Achieving 100% YOY growth

Brooklyn FI is a full-service financial planning, tax and investment firm specializing in tech professionals and creatives on the path to financial independence. Co-Founder Shane Mason discusses how Ignition helped transform their business model to achieve 100% YOY growth, tracking $2M in expected annual revenue and zero A/R tasks for subscription based services. “With Ignition, we now have a smoother relationship with clients and a smoother revenue stream. This has directly led to greater transparency and client trust.”

Brooklyn FI
Shane Mason, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CPWA®, Co-Founder

About Brooklyn FI

Brooklyn FI is a full-service financial planning, tax, and Investment Management Firm specializing in tech professionals and creatives on the path to financial independence. They help their clients get their financial lives together, make smart moves with the money they have, and make smart plans for what's to come. The F.I. in Brooklyn F.I. stands for Financial Independence. The central idea at the core of their practice is that money is just a tool to live your best life. They know something most financial advisors and planners don’t know—that a passion is more important than a salary. What's their sweet spot? Turning side-hustles into nest eggs.

About Shane Mason

Shane is a Certified Public Accountant, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and Certified Private Wealth Advisor™ professional who specializes in helping self-employed creatives and tech professionals foster wealth. After spending seven years in the public accounting space with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Raich, Ende, Malter, Shane embraced his independent spirit and launched BKFI with AJ. He’s also a Certified Student Loan Professional and an Equity Compensation Associate.

The Problem

Suffering a stagnant business model due to unpaid or long-overdue invoices

In 2018, Brooklyn FI hit a wall. For several years, the startup churned out lots of client tax returns but found itself struggling to get paid on time. The super seasonal work demanded loads of energy and resources yet, with invoices not getting paid for sometimes six to eight months after deliverables were met, the business model felt flawed and strained.

Other A/R headaches, plus tasks sales, pitching clients and creating engagement letters, also required major effort. Using numerous traditional technologies to handcraft documents and deliverables ate up man hours, undermining potential creativity, client relationships and profitability.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn FI’s original founder, Shane Mason, wanted to do more and be more for his clients. He knew his team could bring greater value through advisory and financial planning for their customers, a niche Millennial audience of tech professionals and creatives. However, it was tough to get clients to pay one large set rate upfront. Brooklyn FI’s customers didn’t want “surprise” invoices either.

To evolve from a tax business into a full-blown financial-planning firm would require strong, consistent revenues and committed customers who would gladly pay for the value delivered.

“We would work with clients in January but not get paid until October, November or sometimes even December.”

The Solution

Building customer engagement around a subscription-based business model

Brooklyn FI’s turnaround started after it gained a new business partner and made a real commitment to change. But what kind of change? Namely, Ignition. Using the platform’s automatic payment and workflow system, these entrepreneurs started converting clients to a sustainable, affordable subscription-based business model.

Also now automated: key aspects of the sales, marketing and customer onboarding, including engagement letter generation and management. It now took five minutes instead of 30 to push out engagement letters to clients, which, once signed, immediately kick-started workflows.

Brooklyn FI built its client base using its tax services and expertise as a leverage point for advisory services. Most of the customers really valued the expert team and wanted to grow financially. For those professionals, the new business model with its expanded services and an automated, subscription-based fee structure felt like a “risk” these key clients could take.

“Ignition really helped with the onboarding...because it’s not like you get a proposal signed and then clients don’t hear from you for days. It kicks off a series of workflows immediately.”

The Result

A sustainable business, thriving with Ignition and empowering the firm and its clients alike

“We haven’t heard any negative feedback. To me, that means that the Ignition platform is working very smoothly.”

With Ignition’s platform, BrooklynFI switched from a tax service wheelhouse to a more holistic financial firm. Today, its services now truly lift up clients and help them achieve financial independence—the very mission behind this boutique business.

That said, Brooklyn FI did initially lose some clients. But Shane says any lost revenue was more than recovered by the earnings it experienced with loyal and new clients, after integrating Ignition into the mix. In fact, all kinds of Ignition features have led to customer growth and satisfaction. Things like customized proposal videos have been directly linked to client signups.

But proof is in the numbers. Between 2018-2021, the firm grew revenue 100% YOY, tracking $2 million in revenue and a 100% increase in annual client revenues as well. Client fees have more than doubled over three years, but with customers enjoying strong ROI, the fee increase hasn’t turned people away.

With Ignition, we now have a smoother relationship with clients and a smoother revenue stream. This has directly led to greater transparency and client trust. We also do less grunt work and more meaningful work

What do these numbers show? A team with more time on its hands building and managing a more sustainable, proactive business. more sales headaches. No more wasted effort on engagement letters. No more worries over invoicing and chasing down payments...just Brooklyn FI helping customers in their niche meet customized goals and hit new levels of financial freedom. Because Brooklyn FI finally can focus on what it wants to do—and do more of that, more often—it has quickly found its own sense of freedom as well. And that’s every entrepreneur’s dream.

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