Strongbox has helped the Kroll team achieve their goal of improved margins with a tool that automatically delivers accurate data straight to Excel.
Director – Transaction Advisory Services
Embracing the Future with Innovation
Scott Elston is a Director for Kroll's Transaction Advisory Services team. Kroll's Financial Due Diligence team has been providing quality advisory services for over 25 years.
With over 100 employees on their team, Scott was tasked with improving and expanding on automation initiatives to make sure Kroll is poised to serve their clients well into the future.
"How can we wait?"
Scott's team at Kroll was tasked with finding new technology that can help the firm grow into the future. "One of our objectives was to help improve our automation initiatives in an effort to enhance our work quality and margins."
While improving margins was the main goal, his team is also tasked with "increasing revenue, gaining more clients, enhancing quality, and hiring good employees."
With these goals in mind and knowing that the right technology can be hard to find, Scott's team was looking for something that was "easy to use, had great customer support, the right pricing, and the functionality we needed."
In his search, Scott heard about Strongbox from a colleague.
"There's been a lot of automation stuff in the news recently, obviously, and we thought, 'how can we wait?' Another accountant in M&A told me that Strongbox was the greatest thing ever, so I decided to check it out."
"Everyone loves Excel"
Scott's team piloted Strongbox and quickly discovered how easy it is to use and adopt across the team.
"Our team hasn't historically been great at adopting new tech. But everyone loves Excel.
I think that's what was attractive to our team about Strongbox. We had a bit of an internal initiative to automate some of our workbook processes, but we just weren't really willing to commit the resources that were needed to get to the level we saw with Strongbox. But the desire to have that in place was there.
I think that's what was attractive to our leadership team about Strongbox. It's not a whole system. It's Excel. We already have Excel. It's not that big of a change, and it's really easy to use.
Strongbox is what he had hoped to accomplish."
"Strongbox saves us time building workbooks and helps improve the quality of our work product."
"The exercise we looked at internally for deciding on whether to go with Strongbox was 'Is this change going to save us the same value of labor cost?'
And the answer, especially on the majority of our deals that use QuickBooks, is yes.
I think that's where the most value is. Strongbox can extract all sorts of schedules automatically and quickly that otherwise we would have to prepare ourselves.
As we think through the time that it typically takes to put these schedules together and format them, that's the primary reason that we went with Strongbox."
Besides helping with their goal of improved margins, Strongbox is also able to reduce human error and enhance quality, two additional goals for the team.
"I think whenever you automate a process, as long as the automation is working as intended, you're going to remove that human element. You're going to have a more reliable result, more accurate result.
I also think it helps the team if they're not having to spend hours building a workbook. It frees up their time to do more analytical work, which is certainly more helpful for their skillset and learning than it is to build the workbook and do formatting stuff."
The end result for Scott and his team: time saved, margins improved, and better staffing for deals.
"Strongbox saves us time building workbooks and helps improve the quality of our work product. It helps us from a margin perspective and also from a timing perspective."
Most Used Strongbox Data
General Ledger Detail
Cash Flow Statement
Scott and his team continue to work with Strongbox to build out a customized output that perfectly matches the Kroll databook branding requirements.
The hope is that these customizations will make the Strongbox output turnkey for the team without any additional formatting adjustments, increasing the time savings significantly.