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Beyond the Books: Leveraging Technology for Financial Empowerment

Beyond the Books: Leveraging Technology for Financial Empowerment

Kelli Bagby’s entrepreneurial journey began in the midst of a global pandemic. Amid reshaping perceptions around remote work and digital operations, Kelli saw an opportunity to leverage technology to make bookkeeping services more efficient and accessible. In 2021, Kelli founded Truly Bookkeeping, a virtual company dedicated to guiding business owners through the complexities of finance with confidence and clarity.

Kelli’s commitment to financial empowerment extended beyond her clients, and as a new business owner, one of Kelli’s top priorities was to help her employees save and plan for the future. “I wanted to offer a retirement plan from the very beginning of opening my business,” Kelli explained. “I wanted to communicate to my employees that I care about their future, and I care about their family's future.”

The Challenge: Finding a Streamlined Retirement Platform

Truly Bookkeeping is often responsible for managing their clients’ 401(k) plans—which informed Kelli's top priorities when looking for her own provider. “We work with clients that use other retirement platforms. They don’t integrate, so we have to get in there and make their contributions manually. We know firsthand how clunky these systems can be,” she explained. “For our own provider, I was looking for technology. I wanted a platform that would make everything easy and efficient.”

Kelli sought a retirement plan provider that not only offered technological prowess for seamless operations but also embodied a culture of empowerment and inclusivity, particularly for women in the business world. “I intentionally surround myself with people who are supportive of me as a female entrepreneur,” she said. “I choose to be in environments where I feel supported and I'm able to support others too.”

Finding a provider that aligned with these principles meant that, along with prioritizing ease of use, Kelli needed a provider she could trust. She also wanted to encourage every employee to actively participate in planning for their future. She said, “I wanted it to be accessible so that my staff would use it.” Kelli’s search was driven by the desire to build a supportive workplace culture that valued and invested in the long-term well-being of her entire team.

The Solution: An Effortless Retirement Plan

Kelli was looking for technology, trustworthiness, and accessibility—and Vestwell checked every box.

“Vestwell made things easy,” Kelli explained. “You all were friendly and open and honest and willing to answer lots of questions. That really helped build trust. There are a lot of things that need to happen in order to offer a 401(k) plan, and Vestwell was like, ‘These things are required of you, and we're going to do them for you.’ So, of course, I said, ‘Great, sign me up!’”

Vestwell’s Payroll Integration With Gusto Made Plan Management Easy

Technology and efficiency are important to Kelli, and Vestwell’s 360° payroll integration with Gusto takes a lot of the manual work off of her plate.

“Vestwell’s payroll integration with Gusto is wonderful,” Kelli said. “When there's a change made on the Vestwell side, like if an employee logs in and wants to change their contribution, it then syncs over to Gusto and is updated on their next paycheck. With the Vestwell-Gusto integration, I never have to worry about tracking and making sure these changes are made. It just all happens automatically.”

This level of automation streamlines the experience not just for Kelli but also for her employees. It empowers them to take control of their retirement savings, making adjustments as their financial situations or goals evolve.

User-Friendly Features Removed Barriers for Employees

Truly Bookkeeping’s plan included an auto-enrollment feature, which simplified the decision-making process and removed barriers to entry so that Kelli’s eligible employees were able to start saving with ease. “The auto-enrollment feature was a no-brainer,” Kelli explained. “Most people will just do whatever is easiest, and auto-enrollment makes it easy.”

When Truly Bookkeeping’s employees want to make changes or view their investments, they can do so with Vestwell’s intuitive, user-friendly platform. “Vestwell has innovated and used technology to make things straightforward and simple. That's how it should be,” Kelli said. “We all want people to be investing for their future, and Vestwell created an environment that makes it really easy to do that.”

The Impact: A 100% Participation Rate

I had a few key partners that contributed to the success of my business, and Vestwell is definitely one of them.
Kelli Bagby, Owner, Truly Bookkeeping

Truly Bookkeeping’s 401(k) plan has a 100% participation rate. The success of Truly Bookkeeping's retirement plan underscores the importance of accessibility in financial planning. Vestwell's platform, with its intuitive design, has removed the traditional barriers to retirement savings, making it straightforward for all of Kelli’s eligible employees to invest in their futures.

Moreover, the partnership has had a ripple effect, extending beyond Truly Bookkeeping’s employees to their clients. Kelli's positive experience with Vestwell has made her an advocate for the platform. She regularly suggests Vestwell to her clients, highlighting the simplicity and effectiveness of the service, as well as Vestwell’s alignment with her values.

"I feel really good about suggesting Vestwell to my clients because I've used it myself. I know how easy and wonderful it is,” Kelli explained. “And I know that it’s going to be easy for them to use, but also, because they're our client, it's going to be easy for us as well. Vestwell is a partner I recommend for everyone.


With Vestwell, Kelli was able to offer a retirement plan for Truly Bookeeping’s employees that had the innovative technology she was looking for. The payroll integration with Gusto streamlined plan administration, and the user-friendly platform made it easy for employees to start saving. This powerful combination ensured a seamless experience, enabling Kelli to contribute to a supportive workplace culture and invest in the long-term well-being of her team.

Set your employees and your business up for success. Vestwell makes it easy for employers to manage their plan and for employees to start saving for their future. Ready to get started? Set up time with a Vestwell representative here.