SmartVault Success Stories

Client Portal

Knutson CPA, PLLC

"SmartVault allowed us to eliminate paper and manual tasks, but the real selling point was the security. There is no other solution that matches the security of SmartVault"
Lindsay Polyak
Business Manager

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Tremendous Growth Pushes Next-Generation Firm to Up the Technology Ante

A Growing Tech-Savvy CPA Firm Goes the Distance with SmartVault and QuickBooks Online

The firm of Knutson CPA, PLLC has always stayed on top of technology trends—implementing powerful solutions to ensure streamlined internal processes and elevated productivity. And while a highly efficient work environment is key to the business model, firm leaders are clear that the ultimate goal behind maintaining an advanced technology platform is to provide the richest possible experience for clients.

“We always want to offer the highest quality service to our clients,” stated Lindsay Polyak, Business Manager at Knutson CPA. “To do this, we have to maintain a technologically advanced system.”

Polyak has been with the firm since its launch in 2010—when the full team consisted of only three professional staff members. “We just keep growing,” explained Polyak. “Within the last six months alone, we’ve experienced a growth explosion, and that meant we needed to seek out new technology to improve workflow efficiencies. That technology was SmartVault.”

According to Polyak, Knutson CPA has significantly grown its bookkeeping business over the past few years. In fact, bookkeeping makes up 26% of the firm’s annual revenue. And with bookkeeping work comes a lot of document and data exchange between firm staff and clients, which meant the firm needed an online document storage system that promised both ease of use and top-notch security.

“We loved SmartVault from the get-go. The integration with QuickBooks Online is fabulous…we can attach and view source documents digitally, which saves us so much time. SmartVault allowed us to eliminate paper and manual tasks, but the real selling point was the security. There is no other solution that matches the security of SmartVault,” Polyak stated.

SmartVault’s mobile app also has the firm excited. “We started using the mobile app the first day it was released,” Polyak recalled. “It’s so convenient and efficient to pull up a document or report on the iPhone while at a client’s office. It also makes us look even more technologically advanced.”

To date, the firm is still busting at the seams. In response, firm leaders have developed an internal solution set that helps manage work far more efficiently and without the hassle of shuffling and filing paper copies. And with an emphasis on being “a responsive, full-service accounting firm,” (the firm’s tagline), the Knutson team has a 24-hour return call and email policy. SmartVault helps staff adhere to this policy because it enables them to get to the data and get back with clients faster.

“SmartVault’s integration with QuickBooks Online elevates workflow organization and efficiency to an all-time high because all related source documents are available immediately with the click of the mouse,” Polyak explained. “And the SmartVault client portal allows us to exchange documents with clients in real-time and with far more security than email. This offers our clients peace of mind that their sensitive data is safe.”

Beyond the Efficiency…

Polyak expressed a love for SmartVault that goes well beyond the core benefits of elevated efficiency.

“There’s so much more to it than the efficiency gains. Because we do a lot of bookkeeping, there’s a lot of daily exchange of documents. Just having the ability to get our hands on documents instantly, instead of waiting for drop off of a CD or paper copies, our staff is in control of the workflow. That’s important because we can then turn around critical data to our clients much faster.”

“Better business intelligence” is how Polyak described this key client deliverable. Bookkeeping data is complex and can get away quickly from a small business owner who isn’t always as adept at translating what the numbers mean. Because Knutson’s advanced platform supports real-time information exchange, the firm is positioned to work collaboratively with clients and offer up-to-the-minute views of their financial status, complete with guidance from an accounting expert.

“This allows us to provide our clients with the business intelligence they need to make informed and better financial decisions,” stated Polyak. “This level of service is what our clients need to aid in their success.”

The collaborative nature of the client-accountant relationship also enables Knutson professional staff to give clients as much attention as required. “Our clients appreciate the personal attention we give them. We do our best to make each feel important,” said Polyak.

Polyak also added that the team stands firm on being ‘green.’ “It feels good to lose the paper and go digital.”

Savings at a Glance

It’s clear that the efficiency gains for Knutson CPA, PLLC since adopting SmartVault have been vast. Polyak also provided additional information in regards to time and cost savings broadly:

  • Approximately 15 minutes per client, per month saved across the board due to the ability to attach documents in SmartVault through QuickBooks Online. This has all but eliminated time spent locating documents manually.
  • Several minutes saved at both the start and end of the tax process. Portals enable clients to easily upload sensitive source documents to get the tax process started sooner and eliminate the need for firm staff to handle paper copies and scan. Portals also offer a much faster way to deliver final returns to clients.
  • Significant reduction in paper has been a tremendous cost savings. There’s been a clear savings by reducing the amount of paper used. There is also a noticeable boost in efficiency because we now have a central “fishing hole” (portals) to retrieve client files.

Knutson CPA, PLLC has long been a tech-savvy firm, and they will continue to keep their eye on new technologies to progressively advance their firm and improve the client experience. “We are able to provide a more valuable experience for our clients at a price that is comfortably affordable. Clients love that, and it’s another reason they will stay with us for the long-term. You can’t put a price on that level of loyalty…though as CPAs we’d like to!”

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