BC Hepatitis Outsources All Back Office Functions to Enkel
BC Hepatitis Network is a provincial nonprofit organization that provides hepatitis education, peer-to-peer support, peer mentorship and training, hepatitis C screening and linking to care events, connection to services, and advocacy. Working with people living with hepatitis and others affected, they collaborate with individuals, community-based organizations, health care providers, health authorities and government to improve hepatitis B and hepatitis C prevention, care, treatment access and support in BC, and address stigma in health care. The organization is small but expanding, and operates in a fully remote model.
Deb Schmitz is the Executive Director at BC Hepatitis Network. Deb started working with high risk youth in the 1990’s in Northern BC. When she realized that the youth she was working with were part of the “second wave’ of HIV infection, she got involved in Community-based HIV education. In the early 2000’s, Hepatitis C emerged following the Krever Inquiry, and Deb got involved in Hepatitis community education and in 2008, was offered the position of Executive Director at BC Hepatitis Network.
Being a small organization, there wasn’t enough funding to hire accounting staff in-house. As a result, BC Hepatitis Network has always outsourced their back office functions including bookkeeping, payroll, and accounts payable. They outgrew their first bookkeeping service when the paper-based approach became too awkward to manage. After moving to a second bookkeeper, it became clear quite quickly that they would soon outgrow them as well. Deb needed a different kind of support to help her better navigate the expanding operations.
While there are a number of bookkeeping services in the market, finding one with specific expertise in nonprofit accounting was a real challenge. Firms or individuals who understand the nuances and differences between Canadian nonprofit and for-profit accounting are few and far between.
Although the team at BC Hepatitis Network was small, the accounting requirements were still significant. Not only did they need standard bookkeeping, payroll and accounts payable support, but there was still something missing that Deb needed to raise the bar on their overall accounting function, although it wasn’t clear at the time what that was.
A quick Google search for “nonprofit bookkeeping” led Deb to Enkel. Once she was introduced to Enkel’s suite of services that included fractional controllership (business planning, stakeholder reporting, audit preparations, and more) Deb knew that she had found the right place. In 2022, Enkel started managing BC Hepatitis Network’s bookkeeping, payroll, and accounts payable as well as providing the strategic controllership services they’d been missing.
From the beginning, the engagement was tightly managed with clear and consistent communication between the two teams. Following the kickoff call where Enkel walked through every step of the process, all stakeholders knew exactly who would do what and when. BC Hepatitis Network was assigned an account manager who clearly outlined next steps, kept everyone on the same page, and was always there with answers to important questions.
Because BC Hepatitis Network used Enkel for a number of back office functions, they were working with a few different cloud-based technologies to get the work done. All the accounts were set up by Enkel, and the processes were clearly communicated, and task lists and reminders were set up in Carbon for easy follow-up.
While the engagement is still in the early days, the team at BC Hepatitis Network are already seeing results. Not only are they getting faster turnaround times on information requests, but the controllership service is providing better understanding at a deeper level of detail, and its setting Deb up to do better, more thorough business planning. She has more confidence in planning and decision making, and expects that the service will help with capacity building with the BC Hepatitis Network Board of Directors.
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