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About the Project

BrandedCloudAccounting.com is a web based accounting software, like Quickbooks or Xero, that provides accountants, tax professionals, and bookkeepers the tools they need to work with their clients in the cloud. Accounting is still a very traditional industry, and web-based accounting software (like Quickbooks) have provided new challenges for accountants, challenges which have now been answered by BrandedCloudAccounting.com.

Unlike other accounting software, this software strengthens the client and accountant relationship, and can help the business owners understand their tax situation, books, and consultations with their accountant a lot more efficiently.

Jay Nine Inc built 100% of this software and marketing plan, partnering with 3rd party APIs to cut on some of the costs.

Project Requirements

  • Custom Web Design
  • Modern, Clean Website
  • ASP.NET Environment running in C#, with a MSSQL Server as the database
  • Responsive Web Design (Mobile Ready)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Marketing Strategy
  • Online Sales Strategy
  • WordPress CMS Integration (For blogging, using MySQL as a database)
Results

The below is a case study of work we did for a client. Scroll through the case study to view each section, and contact us today for a no-obligation quote on how we can help your business.

We built an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to generate interest in the program from investors, and to work with a group of accountants to constantly build a software they need, while growing the user base.

While most software development projects and changes take years, our software receives updates 2 or 3 times a week, allowing the accountants an easier journey in the “cloud.”

This version of the software included:

A zoomed out look at an accountant’s client management screen. This portal provides him an easy list of his clients, where he can grant and remove access to the software as he sees fit.

Membership roles and rights. The accountant can sign up his clients, and limit the access his clients have to the software. For example, he can prevent a client from changing or moving around transactions and Journal Entries (to keep the books audit/tax ready at all times) or, he can hide certain features from the client entirely. The client users can also set up Employee users, if needed.

Check-boxes deny and grant access to sections of the software with a simple click of a button.

Connecting banks is easy. Once you begin typing the name of a bank, the different types of accounts at that bank will pull up. The user simply selects their bank, and clicks the “Get Started” button.

Part II of the bank account connection process. Once the user has selected their institution, they are prompted to enter in their banking username and password. Once they have entered that, they click “login” and the software automatically downloads the transactions into a set of basic accounting books.

A zoomed out view of the income statement (a profit and loss report) for this business. This report is automatically created after connecting a bank account.

Aggregate banking downloads. Simply login to an online banking portal, as you would check your bank account, and our system automatically downloads business transactions, and organizes them in a set of books (like a profit and loss statement, general ledger, and so on).

The tax calculator takes information off of standard tax returns, and provides an estimate of the tax standing for the current business owner. The business owner can adjust the income at anytime, to match what they’re currently making, and they’ll always know their expected tax liability.

A Self-Employed Tax Calculator, meant to help business owners understand their current tax liability. Clients can save and load data, and the accountant can consult with the client on their tax standing. This is the only working Self-Employed Tax Calculator out there, as the rest of the calculators are geared towards individuals (not business owners).

File It! is a cloud file storage where accountants and clients can easily drag and drop files and pertinent tax information to share with each other. The File It! system is compliant with the IRS and FCC electronic guidelines for CPAs when transferring sensitive tax information.

A secure File Transfer system, similar to Dropbox or Google drive, meant to transfer sensitive data back and forth from the client to the accountant and his office. This is also provides a backlog for business owners, so they can easily access pertinent tax information from anywhere (like the bank they’re getting a loan at).

This is a section of the General Ledger, another accounting report automatically generated by the software, and easily viewed, in real time, but the business owner.

Simple, easy to read and access reports. A lot of accounting software have encumbering processes that make it hard for the business owner to understand and use.

Finally, there are a lot of extra layers of security, to prevent unauthorized access. This software is routinely scanned by 3rd party security agencies, and everything is uses the highest level of encryption to sure the safest levels of web security.

Marketing and Branding Results

The design and look of the application is geared towards attracting accountants and business owners, while working with a lot of sensitive, but important, data. This means we needed to create a “modernized traditional” look to the system. If it was too modern, it would turn off the accountants, but if it was too traditional, it would turn off the accountant’s clients.

This is where we developed the grid format of the backend (the membership portal) and the clean text driven layout of the frontend (the sales website) with a video describing the services.

The front end website is where accountants land after seeing an advertisement, conducting a Google Search, or visiting the website. This is set up to sell the product to the accountants, using the latest user experience data.

We had to develop a unique marketing strategy, as there were several large obstacles to this campaign:

  1. The big players (Xero and Intuit) are huge, with multi-million dollar marketing budgets
  2. Accountants are very busy people, and have an extremely short attention span
  3. Accountants are, on average, very slow to change—and require a lot more hand-holding through the sales process than the average customer would

Here is what we identified (and the most important part of the marketing process):

  1. Niched down to a very specific target market. Our software is not a good fit, for example, for a large accounting firm with many clients, and inventory needs. It’s meant for a CPA who serves businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
  2. Focused on what the target market does when they are looking for something like this. We didn’t just start posting a bunch of pictures on Instagram (which likely has a user base of 5 accountants in total) and we didn’t just start advertising on every paid medium we could find.

This became a full marketing strategy. I’ll leave a high level overview of that below:

5 Step Sales Outreach Program. We created an online sales program, that does a cold-call style approach to sell directly to a pre-determined list of targeted accountants.

Email Marketing. We run a weekly email marketing campaign, based on a larger content marketing strategy, touched on earlier.

Webinars. We put together two 30 minute webinars to help educate our prospects and clients with the software.

YouTube Videos. We created and worked with other staff members to create the videos (like the one earlier in this blog post) to help boost the SEO of the website, as well as providing instructions on how to better use the software.

Social Media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all utilized to engage with prospects on another medium, and create a branded presence for the company online. These platforms are used to meet up with potential JV partners (other companies who sell similar products and services) as well as our target market of accountants.