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PBCs Are NBD: A Conversation with Craig Baldwin and Ryan Watson of Sqrl

Ed. note: This is the second interview in a new series of conversations with accountants who have started a business. Whether it's a CPA firm, a coffee shop, or a mobile app, we're talking to accountants that have an entrepreneurial streak. If you want to suggest an accountant-turned-entrepreneur for this series, email us.

For many young CPAs, one of the first big responsibilities thrown your way is to manage the prepared by client (aka "PBC") list. Despite the tedious nature of this task, it's importance can not be understated. 

For starters, this is where your engagement begins — you need info from your client; you can't really do anything without it. Clients understand this but because they have their own work to do, providing you with an excruciatingly itemized list of items isn't always their top priority. Once they do get around to it, often times it's incomplete and you double check, follow up, circle back and every other awful phrase you can use to pin them down until you've received everything.

God help you if you overlook something and ask them to provide it again.

As auditors at Deloitte, Craig Baldwin and Ryan Watson, the nightmare of lost, forgotten, overlooked, deleted, misremembered and spaced-out client requests was all too real early in their careers. It became even more apparent when they co-founded Upsourced Accounting with Ryan Baker in 2012. Eventually, they all realized that solving the problem of managing client requests was where they needed to focus. In 2013, they founded Sqrl, a platform that aims to take the pain out of this process.  We're talking to them about Big 4 life, starting businesses, and anything else we can think of.