Impact Financial Solutions is an accounting firm for small businesses. But this Dallas, Texas-based team doesn’t stop at bookkeeping. Impact Financial Solutions specializes in advising its clients on financial business systems to help their businesses be more efficient.
“We like to call ourselves a small business consultancy,” says Tim Sims, the founder of Impact Financial Solutions and one of its principals. “We’re implementing web-based products to make things easier.”
As a business technology advisor himself, Sims knew he needed a project management system he could use internally to manage his growing list of clients. But that system had to integrate with the way his team already worked. It had to work with Google Apps, and it had to be web-based. Sims puts it bluntly: “I don’t want to load software, man! I want to hit the ground running.”
Impact Financial Solutions discovered Mavenlink, an advanced project management tool with integrated resource management and financial tools. According to Sims, “It was a marriage made in heaven. It filled a need we have.”
Using Google Apps and Mavenlink, Impact Financial Solutions can handle customers not just in Texas, but around the world. “We have clients as far away as Munich,” says Sims. “With Google Hangouts and Mavenlink, we can collaborate with anybody anywhere. I’m often on Google Hangout talking with guys in San Diego or Sydney or wherever.”
To successfully juggle clients across multiple continents, Impact Financial Solutions creates a project in Mavenlink for each client. Within each project Mavenlink’s real-time activity feed enables Sims and his team to see at a glance the most recent work for that client, plus the entire history of the relationship.
Thanks to Mavenlink’s integration with Google Apps, Impact Financial Solutions can attach Google Drive documents directly to posts in the activity feed. After reading a post, a team member can click the link to view and edit the most-current version of the Google doc or sheet.
“The integration has been the glue that held it all together,” explains Sims. “Had we not been able to attach Google document to a task in the task tracker, it wouldn’t work from the beginning.” To efficiently add information to the activity feed, the team also emails the unique address automatically created for each Mavenlink project.
Impact Financial Solutions doesn’t stop there; the firm relies on Mavenlink’s task tracker to assign to-dos and “know stuff’s getting done”, and they use Mavenlink to track time and expenses and invoice clients.
Sims and his business partner also use Mavenlink’s power-user features for managers and executives. Using Mavenlink’s reporting dashboards and analytics, they are able to understand the productivity of the team and understand what each team member is doing.
When asked why he decided to use Mavenlink instead of sticking with email and spreadsheets, Sims’ answer was unequivocal: “It was a natural fit. If I’m using Google Apps, and I’ve got this other system that does all this other stuff and syncs up with Google Apps, let’s use this! I had my preliminary design of what we were going to do with it within minutes.”
The combination of Mavenlink and Google Apps has made Impact Financial Solutions more efficient and the flow of its information more centralized. Productivity has increased “dramatically”, and every member of the team has a single destination for each client.
“For me, it just centralizes my brain,” says Sims. “It’s a place I can go to manage the projects. When I start my day, it’s Mavenlink, Bill.com and Google Apps. I can’t start my day without Chrome open and those three up.”