “they were too disconnected and not consistent enough for what I was looking for.”
Pam decided to try Keeper and was delighted with what she discovered. Keeper’s native close templates and task management tools helped the team meet deadlines in half the time and increased overall organization and efficiency across the team. “I’ve been able to consolidate and ditch other tools that were not integrated, said Pam.
Spell check for bookkeepers
Keeper’s Close Page is broken up into different sections; each section consists of dozens of file review tools to improve the quality of the close itself. These tools allow Pam to delegate a large portion of the review work to her bookkeepers. Keeper makes sure nothing is forgotten. “I can track what each employee is working on and where they are in the process of closing clients’ accounts at a quick glance.
Keeper has dramatically improved our workflows. “My bookkeepers push me to add every client to Keeper no matter the size, because of the benefit that it brings to our team.”
A favorite feature that Pam’s team relies on is known as the Expense Inconsistency Report. It shows expense transactions in the current closing period that might be miscoded. The report then looks at each expense in the current period, cross-references those against transactions in the past year, and flags potential anomalies.
“Our customers’ financial reports are more accurate than ever before. Keeper helps catch the little things that the customer may not care about or notice.”
“Keeper’s Expense Inconsistency Report makes it easy for my team to drill down to the vendor and account level and see things that we were not able to originally identify using QuickBooks on its own,” said Pam. When asked how Keeper helps from a supervisor’s perspective, Pam replied, “Without a doubt, Keeper saves us time from a review standpoint. Mistakes are diminishing and we can review and prepare for client meetings rather than spending time redoing the work.”
Another top feature used by the team is Keeper’s Prepare 1099s Report. “It’s so easy to let a client know we need a 1099 and when it comes directly from the vendor, it’s so smooth! Keeper’s Prepare 1099s and New Vendor Report helps us catch any missing 1099s immediately. We expect these tools to cut down the amount of time we spend chasing W9s at the end of the year by two-thirds or more.”
Better communication, stronger client relationships
Beyond the file review tools that Keeper offers, Pam’s team “loves the Client Portal.”
Historically, the clients that Pam onboarded would forward documents in an email, leading to multiple threads and chaos for the team. Pam realized that the key to encouraging clients to stop sending emails and use the Client Portal was made more accessible by Keeper’s magic links. “It allows our clients to login to the portal without having to keep and manage a password. They click a link and go directly to the portal, where they upload documents, answer our questions, and even ask their own if necessary.” Pam also stated that “Keeper has become our secure place to store documents and review and answer client questions at the transaction level instead of having to type everything out in an email or spreadsheet for our clients to review.”
“We no longer have to type everything out in a spreadsheet or email and pray for the client to respond”
Pam’s advice to firms considering practice management software
Of course, not everyone is actively looking to introduce new technology into their practice or rebuild their systems and processes using new software. But Pam sees technology and automation as powerful drivers of growth and productivity and encourages accounting professionals to remain open-minded about shifting away from antiquated practices. “Keeper has become our safety net. We no longer have to do our reviews manually, or use QuickBooks to run 10 different reports – we can just use Keeper.”
Pam’s team has continued to expand, evidenced by the recent hiring of a new supervisor. After joining On The Books and experiencing Keeper, the supervisor said, “I came from a much larger firm, and Keeper would have been so helpful to have there. I do not know why every firm is not using this tool.”
Pam sees it the same way. “Keeper can easily save you an hour of your time, and for $10 a client, it is well worth the investment.”
“I don’t know why every firm in the world is not using Keeper.”