- author: Pavel Aramyan
KMPG Spark is a cloud-based online invoicing and accounting software designed for small and medium businesses, startups, and non-profit organizations. As the name suggests, it’s a product of KPMG, one of the world’s leading audit and tax advisory firms. Released in 2018, KPMG Spark’s main mission is to help business owners deal with annual tax reforms, automate billing and invoicing, manage day to day accounting needs, and most importantly, have a personal bookkeeper attached to them, at all times.
Plans & Pricing
The pricing policy of KPMG Spark is extremely straightforward and transparent. The amount depends on the number of accounts (accounts include any source of transactional data like checking, savings, credit card, loans, payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, etc.) Regardless of the number of accounts, every client receives online, real-time, and outsourced bookkeeping services and the assistance of a dedicated professional bookkeeper. Here is what the pricing looks like:
1. 1-3 Accounts – $179/month, paid annually.
2. 4-6 Accounts – $362/month, paid annually.
3. 7-10 Accounts – $454/month, paid annually.
4. Custom – Custom pricing quotes can be arranged by contacting the brand, in case you have specific needs that do not fit into the above categories.
There are both annual and monthly payment options available, along with a special discount from the Spark Network, if applicable. Additionally, you can choose to add a number of services to the account management, including Income tax preparation (starting at $50/month), business licensing (starting at $20/month), and R&D feasibility study credit ($500 one-time refundable fee). Note that you’ll need to speak to a brand representative to receive the final pricing information regarding the additional services. Lastly, there is no free trial option available, but you can schedule a demo to get to know the ins and outs of the tool before committing to it.
Features and Functionality
KPMG Spark offers a very standard set of features that one might expect from any online invoicing software. The one thing that makes a huge difference with this tool though is the “human in the loop” assistance from a dedicated bookkeeper. Every client receives their personal bookkeeper who is always available for questions and helps take care of multiple tasks so that you can focus on other aspects of the business.
The setup is extremely straightforward since the tool is cloud-based. Also, you don’t need to sign a contract to begin your operations. That being said, the tool doesn’t have a desktop or mobile app and it’s available only through a browser. On the bright side though, it works well with any browser. Here are the details of some of the most notable features:
Dedicated Bookkeeper – Every client is granted the services of a dedicated bookkeeper upon signup. This person basically becomes a member of your team and is tasked to handle all bookkeeping and accounting services in your stead or help you get through everything easily yourself, if that’s what you prefer.
Background Reconciliation – Once you’ve set up Spark and connected all your accounts, you don’t need to worry about monthly reconciliations. The brand takes care of reconciling everything in the background securely and quietly so that everything is always in order. This is especially useful for e-commerce businesses that have hundreds of back and forth transactions daily.
Payroll – The brand helps you deal with payroll extremely easily, largely thanks to their exclusive partnership with Sure Payroll, a US-based payroll company. Among others, payroll services include state, federal, and local tax services.
Tax Preparations – When that time of the year approaches, it’s important to have your taxation documents in good shape, to avoid overpaying taxes, missing out on tax returns, and most importantly, being out of the line with the latest taxation policy changes. Spark helps you stay on top of all taxation-related procedures, without any direct involvement from your side.
Online invoicing and payments – You can create professional-looking invoices with the help of preset templates in a matter of minutes. Also, you can accept online payments via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover with low fees of 2.9% + 55¢ per invoice.
Expenses – You can track all of your expenses from a single dashboard. Moreover, all the changes seamlessly and automatically flow into your books and reimbursement processes, leaving you with nothing to worry about on this front.
Ease of Use
The tool is extremely easy to setup. All you need to do is choose your pricing plan, contact the brand, and you’re basically good to go. The dashboard is designed to showcase all the essential information at a glance, allowing you to instantly notice any suspicious activities. There is no learning curve whatsoever, and the availability of your dedicated bookkeeper makes everything even easier.
Spark can be accessed via any browser, as long as you have an internet connection. There are both in-person and online trainings available, as needed. However, the tool doesn’t have a mobile or desktop app.
Add-ons and Integrations
When it comes to integrations, KPMG Spark doesn’t offer a whole lot. However, it does cover the essentials pretty well, considering all the needs of a small business. The brand has exclusive partnership terms with WePay for handling payments and another partnership with Sure Payroll to take care of the payroll services. However, it can’t be easily integrated with any of the popular software like QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, PayPal, Slack, Shopify, etc. If such integrations are essential to you, you’ll need to speak with the brand to see if anything can be arranged. Note that such services will most likely come at an extra cost.
Pros & Cons
- Designed for small businesses
- Dedicated bookkeeper for every client
- Payroll services
- Tax preparations
- Extremely easy to use
- No mobile app
- Limited integrations
- No free trial
The customer support of KPMG Spark is closely tied with the dedicated bookkeeper that each client receives upon signup. Apparently, the brand doesn’t see the need to provide classic customer support via a call center when everyone gets their own, personal assistant on the team. For the pre-sign up phase, however, the company does offer instant live chat, FAQs, and phone assistance.
Phone SupportThe brand can be reached via the dedicated hotline available on their website. 1-855-777-7696
Live Online Chative chat can be accessed through the official website. It can be used to schedule a demo or speak to a representative directly. The response times are usually fast during the standard working hours.
Video TutorialsThere are a handful of videos available on KPMG’s official YouTube channel.
Community ForumThere are a little over a dozen FAQs available on the brand’s official website related to topics like online accounting, monthly reconciliation, human in the loop service, etc.
BlogThe blog is updated highly inconsistently and features topics related to taxation, bookkeeping, payroll, company culture, customer reviews of Spark, product updates, etc.
Overall, KPMG Spark is a decent offer to small business owners, who are willing to spare some extra cash in exchange for less accounting tasks that they have to handle personally. KPMG has achieved worldwide recognition as a financial services brand and designed Spark to deliver great services to clients, with a touch of convenience.
Undoubtedly, the strongest point in the offer is the assistance of a professional bookkeeper who gets attached to your team and is tasked to handle all the accounting processes. This allows you to focus on other aspects of the business and sleep tight, knowing that your taxes will be paid on time and without any issues.