Practical Founders Podcast

#62: She Quit Her CPA Job to Create This Fast-Growing SaaS Startup – Kelly Mann

Kelly Mann was a CPA and auditor for 15 years before leaving her employer to start her own CPA firm focused on 401K benefits audits. She discovered a need to automate this process, validated the market with other CPAs, and created the first AuditMiner software.

Unfortunately, Kelly was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer just before launch and started aggressive chemotherapy immediately. After a year of treatment, AuditMiner was launched, and CPA firms lined up to buy it. 

With her treatments and surgeries behind her, Kelly is now CEO of a fast-growing and profitable SaaS software company with 15 remote employees, hundreds of customers, lots of publicity, and suitors interested in buying the company.

Kelly openly shares her personal journey with cancer and how she thinks differently about running a software company than most founders. 

SaaS Bootstrapping Topics Discussed on This Podcast 

  • Why should quit her longtime-job as a CPA auditor when male partners told her “not to be a buil in a china shop” 
  • How she discovered and validated the specific need for 401k audit software for CPA firms
  • What she experienced when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer a month before launching AuditMiner in spring 2020 at the same time the COVID pandemic hit
  • How she finally launched AuditMiner after a year of hard chemotherapy treatments and surgeries
  • How AuditMiner grew from $38K ARR in 2021 to almost $1M ARR in 2022
  • How her CEO job is changing rapidly as they grow and add employees
  • Why her view of selling her company sooner is different than how most founders think about it

Quote from Kelly Mann, CEO of AuditMiner

“I love what I do as an entrepreneur SO MUCH that I would go through every single day of breast cancer treatment again before I went back to working that 9 to 5 job. If I hadn’t gone through 15 years of being depressed from my job, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have known this problem. Right?

“I was depressed because I wasn’t in the spot I was meant to be. I was an entrepreneur at heart. That’s why I wanted to change everything. That’s why I always saw problems and wanted to fix them. Because I was an entrepreneur. But I didn’t know that. I never knew that those were traits of an entrepreneur.”



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on September 22, 2023 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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