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50 Fastest Growing Companies of The Year 2017

“We provide fast, simple, and affordable accounting and payroll software”: Patriot Software, LLC


Patriot Software, LLC was incorporated in 2002. However, Patriot’s first sister company was originally founded in 1986. After a rough start-up experience; the enterprise knew firsthand what small businesses need in order to breakthrough and achieve success. So it created a software service to help you keep the two things you don’t have enough of… time and money.

The corporation started in the basement of a factory with no heat, no air-conditioning, and floors that would flood.

Instead of customers, there were rats, birds, snakes, and flies. Blankets became its office walls. The company ran out of money, maxed out our credit cards, and borrowed from relatives.

This business expert will educate us about his institution: Mike Kappel, Owner, CEO

Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

While starting and building each of his companies, Mike experienced a lot of pain with disparate payroll, accounting, and time & attendance software systems. He thought, “Since I’m computer savvy, and I’m struggling with these basic business systems, small business owners in America must be struggling too. Maybe it’s time somebody fixes this problem, once and for all. Maybe it should be me...”  So Mike established Patriot Software in 2002, and invested tens of millions of his own money with the intent to build something great!

What challenges did you face in your initial years?

What can your peers learn from it? I started my first company in the basement of a factory. There was no heat, no air conditioning and floors that would flood. Instead of customers, we had rats, birds, and snakes. Blankets formed our office walls. We often ran out of money, and borrowed from relatives. Looking back there were many times I could have easily quit, but failure was not an option for me. 

If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why? 

This is a great and difficult question. Here are my five factors, not necessarily in this order:

Passion: There is a genuine passion within our company to help small business owners.

This isn’t just a slogan. It’s real. Our employees are truly able to impact our customers by solving problems and suggesting programming changes, ensuring our software is always evolving to meet small business needs. We are passionate about helping every small business in the USA. 

Location: We are surrounded by a lot of terrific universities, which provides us with a steady stream of highly-educated people. Ohio is a beautiful state, and, while we may not have oceans, we have everything else imaginable, and the cost of living is very low. Patriot has become well-known as a great company with high paying jobs. We incorporate a strong Midwest work ethic with a laid-back work environment that is fun (and all-out nerf gun war can erupt spontaneously!). Our reputation precedes us at universities and job fairs where top candidates line up to talk to us. We’d put our amazing staff up against any employer in the USA. Our people rock!

Loyal customers: Our customers recognize that our software is designed to provide them with tremendous value and an easy user experience. We listen to honest feedback from our customers who have helped us to stay lean as we continuously upgrade and improve our software. We have customers that have stayed with some of our recruiting products for 30 years even though our contracts are month-to-month. Their longevity with us proves that being open to change and willing to improve our product lineup keeps our products relevant and in demand.

Flexibility: By design, Patriot Software is very nimble, flexible, and we are totally willing to adapt. That’s because we grew up being “do-it-yourselfers.” We built the hardware that we needed and custom wrote every line of code in our software. While we’ve had many “wins” in business, we’ve also learned that no product or software is sacred. We look to challenge our status quo, always pushing for continuous improvement. Our staff knows that we must do what is right for small business America, which sometimes requires us to reconceive and redesign our software to remain on the cutting-edge.

Care: Patriot Software is a company that is built on caring for what is best for American small businesses. We don’t dictate to our clients and tell them what they need. Instead, we listen. We take time to understand. And, we care about their needs. Our attention to the details that most impact small businesses is what keeps our clients with us month after month without contractual obligation. We believe that we must continuously prove to our clients that we care about their needs. And, we publicly tell our small business clients that if we ever lose our vision to help them, then we don’t deserve their business and they’re free to leave.

Products offered: We offer online accounting and payroll services that offer your small business a no-nonsense approach for Accounting and Payroll

Learn more about the serial entrepreneur

He graduated from Ohio University with an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree in 1980. He spent six years in Corporate America, working on large-scale computer projects. Mike took the entrepreneurial leap-of-faith in 1986 and started the first of his five successful businesses in the basement of a factory. One startup led to another, then another, etc. He founded his 5th successful company, Patriot Software, in 2002. As a serial entrepreneur, Mike knows how difficult it is to do a startup and run a business. His rough startup experiences have created a passion in him to help other entrepreneurs with their businesses.

"Our accounting and payroll software is priced for the smallest of small businesses.”

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