Kathy Benjamin has been a bookkeeper for several years, working in-house in a variety of roles for small and mid-sized businesses in central Texas. About five years ago, she decided it was time to start her own practice, KBen Services. The firm, which offers tax compliance, payroll, bookkeeping, financials and notary services, is located in Gatesville, Texas, on the northern side of the Fort Hood Army base.
The firm serves mostly smaller businesses, including Sch. Cs, partnerships and S-Corps, along with a sizable client base of individual tax returns, many from the active and retired military community in the area. To meet the needs of her clients, she often travels to their locations, she says, this keeps her really busy during busy season. But as sole-practitioner, even the non-tax focused times of year can have her running around so much that she only makes it into her actual office a couple days a week.
While Kathy expects to hire an office manager later this year, she has come to rely on technologies to help her keep up with client needs and provide service, even while she’s on the road. When she first started her practice, she tried a traditional do-it-yourself website service, but says that building websites is not why she got into bookkeeping. Then she found the Accounting and Financial Site Builder (AFSB) system from Tenenz.
“I’m not a programmer or a website designer,” she said. “But AFSB makes it easy to lay things out and add information, and helps me have a completely professional website without having to know web programming. If you can use Word, you can use their website editor. Plus it provides tools for me and my clients, and even allows clients to securely send me files.” The built-in PayPal integration also lets her firm accept online payments from clients.
The AFSB system (www.afsb.net) is designed specifically for accounting and tax professionals, with easy-to-use templates that help these pros design a client-friendly website that includes more than 50 financial calculators, personalized website address and email addresses, and client portals. The portals let clients securely share sensitive tax and financial files with their accountant, and can also be used by the professional to send things, such as finalized tax returns and financials, to clients. Accounting pros who use the AFSB website system also get a 15 percent discount on other products and services from Tenenz, such as brochures, checks, envelopes, marketing materials, organizers, tax folders and forms.
Websites built with AFSB also include a client tax organizer, an interactive map and contact form for gathering information. Support staff are on hand to help setup and maintain websites. Firms can get a 60-day free trial of AFSB, after which the system costs as little as $25.99 per month.
Kathy says these features have been extremely useful, especially when she’s away from the office. AFSB also includes a monthly, ready-to-send client newsletter that includes financial news, tips and business guidance, all written by professionals, and can be shared using the built-in email marketing system or on social media. The newsletter is automatically updated to the firm’s website. Additional firm marketing tools are also built in.
“AFSB has everything a tax preparer needs, including the client portal, calculators, and the monthly newsletter, which I send out to clients and have on my website.”
Learn more at www.afsb.net.