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Output Co. goes from 10+ hours to 10 minutes by outsourcing monthly bookkeeping

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Output Services Inc. is a Vancouver-based technology company specializing in innovation platform solutions and management consulting.

They run technology-powered programs that help organizations gather new ideas to explore new opportunities and solve existing problems, and then rapidly experiment and test those ideas towards implementation. Output Services has helped companies like Alberta Children’s Hospital, Saskatchewan Health Authority, and Philips collaborate on concepts and quickly bring new products and processes to life. Output Services takes an agile and iterative approach to developing solutions using lean principles. 

Early adopters of the mobile worker movement, Output Services has no large physical office space and employs lean principles to deliver on client engagements. All employees work remotely, and they use cloud-based technology to power their business and projects. 

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The Challenge

In 2016 and 2017, Output Services was managing their bookkeeping in-house, and had amassed a substantial backlog of administrative bookkeeping matters. Despite using Xero, a leading cloud-based accounting software solution, the processes, output, accuracy, and timing were inadequate and falling further and further behind.

In addition to the day-to-day bookkeeping requirements, Output Services participates in the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED) every year. To efficiently file for the tax incentives, things have to be categorized and amortized properly.

According to Dan Pichette, VP Business Development, “We thought about hiring a bookkeeper, but because it wasn’t a full-time position, we weren’t motivated to hire someone inhouse. We also didn’t want to hire a contractor because there was no legacy plan or systems in place.” 

In their hunt for bookkeeping services, Output turned to Xero for recommendations. 

A Xero Silver Champion partner since 2016, Enkel provides outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services, and is a Xero Certified Advisor and migration specialist. A fellow Vancouver company, Output and Enkel joined forces in early 2018 to tackle Output’s growing bookkeeping burden.

Dan Pichette, VP of Business Development, Output Co. Photo
Working with Enkel is just easy. I’ve used internal and external bookkeepers in my career so have seen it done both ways. The way Enkel works is ideal. The checklists and google sheets are totally automated, receipt bank works really well, the systems they use are straightforward, and everything is just simple. Last month took me 10 minutes instead of 10 hours.”
-   Dan Pichette, VP of Business Development, Output Co.
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The Solution

In early 2018, Output Services transferred all bookkeeping and related admin activities to Enkel. 

Not only did Enkel tackle the large backlog of expense reconciliation, but they started managing everything from receipt documentation and preservation, to responses to basic accounting questions that would arise regarding Output’s treatment of expenses. 

Now Enkel handles all of Output’s bookkeeping and uses automated systems to help them stay current. Using Xero and other cloud-based tracking and collaboration tools, Enkel created a monthly workflow and process, complete with checklists and timelines.

The Results

Today, Output Services has gone from spending 10+ hours a month on bookkeeping to less than two. Not only are they saving valuable time, but the accuracy and timeliness are miles ahead of where they were when they managed it in-house. 

According to Pichette, “We’re now better prepared for discussions with investors and VC’s because we have a clear picture of forecasts, burn rate, customer acquisition cost, true cost of services, and business runway. It’s visibility we just didn’t have before.”

When asked what he likes best about working with Enkel, Pichette replied, “It’s just easy. I’ve used internal and external bookkeepers in my career so have seen it done both ways. The way Enkel works is ideal. The checklists and google sheets are totally automated, Receipt Bank works really well, the systems they use are straightforward, and everything is just simple. Last month took me 10 minutes.”

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