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Innovation & Startups

AlphaLab company Jetpack Workflow helps accountants be more productive


David Cristello’s software idea had 10 accounting firms forking over money before a single line of code was written. He founded Jetpack Workflow, a cloud-based recurring client management system for professional service firms that was recently presented to the public at AlphaLab’s Demo Day.
 
While the system will have wider applications in the future, he’s currently focused on serving the accounting profession, as accountants must manage many forms and checklists for each client. The Jetpack Workflow team interviewed thousands of accountants and bookkeepers about the most time-consuming or painful problems they deal with in their jobs. The resulting software makes it easy for accountants to keep track of numerous forms, and allows them to ditch the antiquated file cabinet system some firms still rely upon.
 
Currently, the market offers broad-based tools like customer relationship management systems that aren’t built for managing recurring client work and project management tools that aren’t suited to track hundreds of clients, says Cristello.
 
“The original concept came from hearing the pain of tracking due dates, client work, staff and recreating similar client files over and over again,” says Cristello. “Jetpack Workflow exists because we want to alleviate pain and frustrations from their firms so they can become more fun, productive and profitable. When they can save admin time, better track staff, or not deal with complicated software, it frees up their time and focus to serve their clients and build their firm.”
 
With features that allow users to apply filters and automatically clone checklists, Jetpack Workflow is designed to eliminate a lot of headaches. In the future, it will also be able to integrate with other cloud platforms.
 
Managers can also use Jetpack Workflow to track the progress of their staff – something that has been nearly impossible for them until now.
 
Since the service launched about a month ago, it has tripled the number of firms it’s working with and is setting up new features to further serve users.
 
So far, clients are thrilled.
 
"It’s definitely been a time saver, and instead of getting lost trying to track so many tasks, now I know where they are and can get instantly focused on what requires attention,” says Rob Olson of Apex Payroll.
 
There is a small team in Pittsburgh and other members in Louisiana and Slovenia with backgrounds in back-end development, front-end development and design, sales and marketing.
 
“We're fortunate to be in a time where talent can come from anywhere, although we look forward to continuing to build up our presence here in Pittsburgh,” says Cristello.
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