Gearing Up
13 min read

How to grow your bookkeeping business with one app

By Leigh Doyle

Month-end close is demanding. 

And when a firm is rapidly growing, staying on top of tasks, completing reporting and communicating with clients can add up to endless hours of work. 

This lost time can slow growth and put client relationships at risk. For this week’s episode of Gearing Up — an interview series with Relay that asks a real, practicing accountant or bookkeeper how they solved a challenge in their firm — host Blake Oliver, CPA, chats with a firm owner who is using one powerful tool to make monthly bookkeeping more streamlined and efficient. Dave Kersting, CEO of Capovario, does a deep dive on Keeper.App, a bookkeeping app that makes month-end more efficient by syncing directly with QuickBooks Online, increasing communication and collaboration with staff, creating robust, custom reports, tracking key KPIs and more.

Deliver custom-tailored bookkeeping services with ease using Keeper

Dave’s firm offers bookkeeping and accounting services as well as concierge consulting across the country in a number of verticals. It’s a lot to keep track of — especially with Capovario in a serious growth period — that requires Dave and his team to stay as efficient as possible when closing clients’ books each month. 

The challenge: To deliver exceptional customer service to his clients, Dave needed a way to make ongoing bookkeeping tasks faster to complete while easily offering custom-tailored insights to his clients in multiple verticals.  

The solution: Keeper.App.

Watch the full episode now to learn 

💡 Why Dave named his firm Capovario 💻 The tech stack he uses to streamline his business ⏰ How Dave uses Keeper to save hours doing bookkeeping tasks 📈 How he delivers custom insights with the reporting feature

To learn more about Dave and his firm, visit Capovario.com. Gearing Up is published every two weeks! Subscribe to get the next episode. ➡️ https://hubs.li/Q014LG_20

Gearing Up is dedicated to amplifying the creative and smart ways accountants and bookkeepers overcome the day-to-day challenges of running a successful firm.

If you’d like to share your knowledge on an upcoming episode of Gearing Up, submit your challenge + solution using the form.

How do successful firms solve day-to-day challenges?

Find out in Gearing Up — our bi-weekly video series. Blake Oliver talks to practicing accountants and bookkeepers about what tools and strategies they use to thrive.

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Gearing Up episode transcript

Dave: That's huge on time savings.

Blake: I mean, you just blew my mind here. I have never seen anything like this that lets you do this work to close the books without having to go into QuickBooks. Hello, Blake Oliver here, and this is Gearing Up, a series by Relay. Relay is business banking designed for accountants and their clients. Just like me they're obsessed with making firms more effective and efficient. So in each episode I talked to real accountants and bookkeepers about one challenge they faced in their firm and how to solve it. Today we have Dave Kersting of Capovario on the show. Thanks for joining me, Dave. Dave: Thank you, it's great to be here.

Blake: So Capovario, that's a great name for a firm. What led you to use a name like Capovario?

Dave: Well, in our rebranding process, we really wanted to hone in on, on who we really are. And so Capovario is loosely translated in Italian as diverse leaders. And we hope that at Capovario that is what we bring to the plate for our customers.

Blake: So tell me a bit about your firm. Where are you located? Who do you serve? Who works at Capovario?

Dave: So Capovario we are concierge consultants that have a basis in accounting and bookkeeping. We like to say, we get you and we've got you. We call that the Capovario advantage, because we have a network of professionals that we work with to help us solve and assist any opportunities that our clients might have. We are coast to coast in the United States, working in different business verticals to include construction, roofing restaurants, bars, just to name a few.

Blake: So tell me about your Tech Stack. You are ahead of the game when it comes to the way you think about your firm, what are you using for the latest technology

Dave: Right now we want to make sure that we're offering options for our customers so we use Relay and Melio for our payment solutions. We use Keeper.App for all of our monthly closed procedures as well as a ton of other things. And then Liscio is our customer facing communication software, and of course QuickBooks.

Blake: So you mentioned that you are nationwide you serve a variety of different businesses. That must be a lot to keep track of. So as you grow, how do you handle that? Is that a challenge for you? What are you doing around managing all the work?

Dave: It has been an extreme challenge and I think that's kind of what we're talking about today is what is our biggest challenge or problem that we needed to solve in our firm as my firm is growing substantially across the country in many different types of business verticals. So I think that when we look at keeper.app that became our solution to our problem it really has helped us hone in not only what we're doing for each customer but it also allows us to specialize reports and metrics and really understand what our client needs in one area.

Blake: How is it different than your typical CRM or project management software, task management software? There's a lot of options out there, why would I use this? Why did you decide to use this instead of something else?

Dave: I think for me, what really brought it home for us was that Keeper organizes everything and it has all the same data that QuickBooks has. So it export and inputs that all in one place and it allows us to make adjustments or changes within Keeper that automatically change in QuickBooks as well. It gives us the opportunity as well to kind of put down a list of tasks that are special for each customer because you know, when you're work working in a roofing industry versus a restaurant they're gonna have different things that they need done. They might have a loan in a roofing company whereas in the restaurant, they may not. This allows us to kind of put it in visual standpoint for us, and it allows us to kind of manage my own staff on what we're doing and kind of know where we're at on our solutions for our customers.

Blake: Could you give us a peak of what it looks like, a visual I think would really help us understand what you're talking about.

Dave: So this is Keeper, Keeper we're using a sample company called Dave's Flooring because obviously we wanna protect our client's data. What this does is it allows you to create a non closing task, so things that you need to do that aren't necessarily related to a month, end close, then you have your pre-close information.

Like, hey, I need to collect some bank statements, of course, if we're using Relay we already have that information. So I can check those boxes off really quick. It provides us with reconciliation data. So last reconcile transaction would show here if it wasn't a test company.

Some of the highlights that I can provide you is, you can see over here, I can assign it to a task, the task to a member, I can set up a deadline date, so if I wanna make sure that my clients are consistently receiving what they need in a timely fashion, I know that I can manage across the board, across the country all of my clients at the same time, important pieces for people to know on why I love this program and how much time it's saved for me to provide the exceptional customer service is understanding the transaction reviews and the PE entity reviews.

So just diving in real quick, under expense inconsistency you can see it pulls up all of these different items. This is right out of QuickBooks and it says what are these they're different. So let's just look at rippling for example, if I click on this little button over here, it breaks down, it says this is everything that we've done with rippling. So you can see that it's 53% of the time been in software 47% of the time in payroll processing. We can say, okay, is that correct? Or is that not? If it's not correct, then we can click right on here and we can change it to any category that we wanna change it to.

Once I hit Save in this area, it automatically goes back into QuickBooks and changes it for me there as well. That's huge on time savings.

Blake: I mean, you just blew my mind here. I have never seen anything like this that lets you do this work to close the books without having to go into QuickBooks.

Dave: Yeah and what's nice is that although my company uses Liscio as our customer facing software, if you wanted to you could also connect and chat or ask your client directly right outta Keeper. And then as the client responds, so let's say the client says this actually belongs in software, that's where it belongs. The client's information comes in and the client actually just made that change for you in Keeper that then changes it in QuickBooks. So it reduces the amount of time of the back and forth with your clients and then going in and making some of those changes.

It it's phenomenal on how much time it saves, you know, in when you're thinking how many times that a bookkeeper might not remember, oh this goes here or this goes there. This allows us to kind of have an overview of it on a monthly basis meaning that I can keep track of it every month, so that as I go throughout the year, it's solved by the end of the year, I can say, hey, books are ready for the tax professionals because we've already done the work.

Some other important key pieces is, you know a lot of people are we just pushed it through 'cause we were busy on payees. I forgot to put in somebody's name. Here's rippling again that we just went through. This is a vendor that's in here that doesn't have the vendor payee. So what do I wanna do? I'm just gonna click here, I'm gonna put in rippling and guess what? It's now fixed and QuickBooks as well.

Blake: 'Cause once you've closed the books you need to report to clients, does Keeper help with that?

Dave: It does, so if we go up here in the top portion, you can click on reporting and reporting is gonna give you any type of management reporting that you wanna see. And it's gonna give you a three month profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, another nice part. This is all customizable, so we can create what we want because the customers to see or what the customers need to see. That includes being able to create up here a metric and a metric is like a KPI.

So I wanna know that my roofing salesperson received 20% commission on whatever job, and I can set up a customized report that shows that for the owner to see yep these, did I pay them their percentage? Yes I did, here's all the data that I might need.

Blake: That's great, the variance analysis is something that's really hard to do well in QuickBooks which is always surprised me because it's one of the most important things we do as accountants. And so the fact that you can do it here is great that somebody solved that.

Dave: What's nice is that down here under the final review section we can also look at the profit loss here. And what's really cool about the profit and loss in this area is it's interactive. Meaning that if I click down on wages, it's gonna show that rippling is here. I can click down one more step and now it's gonna bring up

Blake: Oh wow.

Dave: Transaction in rippling that helps us identify. So if I'm looking at the profit and loss and it's wrong because this doesn't belong there I can make the change right now in here and put it wherever it needs to go. And then it's done and it's changed in QuickBooks as well.

Blake: That's so much better than the old way of doing it where I'd have the report on one screen, and I'd have the transaction detail on the other screen. Yes and I have to try to do it that way and constantly refreshing, you're doing it right here.

Dave: Yeah and it allows you, like I said to kind of see like if you look at sales income and you wanna see where things are coming from they'll run the report and say, hey, this is you know, where I might have received this income, or hey, I'm down in this subscription sales area, what am I down in? But I really love that right now you're also seeing it in a three month view. Versus I can change it to be quarter, I can change these custom dates, I can rerun this. However I wanna rerun it, and it's not just the profit or loss as you've seen it is. I can do AP, I can do AR, I can do balance sheet, any of the things that we need to look at before we send it off to the client, here's your final review. And that's when you go into the reporting area and pull out and be able to directly send any report that they want.

Blake: Now you mentioned earlier that you're a Relay customer or you use Relay on behalf of your clients. How does all that tie into what you're doing here?

Dave: What's nice is that Relay has the information that I need to get from my clients. So as I set up in the top area where we had the you know, verify all banks or coded collect statements I don't necessarily need to collect the statements because I've already got access to that information. So what it does is it provides that seamless Relay to QuickBooks, QuickBooks to Keeper, all the information I need, and I've already probably have reconciled because it's so seamless for us.

Blake: Got it, yeah that's my favorite thing about Relay too is that the bank feed is clean. I've got all the data I need. So you're saying data goes from Relay into QuickBooks, QuickBooks, into Keeper, you process it in Keeper, get the reports to where they need to be and then send 'em to the client all in those three apps.

Dave: Yeah and you can send it just from those. And if you compare looking at like QuickBooks online reporting versus Keeper reporting, again customization is what our clients want today. They want to know what they want to know. And QuickBooks doesn't necessarily allow that. Whereas Keeper gives you the ability to do just about anything. So I'm gonna highlight one more point for you that I think is gonna just absolutely blow your mind. We just finished January, and what did we do in January 10 99, and what is the scramble December and January? Everybody in every company is begging people for their nine S or updated information, or did we put it in QuickBooks correctly? What Keeper has done is they've created a prepared 1099s. So it's not necessarily like I'm gonna create 1099s out of Keeper, it is, I'm creating the process the preparation of 1099s. So when I click down here, you can see that I have excluded all credit card spends right now I've got it sorted by 1099 thresholds.

Blake: So you can exclude all the vendors that didn't get more than $600, you can include any transactions that were on credit cards. So you just, this is like the 1099 report that really should exist in everything in every other software.

Dave: Yes and think about like, do I have their information? Did I finish the information? Do I even need to send it to them? You know, in QuickBooks online it doesn't necessarily give you the chance to say I don't need to send a 1099 to this person because they're an corp or because they're incorporated. This gives us the ability to not only decide if we need to do it or not, by default it's always unknown. Now, if I click, no, I don't need one, it's gonna change this and it'll drop it off the report. If I click yes now I know is I need one and it's gonna say, hey I need to enter an address, I need an email address over here, It's gonna ask, you know, did I file 2022? So obviously 2021 one's out where we're done with 2021. Now we're working on 2022. If I were to click this, it would say, yes I filed this one already, do I have their w nine on file? Right now it's defaulted at no. If I click Yes now I know I have it, and here's even more fun right over here. Oh, that would be stored.

Blake: That's the holy grail save the W-9 right there.

Dave: And you can save everything. So think about a certificate of insurances or any other specific items that you wanna store for this vendor, you can put all of that in here.

Blake: Well, thank you so much for sharing this with us Dave, really appreciate it, if the viewers want to get in touch with you online, follow you, learn more about your firm. Maybe come work at Capovario as you grow, where can they learn more?

Dave: Well, I can find us on all social medias and it's gonna be at Capovario, you can also go to our website at capovario.com. We're real excited to be in the community and have a relationship with Relay financial as well as our big partners like Keeper and Liscio the best thing I can say is Keeper is once you start using Keeper, you're gonna realize that it is the most valuable software you have outside of your QuickBooks and your communication software.

Blake: Thanks, Dave, great talking with you.

Dave: Awesome thank you so much.