Kari Bakus I Senior Consultant

Kari (Schott) Bakus has almost 30 years of business-to-business marketing & communications experience. Kari has spent over 15 years developing and leading growth strategies specifically designed for accounting firms as both an in-house marketing leader and an outside consultant.

In her role as a senior consultant for Inovautus Consulting, Kari works with clients to create growth plans, build relationships, increase referrals, generate leads, and grow revenue.

Kari’s in-house-work at accounting firms includes five years leading Marketing and Business Development at Green Hasson Janks, an Accounting Today Top 200, Los Angeles-based accounting firm. Prior to Green Hasson Janks, Kari spent five years as a Marketing Director at KPMG, where she led regional and national marketing for KPMG tax services.

In addition to working with accounting firms, Kari has worked with companies with annual revenues ranging from $20 million to $4.8 billion across a variety of industries, including food & beverage, printing, wholesale electronics, medical devices, and professional services.

Kari earned her MBA from the University of Southern California, and she received her undergraduate degree in Communications from Miami University in Oxford, OH.

  • Kari and her husband are avid mountain bikers and participate annually in a downhill ride through the Swiss and French Alps.
  • She enjoys spending time at her family-built home in the Outer Banks, NC, which provides a great backdrop for stand-up paddle boarding and searching for birds and black bears in nearby national wildlife refuges.
  • Her love of the outdoors inspires her to support organizations that focus on sustainability and protecting wildlife.
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Kari's favorite recent audio book is Becoming by Michelle Obama.

As a speaker and writer, Kari's contributions can be found in

  • The Journey Ahead - A New Roadmap to Collaboration in Your Firm
  • Accountants & Attorneys: Ultimate Referral Partners; How Lawyers & Accountants Can Leverage ProVisors To Grow Powerful Relationships, Multiply Referrals, and Add Value To Their Clients, Developed by Nancy Fox (Sept 2014)
  • AAM High! Webinar: Acting as A Growth Coach to Your Partners, Association of Accounting Marketing (October 8, 2013)
  • Not-so-modest engagement proposals: Building a template library and other best practices for better business presentations, Written by Danielle Lee, Accounting Today (August 2012)

Q + A With Kari

Why do you do what you do?

Our clients are the core advisors that help businesses and owners through their entire life cycle. When I’m helping clients, I feel like I’m doing my part to keep the economy growing.

 

What inspires you to do this work?

I enjoy sharing in the “a-ha” moments when clients see success from their marketing and growth efforts.

 

How does your experience/passion/professional beliefs intersect with your accounting clients?

My passion is connecting people who have common goals or interests, and my favorite moment is when I get to see those connections help them reach their goals. I get to make these connections all the time when working with clients.

 

What was your biggest professional “win” or “a-ha” moment?

My biggest professional transformational moment was getting my MBA. Going back to school full time 10 years after getting my undergraduate degree was both humbling and exhilarating.  While the degree is nice to have, it was the coursework and relationships that made it so meaningful. I’ve made my best friends and business connections because of that major step in my life.