September 20, 2023, 9:00 a.m. EDT
In the world of accounting, professionals often find themselves juggling multiple tools and platforms to manage client interactions throughout various stages of engagement. With so many firms operating on disjointed tech stacks, HubSync’s promise is to consolidate numerous functions under a single umbrella for client interactions throughout every engagement stage.
HubSync offers an automated platform designed to support this task, which encompasses features such as the “Engagement Letter Wizard” and the “Hub Gateway,” a 360-degree dashboard that launched just this year. One of HubSync’s other recent initiatives involves integrating generative AI. It conducted a company-wide hackathon, with several AI integrations slated for release within the year.
CEO and founder John McGowan talked about what HubSync has been up to lately and what it has planned for the future.
How would you best describe what your company does?
McGowan: HubSync delivers an automated, end-to-end platform for the modern accountant. Our suite of products offers powerful solutions to tax, audit and accounting professionals that address client touch points across engagements. More specifically, we automate the tax, audit and accounting client delivery process, from initiation of the engagement letter to client deliverable and everything in between, all while providing transparency and insights to clients through our unique portal experience. So many firms today have a bloated tech stack with duplicative products; we replace those products and put everything under one platform.
What is in your product line, and what is your flagship product?
McGowan: Our entire integrated platform is the flagship product, but each module can also be deployed individually. Clients receive more benefits by using modules together. We offer end-to-end modules as listed below:
- Engagement letter/document wizard;
- Standardized workpapers;
- Workflow tracking;
- Client portal;
- Planning & analytics;
- The Hub Gateway — A 360-degree dashboard to see all information in one place across multiple modules.
What product of yours do you think should be better known among accountants?
McGowan: That’s easy — our Engagement Letter Wizard. We built this product for the CPA marketplace. The Wizard creates, routes, delivers, eSigns, tracks and stores documents of any type, including engagement letters, proposals, and power of attorney, with just a few clicks. It’s so good that HubSync is the 2023 Globee Winner for Automation & Productivity. If your firm is “sending everything out manually” and/or “can’t track what’s been signed or what is outstanding,” then you need ELW.
What was the last big initiative or project your company completed?
McGowan: In July 2023, we launched the HubSync Gateway product to huge fanfare and client adoption. This tool is centralized for seamless navigation across any firm’s tax, audit or accounting landscape and siloed software tools.
What is the most exciting new thing you’re working on?
McGowan: All of our work around Gen AI is exciting. AI is more powerful with a product like HubSync because we have all of that data in one centralized place, allowing us to do transformative things. Being a software company in the early days of AI is an amazing adventure, and it’s a huge part of our long-term strategy. We recently held a company-wide “hackathon” and have a handful of Gen AI integrations with our platform coming this year.
What differentiates your company from others similar to it? What makes you different? Unique, even?
McGowan: Aside from the modern platform, HubSync is unique in this industry because we are fast and we get things done for our clients. We take good ideas and get them implemented — fast! We held a hackathon in May 2023, and three of the top ideas were rolled into products this September. And this holds true for smart enhancements and upgrades needed by our clients. HubSync is a group of former accounting professionals, and we pride ourselves on being different from the other software vendors in the space.
What is the biggest challenge facing companies like yours right now? How do you work to address it?
McGowan: We grew up in the pandemic, and as a result, we are mostly a remote team. So, building a culture within an explosive start-up during an exclusive work-from-home time in our lives is/was very challenging. Our top objective for the rest of 2023 and beyond is to build a culture we are proud of, where every employee feels empowered to bring their best selves, and there is mutual success for everyone.
What is the biggest tech challenge facing accountants today?
McGowan: An improved client experience! Most clients expect it, and whether it is fair or not, base the credibility and value of the firm on their client experience. From our perspective, here is what has happened over the past 20 years: A firm has a problem they need to solve, so they go out and find software to solve it. This happens over and over in various departments. Rinse and repeat. Over time, they end up with many duplicative products, don’t talk to each other, and are overpriced. Different departments use different tools, and no “source of truth” exists. This leads to a lot of manual processes and errors. At the end of the day, the most negatively impacted group is also the most important: the clients. Firms that are prioritizing client experience are doing what’s necessary to move ahead and lead the industry.
If your company has been experimenting with generative AI, how have you incorporated it into your business?
McGowan: HubSync held its first “hackathon” in May 2023, focused solely on AI. Of the top three winning ideas, each was rolled into the platform in fall 2023. We take the best ideas and incorporate them into our products to the advantage of our clients as fast as we can. Additionally, and more specifically, we are an Amazon partner and incorporating private LLMs into our product, enabling BI business intelligence, assisted search, and other intelligent processing. This is a very exciting time to be in the software-building business.
HubSync at a glance:
HQ: Alexandria, Virginia
Offices: One office; nearly 60 personnel across the globe
Client workspaces created: 2 million
Organizers sent: 500,000+
Website – www.hubsync.com