Name: Polly Carlton
Firm: Carlton & Company
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
No. of Clients: About 30
No. of Employees: 2, including Polly
Polly Carlton is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor with over 17 years of experience as a public and corporate accountant, as well as a bookkeeper. Just four years ago she founded her own, more modern accounting practice, and this year, started using Gusto. Gusto helps Polly run her firm and spend more time doing the work she loves – and gets paid more – to do.
Winning back more time each month is the main reason Polly uses Gusto, and also why she continues to transition more of her clients over. In fact, Gusto saves Polly about two weeks over the course of a year – “half a day a month, and then that full day at the end of each quarter,” she said.
How will she spend those extra days? “Focusing on the things that I enjoy doing, which is not paying payroll taxes,” she said, and “doing the stuff that I get paid more for.” For her, that means taking on higher-level advisory work where she can really dig into financial statements.
Gusto saves time
Gusto frees up time in a number of critical ways, according to Polly.
First of all, Gusto’s unlimited, full-service payroll shaves off hours of manual work. With her previous system, “I would have to go in and manually initiate all the tax payments, and there was one return the service would not file for me.” Polly said. Gusto, she added, is different: “I can just run payroll and then not think about it anymore.”
Gusto’s QuickBooks Online integration also saves time. “It just was pretty straightforward and simple, which again, is what it should be,” she said. “But unfortunately not every payroll system out there makes it easy.”
Recently, Gusto’s automated employee onboarding process also prevented a slew of lost hours. “We had to onboard 30 new employees for one of my clients,” she said. “I like that we can allow the employees to onboard themselves,” she added. “That made that task a heck of a lot easier.” At year end, Polly predicts Gusto will lighten her administrative load even more, since employees can access their W-2s and other documents directly on Gusto’s people platform.
Gusto + QuickBooks = More time for advisory work
Looking forward, Polly continues to imagine ways to help her clients run more software-driven, efficient businesses. She’s already a strong proponent of cloud-based accounting tools (“Any new client I start working with has to be using QuickBooks Online”), and she plans to encourage her clients with hourly employees to transition to modern timekeeping software to speed up payroll processing.
To save more time, she’s also talking with clients about setting up their health insurance through Gusto. Gusto automatically syncs insurance and payroll, so there’s no need for manual changes to premiums or double work across systems when an employee joins or leaves.
In the meantime, Polly appreciates having time back to focus more on the accounting work she loves to do, as well as on her passion for advising nonprofits – “or just have extra free time to spend with my family, too.”
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