Fast & Female Gets “Clean” Finances Working With Enkel

Fast and Female case study

Fast & Female is a registered Canadian charity founded in 2005. Their mission is to empower self-identified girls through sport and physical activity, because it better sets them up to succeed and lead in life.

By age 14, girls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys the same age. Fast and Female exists to change this statistic. They work collaboratively with like-minded individuals and organizations across Canada to run events and programs virtually and online – creating girl-centered opportunities and spaces. Fast & Female brings a variety of organizations and instructors together that enable participants to try new activities, movement, and sports.

Fast & Female has also developed the REAL role model network; Relatable, Empowered, Active Leaders. The network includes a diverse group of women-identified individuals aged 18+ that bring their lived experiences in sport and physical activity to young girls. The network includes the likes of Natalie Spooner, (Canada’s National Hockey Team), Stephanie Labbé (Canadian Olympic Soccer Player), academics, nurses, firefighters, and more. Girls are able to connect with this network in person, within their communities, and across the country and see first hand how sport can have a meaningful role in your life either as a career, or as a launching pad for developing life skills for whatever career path lies ahead.

Fast & Female also offers a library of evidence-based curriculum that includes workshops on everything from Leadership Skills and Using Your Voice, to A Positive Mindset, Consent and Boundaries, and much more.

Victoria (Tori) Stephenson is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), who is specialized in accounting for scale-up and high-growth technology companies. After volunteering with Fast & Female in 2021, she joined the Board of Directors as Treasurer when the organization was reassessing its governance structure and refreshing the Board. Like many girls, Victoria dropped out of sport around age 13, but has found her way back to physical activity in adulthood and is truly passionate about supporting other women on their life’s journey.

Gabriela (Gaby) Estrada is the Executive Director at Fast & Female as of September, 2022, but began her journey with the organization as a volunteer role model in 2017. Her first full time role with Fast & Female was as a program manager in 2018, which was followed by roles in research oversight, program management, and events and programs. Today she proudly leads the team of 6 powerhouse women passionate about the Fast & Female mission.

The Challenge

Prior to working with Enkel, Fast & Female employed a part time CFO who was responsible for the entire finance function. There had been some turnover in the role, but the role itself had persisted for several years. That CFO had the mandate to oversee bookkeeping and controllership responsibilities, along with running board meetings, reviewing insurance policies, and more. In that earlier stage in their development, that role made sense for the organization but as they matured and built out their board structure with a variety of skill sets, they realized that they were lacking structure and processes.

Firefighting Mode

With part-time people in charge of core parts of the organization that were closely tied to governance, the priorities tended to shift to the “hottest burning fires”; paying staff, tracking funds, etc., rather than developing repeatable processes that would ultimately bring more efficiency into the organization. And while Fast & Female had some technology supporting their back office functions, the stack was incomplete and not optimized for efficiency and the seamless execution of work across the team of stakeholders.

Team Culture and Function

Having a part-time person intimately involved in core activities, decisions and processes that was not fully integrated into the team felt “mirky”, according to Estrada. It was difficult to have someone wearing so many hats that wasn’t always around and accessible, and it was impacting the culture the team was trying to build.

The Solution

Fast & Female wasn’t at the stage to warrant a fulltime person, but needed best practices and expertise to better manage their accounting functions. They had strong, hands-on skill sets on the team that just needed a framework and optimized ecosystem to work within. For that they turned to Enkel who had a buttoned-up solution complete with expertise in each core back office function, established and proven processes, and a full stack of supporting technology.

Technology And Processes
Cloud-Based Technology and Processes

According to Gaby, Karbon is at the heart of the technology ecosystem that has brought the efficiencies they were looking for. Enkel brought best practices to complement the technology, which has enabled the Fast & Female team to learn and deploy similar workflows in other parts of the organization. Enkel provides checklists to the team that are clear, timely, and comprehensive. They help keep everyone focused, on task, and on time.

Enkel value proposition – Expertise in growing businesses
Layers of Expertise

Enkel takes a team-based approach to servicing their customers. Each person brings unique expertise to manage the different functions including bookkeeping, payroll, accounts payable, and controllership services. Gaby and her team are able to reach out to anyone to get answers on a timely basis, and are learning more and more every day.

Gaby Estrada, Executive Director, Fast & Female Photo
“It feels like Enkel is truly invested in our organization and our success. They laid everything out so beautifully and it perfectly filled the gaps in our organization. We’ve learned so much working with Enkel about best practices, processes and workflows and have been able to use those learnings in other parts of the business. And a big win for us is that we are more able to focus on the strategic aspects of our organization.”
-   Gaby Estrada, Executive Director, Fast & Female

The Results

Fast & Female has seen a number of changes and improvements as a result of working with Enkel. According to Estrada, “one of the most important things is that we now have “clean” finances that are understandable and digestible.” She and the team now have more time and capacity to look at the reporting in detail and better understand how things work and flow through the organization. Another big plus is the support around the audit process and the improved “readiness” that the organization has experienced.

Time savings have been huge for Fast & Female. Not having to onboard and manage finance staff frees Gaby and Tori up to focus on more strategic initiatives. They also save on hard costs, spending less on the services than they would managing them in-house, and having the technology included in their services.

Finally, Gaby and Tori are free to focus more on the future, and less on the day-to-day tactical operations. They are able to think about new initiatives that can further their mission, and get girls back into sport and physical activity.

Looking for a reliable bookkeeping solution?

We can help! Whether it’s bookkeeping, payroll, or other accounting back office services, we have the industry expertise and knowledge to manage it all. You can trust our team to keep your books up to date and provide you with accurate financial statements every month.

Get in touch