Jetpack Workflow vs Karbon Comparison

In this article, we're going to review the difference between Jetpack Workflow vs Karbon. karbon-hq-software-task vs. jetpack-workflow-logo Both tools are built for improving your workflow but only one is built only for accountants. While there are similarities between the two, there are also some important differences between the two products. Keep in mind here, there is no one single "best" solution on the market. When you're looking for a tool to help you manage your practice, it has to fit your practice. There is no single app that is the right tool for ALL firms. With that in mind, you should start any software buying journey with a firm grasp of what your firm needs.

What does your firm need or want?

No one can answer this question but you! If you're reading this, you're probably the owner or manager of a small to medium sized accounting firm. You definitely understand the pains and problems. For example, I bet you're having trouble getting transparency over your work or things are slipping through the cracks. These are things we've heard time and time again from thousands of accounting firms just like yours. It's important to make a list to know what your end goal is. What are the features of the software that are "nice to haves" or "must haves?" What are the things that you know you need RIGHT NOW versus things you know you might not need for years? Here are some other questions to consider:
  • What's your biggest problem right now?
  • Do you have a budget for a tool?
  • How important is email to your firm? (more on this later)
  • Do you like Kanban? Do you even know what it is?
  • How important is support and training?
There are a ton of other questions to ask yourself but starting off any buying journey with a bit of self reflection so you have a clear goal in mind will save you a ton of time down the road! Remember, measure twice and cut once, after all.

Location

This is actually one you probably never thought of. Karbon is based out of Australia. While it does have a US based presence, it is not a US corporation. Jetpack Workflow is based in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Price

A common question is price, so we can start there! As accounting professionals, price and ROI is very important when reviewing a new tool. First of all, both price per user. Remember, you are paying for access to the application, not feature utilization. Theoretically, you could end up paying more for a bunch of features you never use. Karbon: $70/month per user, or $588/year ($49/mo pre paid) per user Jetpack Workflow: $40/month per user, or $360/year ($30/mo pre paid) per user As mentioned, both products are "everything included' outside of the per user price. This means you have unlimited use of all contained features. Note: Jetpack also includes unlimited document storage too!

Training and Setup

Jetpack Workflow offers support and setup assistance for free (both during the free trial and afterwards). Your firm will be assigned a Setup Project Manager and Account Manager. Your firm can also purchases services in the form of a partial build out (Kickstarter for $299) or full build out (Done For You $1299). Karbon does not offer such complimentary help. Here is a list of their addon on services with prices. As you can see, the prices range from $999 to $2999. We're not going to go too in depth into Karbon's pricing - it can be a bit of a swamp. Suffice it is to day, you could end up paying a lot more for the sale level of training and expertise. Finally, it's worth it to mention Jetpack Workflow's All In Support model. We never charge for support or additional training. If you want to talk to us, we want to talk to you - full stop. We will never charge you to help you get value out of our tool.

Features

First, before we talk about features, I want to direct you back to our first question "What does your firm need or want?" It's worth it to keep this in mind before you consider the features each offer. You never want to buy a $50 solution to a $10 problem. Therefore, it's worth the time to sit down and think "What do we really need?" Then ask, "What do we really want?" Write it down and reflect. Just to get the ball rolling, here are some common features between the two:
  • Client notes
  • Recurring work
  • Reports
  • Time tracking
  • Collaboration
  • Emails
  • And so much more...
Make a spreadsheet of the features you want but keep in mind - no solution on the market is going to be perfect. There is no "holy grail" of accounting software (even with as much as we want Jetpack Workflow to become one!). You also can't forget that each tool is constantly changing. For example, Jetpack Workflow is releasing new features monthly. You will be continuing getting more value from your subscription because of this constant improvement. At a high level, here's a few distinct feature differences: Jetpack Workflow:
  • Checklist focused
  • Can track metrics (budgeted time, turnaround time and profit)
  • Can setup task dependencies to trigger new stages/phases of work between team members
  • All full "jobs" view you can create reports from
  • Capacity planning. A workflow library, job calendar, timer and timesheet, QBO client/time and billing entry, etc
  • Jetpack also has the "Jobs" tab, which can give you a complete work review (and run reports) of all client work, across team members, categories, statuses, and more.
  • USA based
  • Small to Medium Sized Accounting Firms focused
Karbon:
  • Kanban focused (like Trello.com)
  • All emails go into Karbon too (can be bad for confidentiality)
  • Automated reminders
  • Works with other industries (HR, Finance, Accounting, Real Estate)
  • Australia based
  • Enterprise focused
We can't tell you which features are going to determine which program is right for you but keep these high level differences in mind while you decide. Remember, this is about what's right for your firm - what you want and need.

Next Steps

With your list of must have features in mind, we highly recommend you take the next step and try both programs out! If you want to try out Jetpack Workflow, there is a free two week trial. Just click here to give it a shot. If you want to try out Karbon, you will need to reach out to them. They may or may not be offering a free trial depending on the time you're contacting them. Of course, if you have experience with either, feel free to comment below. The world of technology for accountants is ever changing, so if you have a tool that is neither Karbon or Jetpack Workflow, please feel free to let us know!

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