Not to toot our own horn, but we’re proud to call Revel CPA a modern firm for a modern world. 🎺🎺 We love helping creative business owners navigate the tangled web of business and taxes, and have a little fun while we’re at it. With mobile-friendly technologies, extensive creative industry experience, and transparent, predictable fees, we’ve designed our business with creatives like YOU in mind.
As BIG fans of keeping things transparent with you, we took a few minutes to sit down with our CEO, Martin Kamenski, to chat about how Revel views technology. And what that ultimately means for creative business owners like you!
Have some additional questions? Leave us a comment at the bottom of the page!
What is Revel’s approach to technology?
We want to be known as a tech-forward firm. It’s one of our strategic anchors in fact. So we’re focused on staying on top of new tools as they emerge and making sure that we are adapting based on trends in the industry.
At the same time, you have to balance that with not constantly changing tools every few months, creating confusion for your team and the clients. We have a dedicated app stack where we usually only recommend one option in each category (eg payroll, bookkeeping, reporting, etc). That allows us to have really deep relationships with those vendors, which in turn creates perks for our clients like priority support, etc. So periodically we’re reviewing that list to make sure the tools we’re partnered with are really the best fit for our core client.
And last, we always focus on creating an integrated ecosystem. That’s part of why Xero is so important for us as a partner at the center of all of this. Xero has created a very inviting environment for partners and apps to create integrations solving all kinds of specific business needs. When systems can talk to each other directly, it cuts down on human errors and saves the client and our team time from busy work sorts of tasks.
How do you instill a cohesive tech-forward culture in your firm?
Because it’s part of our strategy, it’s mentioned in every call with a new prospective client. We talk about how the clients that are the best fit for Revel will likely appreciate this tech-forward approach. We talk about it in our hiring process as well.
Right after submitting a resume online, our applicants are asked to record a very brief video explaining why they’re interested in Revel and in this position. It’s not so much about what they say, it’s about their navigating the system, feeling comfortable on a screen (which we all do since we’re remote), and not getting overly flustered by the tools. And then we train and are continuing to build out our training library both internally for new staff and externally for clients.
We want both our clients and the internal team to see the tools we’re using as ways to automate processes or make data flow more efficient. Not to have the tool running the person. But to have technology support the person and the work.
And last, we’re always using the same tools internally that the clients are using as well. So we notice little frustrations ourselves and can often feed those to our software partners for improvement, and at the least, empathize with our clients when something’s not happening the way it should.
What are some of the innovative ways you help clients work with your firm digitally? How have these practices helped your firm and the clients work more effectively together?
We’re always looking for ways to automate and to use tools like Zapier to bridge together what might feel like disjointed steps in a process. We use Go Proposal to start off the client exploration of services we can provide and to help create a roadmap for how we’ll grow with them as they grow.
If there’s one tool that’s created more growth and value for our organization than any other–it’s Go Proposal. When a client signs on, GoCardless will jump in to create payment authorization. Zapier will trigger internal onboarding steps like project management in Asana and file storage folder setup in Box. The client completes a Typeform providing us key information for their onboarding, and we send them a Starbucks digital gift card to enjoy a drink while they complete their questionnaire.
Technology and tools are present at every step of the journey with a client, but for us right now it’s about simplifying, integrating, and creating a smooth experience that leaves the client delighted.
What is Revel’s technology strategy going forward?
We’re going to keep working on the same areas we have been: automation, tight integrations between tools, and using “best of breed” tools in every aspect of a business owner’s financial needs. But the next thing that will continue to require focus is security. Files can be passed around in so many different ways now, and for every new tool we add to our ecosystem, we have to assess how it interacts with sensitive data and what safeguards need to be in place to make sure the data is protected. There are no one-time solutions here, as the landscape is constantly changing. But with a remote workforce, one thing we can always count on is a need to keep security at the forefront.
At the same time, it can also be used as an incredibly powerful way to connect and build community. Slack messages giving a shout-out to a fellow team member. Email notifications that a client has just accepted a proposal and is ready to onboard. Facebook chats amongst clients sharing thoughts about how new laws are impacting them. Webinars to share important updates in a one-to-many way. We’re loving this connection, and in particular, after the year everyone’s had last year, we’re all hungry for it.
What are some of the benefits you see from having a tech-forward accounting firm on your side? Did we miss anything?
We want to hear from you! Drop your questions and comments below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!