Firm of the Future profile on large firms: ScaleFactor
ScaleFactor is an Austin, Texas-based firm that works with companies to automate their accounting, tax, and finance tasks to save business owners time and money. The company was founded in 2013 by CEO Kurt Rathmann. I spoke with Alex Siegler, a brand content strategist at ScaleFactor, to learn more about the company and its use of QuickBooks® Online.
Mindy King: Tell us a little bit about ScaleFactor.
Alex Siegler: ScaleFactor is a software companion for QuickBooks Online that takes the majority of bookkeeping tasks off our customers’ plates. Using artificial intelligence, ScaleFactor classifies most transactions automatically, allowing customers to spend up to 85 percent less time managing their company’s books.
MK: What prompted ScaleFactor to support customers on QuickBooks Online? What has surprised you the most about its capabilities?
AS: QuickBooks Online is the first choice for many business owners looking for an accounting solution, and it’s one that can grow with businesses from the day they’re founded. While some businesses may eventually become too complex for AI to handle their bookkeeping, we want to make the process of scaling as easy as possible. That’s why we want our customers to keep their accounting information in a solution that they know and love – before, during, and after their time with ScaleFactor.
MK: For your customers, what have been the biggest benefits and/or timesavers when choosing ScaleFactor to handle their accounting via QuickBooks Online? What do they like most about using ScaleFactor in the cloud, in comparison to their previous experience?
AS: Following the traditional accounting cycle, closing the books can take weeks, and running reports on stale data doesn’t help business owners make smart decisions. The main benefit of using a cloud-based solution, such as ScaleFactor, on top of QuickBooks Online, is that bookkeeping is done daily, which means that business owners can check on the state of their finances just as often. Armed with quicker access to their own financial data, they can make decisions about how to run their business in real time.
MK: How does ScaleFactor get agreement from prospective customers to move from their old accounting system to QuickBooks Online + ScaleFactor? If prospective customers voice concerns about moving from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, how does your team address those?
AS: ScaleFactor is a cloud-based solution that’s not compatible with QuickBooks Desktop. To take advantage of the benefits of a solution such as ScaleFactor – which includes time savings and increased transparency – moving to QuickBooks Online is the only option. The biggest obstacle to making the switch is fear of the switching process. So, we’ve offered to help our customers make the switch, and get them started using ScaleFactor + QuickBooks Online on the right foot.
MK: What other related apps do your customers connect to ScaleFactor and QuickBooks Online?
AS: ScaleFactor has exclusive partnerships with Gusto and Bill.com to help connect more of our customers’ financial data. Gusto is a market leader in payroll administration, and Bill.com helps customers, well, pay bills. By managing both processes on behalf of our customers, and integrating that financial data with their accounting file, we’re able to free up even more time for them and give them more visibility into their finances.
MK: What advice would you offer to other accountants or firms hesitant to move to the cloud?
AS: Accounting is a practice grounded in tradition and common principles. Cloud-based accounting software allows this time-tested profession to move more quickly, and for accounting professionals to better serve their clients. Few other areas of business will be lost if a hard drive crashes. Why risk something as important as an accounting file?