When Chantal Mentzer moved to Hawaii a few years ago, she was already full-time employed, working remotely with a firm well acquainted with technology like Receipt Bank. After a while she realized the urgent demand for accounting and bookkeeping skills on her island, so Chantal took a leap and left her job, establishing her own bookkeeping business to answer the call and serve the local community.
Despite the many big moves in the last few years, one thing remained steady in Chantal’s career trajectory – Receipt Bank.
“I started my bookkeeping firm last July and I had to make a lot of decisions as to what I needed in my tech stack. I was used to working with the tech of a bigger firm. I realized I had to make investments in software as just a little guy. It’s a big investment as far as choosing tech and how I want to service my clients. There were just a few things that I really couldn’t compromise on. Receipt Bank was one of those things; I had to bring it along with me.”
Two steps ahead
While running a business day-to-day, Chantal is also a working mom. Her company, Chantal Mentzer Inc, is an entirely digital firm with 40 clients which she operates from her island home. When the global lockdown began, the local brick and mortar companies were forced to adapt to a virtual way of working. Yet, Chantal was already two steps ahead.
“I have my own home office and thankfully was already virtually set up and efficient. I would recommend other small firms looking for ways to connect with their clients to use technology as we continue through this pandemic. The most urgent reason for video communication is the weekly folder of invoices or receipts. Everything else can be handled through email and phone calls.”
Before going virtual, Chantal found that life in the paperchase was tiring before implementing cloud accounting software.
“You’re often just chasing your client or your client representative to say, ‘what was this?’ ‘Can you tell me more about this?’ When using Receipt Bank, you know that 90% of your questions are going to be answered because you can look at the detail and know specifically what it says, allocating those transactions with confidence. So you know, even ethically, you feel great.”
The small business tech stack
Many virtual firm owners are expert tech stack creators, both out of necessity and enthusiasm. For Chantal, building her own suite of technology to support her business was down to performance.
“I use Karbon to control my workflow. I really like that every word has a to-do list and some of it includes client tasks. I can let clients know exactly what I need, and the system will remind them until they’ve uploaded or communicated with me in relation to that work.
“QuickBooks Online is also great. If we were all on desktop, and the client’s folder was at the office, you either have to develop some sort of remote software and schedule time to use that computer or go to the client’s office. The ability to work in the cloud has made life so much easier. QuickBooks Online, Karbon, Receipt Bank and ShareFile are my picks.”
The future for Chantal is sunny. Business-wise, her goal is to keep growing her business from home while continuing to search for new and improved digital solutions. Beyond that, she hopes to continue to strengthen small businesses in her area.
“I’d like to bring on a couple of other account reps that could be fully responsible for their own clients and are earning a really fair wage and getting the support they need. I want to give them the right tools and offer my services to other businesses because there is a huge need here in Hawaii. I don’t even advertise -all my business is really word of mouth. My vision is that when people call I’m able to immediately put them in contact with an account rep so I can serve a broader base of my community.”
While the next year may be a commercial guessing game for many small businesses, Chantal and other tech-empowered financial advisors are there to provide some much-needed aid.