Originally published here
For more than 30 years, we have been assisting Australian businesses. With 120 staff located across 5 offices, they offer a full range of services to their clients.
- Location: 5 offices across Australia and India
- Services: Accounting, Tax, Audit, Virtual CFO, Financial Planning
- Number of employees: 120
- Karbon customer since: 2018
“Because we have so many different departments and areas of specialty, we can look at a client’s whole picture and help them with all of their financial needs,” says Kelly Evans.
In her role as Client Service Coordinator within the accounting and tax division, Kelly is responsible for keeping the workflow moving.
“We have high volumes of financial statements and tax returns, and very busy periods,” she says. “At any given time, jobs in progress can be in the hundreds. It’s my job to manage that workflow and ensure everything comes in and out on time.”
Knowledge stuck in heads
Managing this high-volume workflow across all offices was a challenging task for the VIDEN team. Kelly recalls that without a proper workflow management tool, they were forced to rely on individual knowledge.
“We had lots of information stored in the brains of our client service team,” she says. “They are very client-focused and know exactly what’s happening, but it was too hard for anyone else to get amongst the workflow and help in busy periods. Often work stopped moving completely.”
They knew that they needed a dedicated work management tool to provide visibility, allow their team to work more collaboratively, and increase efficiency. This realization brought them to Karbon.
“Karbon was the best fit for us. With distributed teams, including one in India that operates on a different schedule, we need to be able to look when they’re not online and know exactly what’s happening. We saw that Karbon could provide us with that ability.”
A perfect implementation
Kelly was tasked with the job of project manager for implementing Karbon, and worked closely with Karbon’s Onboarding and Customer Success teams.
“Karbon requires a change in mindset from a lot of inefficient, older ways of doing things,” says Kelly. “We had to embrace the training and make use of the onboarding services and assistance that Karbon provided.”
“For a large-scale project across five offices, one which is international, the implementation of Karbon went as perfectly as it could go.”
Obtaining complete visibility
All 120 employees across the 5 VIDEN offices now use Karbon each day, which gives Kelly and the rest of the team a centralized place for all critical knowledge. From a workflow perspective, this change has been dramatic.
“Karbon has given us complete visibility across all jobs. (We can see) where they’re at, who’s working on them, and if we’re going to meet our deadline,” she says. “We can see the last piece of correspondence that was sent to a client, and if needed, someone else can pick it up and keep things moving.”
Kelly has worked in similar roles at other firms and has experienced the difference that this transfer of knowledge—of lack of—can create.
“I’ve seen a lot of time wasted in other accounting firms, where people need to ask to find out where a particular job is at. But we are able to log into Karbon and have all that information in front of us. It’s pretty awesome.”
The increased visibility Karbon provides means that the VIDEN team is spending less time on time-consuming activities.
“The line of sight we now have has definitely increased our efficiency,” Kelly says. “We’re spending less time talking to each other trying to figure out where a job is at and whether there are any issues.”
Karbon’s email integration also means that they are able to manage their client communication more effectively, while workflow meetings have been eliminated.
“We don’t open Outlook anymore, we use Karbon. We triage our email every day and work from our to-do lists, which helps us prioritize tasks and work more effectively as a team.”
“We can all see everyone’s’ tasks, so we can prioritize work more efficiently rather than during long-winded meetings. We can now have more concise workflow discussions, because it’s all in Karbon.”
Driving workflow with confidence
VIDEN’s clients have also benefited. Kelly says that having all information in one place, and a clear view of capacity and bottlenecks, allows them to provide a much better service.
“Our clients are seeing a reduced lead time on their work,” she says. “We can get their work in, prioritize it, record any communication, and know for sure whether we can hit their deadline. If it’s not going to be possible, we communicate that to the client.”
In her role, Kelly is responsible for ensuring the work that is promised to clients, is going to be delivered. To drive the workflow, she relies on Karbon functionality such as repeat work schedules, work statuses, estimated time and budgets.
“With Karbon, we can look and say with confidence, ‘Hey, we need to get all this work out by Christmas, and it looks like we’re going to meet our budget,’ or, ‘No, we’re not going to hit it, we need to call some more work in.’ ”
Delivering the best advice and service
For a business such as VIDEN, which provides a holistic service to clients, Karbon has been an ideal fit. Team members from separate departments, who are dispersed across different offices and time zones, are dealing with the same clients, and Kelly says that Karbon allows them to all work together effectively.
It has also helped them to cross-sell and up-sell their services.
“Karbon has helped us identify opportunities to cross-refer clients throughout our business,” Kelly says. “We can see that someone from our financial planning department has emailed a client and identify if they could use a virtual CFO offering or an outsourced finance function. The appropriate team members can then get in there and introduce the right people.”
“Ultimately, we want to make sure that our client is getting the best advice and the best service out there. Karbon helps us achieve that.”
- Visibility across 120 staff, 5 offices, and 2 hemispheres
- Less internal meetings
- More opportunities identified to improve the service offered to clients