PHEMI Saved $75K Per Year Outsourcing Bookkeeping
PHEMI, a Vancouver-based company, helped organizations become data-driven by addressing privacy, security and governance. Statistics suggest that organizations use around 10% of available data in day-to-day decision-making. Phemi enables them to harness 100% of their data including social media, emails, text, clickstream, wearables, IoT, images and more to make better decisions, faster. With the ability to mine complex data, PHEMI helps organizations unlock new and actionable insights. As a result, organizations achieve dramatic improvements in operational efficiencies, omnichannel customer insights, and drive new revenue while maintaining compliance imperatives. (PHEMI’s technology and name was acquired in 2022)
In 2018 when PHEMI was focused on finding product-market fit and early commercial success, then CEO Praveen Gupta, a 25+ year technology veteran, CPA (CA, CMA), business advisor, and proven executive, was tasked with taking PHEMI to the next level. As is often the case in a startup environment, there is no typical day and things are constantly changing. From market shifts to customer needs to personnel challenges, the name of the game at the time was to shut out the noise, constantly evaluate the path forward, focus, and optimize for growth. Cash and resources (especially human capital) were scarce and every dollar counted.
The challenge in any startup is how to deploy your resources in the right place, at the right time, to get the maximum benefit. At PHEMI, Praveen realized that they had underutilized finance and administration staff and were wasting resources on things like bookkeeping that did not contribute to the company’s core business.
PHEMI had two challenges when it came to accounting staff; 1) a small team with little bandwidth and as such, a challenge to divide duties, 2) high-skilled employees were too “in the weeds” and not working on strategic functions. To that end, Praveen had a goal of reducing unnecessary headcount, creating more strategic work for the subject matter experts within the team, and outsourcing bookkeeping and financial statement preparation functions.
Praveen was not only running a startup where every dollar mattered and visibility was key to optimizing spend, but being a venture-backed company, he had to be accountable to investors and provide them with the accurate financial reporting they needed on a consistent and timely basis.
Praveen had experience with outsourcing non-core functions to Enkel at previous companies, and knew that accuracy and timeliness of deliverables from a third party provider of what most think of as an essential inside function due to confidentiality, was very achievable.
With a small team, sick days, vacations, and unexpected departures can create chaos and disruption. When core team members have to step in to manage clerical tasks, everything else that’s strategic in nature hits the brakes. Outsourcing to Enkel meant that there was a team of professionals focused on the bookkeeping and other back office tasks, with back-up staff to cover for unplanned absences. The result? Consistent, repeatable delivery of financial reporting and accounting functions.
By outsourcing accounting to Enkel PHEMI got the expertise they needed plus proven technology and supporting processes to keep things running smoothly. Not only was PHEMI able to onboard and get operational with Enkel within a few weeks, but their reporting was far more efficient. With the efficiencies gained from working with Enkel, PHEMI was able to lean on them to assist with the year end audit including preparing working papers for the auditors, SRED calculations, etc.
Perhaps the most important aspect of working with Enkel is that the senior leadership team at Phemi did not have to worry about staffing and could focus on the core business without worrying about the clerical aspects of financial reporting. And because Enkel had the data, they were able to help us beyond basic bookkeeping. But the cherry on top was the ability to save $75,000 in staffing costs which could be reallocated to areas of the business that would have higher returns – a technology startup imperative.
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