PLAN Outsources Full-Service Accounting Expertise to Enkel

PLAN Case Study FeatureImage

PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network), is not your typical organization. This grass roots social enterprise founded by parents of loved ones with disabilities focuses on everything from relationship building and notable life transitions, to community involvement, decision making and financial stability. It is funded by foundations and individual donors with the goal of partnering with families and people with disabilities to have leadership and security for their future.

The families at PLAN understood early on that planning a good life takes effort and intention – especially for those with disabilities. Today, they work with families around 5 core priorities:

  • A network of caring relationships to ensure connection and belonging
  • Opportunities to contribute to in vibrant and inclusive communities 
  • Living in a place that they can call home
  • Support to make important life decisions
  • Financial security

The PLAN model creates inclusion, safety and security for people with disabilities beyond reliance on government programs and resources.Over the years, similar parent-led organizations and support networks have emerged across Canada and in countries all over the world.


Rebecca Pauls is the Executive Director at PLAN. A mother of four, Rebecca is a champion for lives rich in family, friends and connections and has served at PLAN since 2013. In 2019, Rebecca found herself at a crossroads with her accounting requirements.

The Challenge

As the PLAN organization grew, so did the need for dedicated accounting support. Rebecca needed bookkeeping, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and overall accounting expertise to help her better manage the organization’s finances. After posting a Finance Manager position, it soon became clear that people with high-level accounting skills and experience weren’t all that interested in doing bookkeeping and other tedious back office functions. On top of that, the going rate for this “unicorn” position was much higher than her budget would allow for.

Lack of affordable expertise

After starting a search for a Finance Manager, Rebecca soon realized that the going rate for a practitioner with the expertise she needed was out of reach. Most folks were expecting 6-digit salaries which, in Rebecca’s mind, would take too much money away from the activities critical to achieving PLAN’s mission - a common challenge for nonprofit organizations.

Multi-disciplinary skills are hard to find

While Rebecca did receive a number of applicants for the role, she discovered that most had skills in one or a few of the core accounting services she needed, but not all. Not only was it difficult to find people with a well rounded set of accounting skills, but most folks had little to no interest in doing all aspects of the accounting function that Rebecca required.

The Solution

After sorting through all the job applicants and coming up empty, Rebecca decided to consider outsourcing the accounting functions and turned to Google to find companies specializing in back office systems and expertise. She soon found a number of firms that could help her out, and began the process of interviewing and assessing her options. Because of the organization’s size and budget, several firms walked away from the organization…but not Enkel. The two organizations began working together in May of 2019.

Enkel value proposition – Support from professional bookkeepers
Multi-layer support

The challenge of finding skills in all different accounting functions including Bookkeeping, Payroll, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, and overall Controllership Services, was easily solved with Enkel’s team of multidisciplinary professionals. What would have taken 2-3 in-house staff members was all achievable working with a firm that had expertise in all areas. The monthly rate covers only what they need, comes with no overhead, training, or leadership requirements, and gets the job done with little to no oversight or involvement.

about 01 technology enabled
People, processes AND technology

By outsourcing accounting to Enkel, not only did Rebecca and PLAN get the expertise they needed, but they got the proven and stress-tested technology infrastructure and supporting processes to go with it. There’s no pressure on Rebecca to stay abreast of the latest technology trends because Enkel takes care of that for her. On top of that, Rebecca has the added benefit of limited day to day tasks - only engaging when needed - so that she can stay focused on her role and deliver on PLAN’s mission.

Rebecca Pauls, Executive Director, PLAN Photo
I think outsourcing accounting services is the way of the future for nonprofits. The philanthropic world is reluctant to fund costly operations and administration because it takes dollars away from the core mission. Not only am I getting great, multi-disciplinary accounting services from Enkel, but my costs to get that level of service are way lower than they would be if I had to hire all of the people to do the work, and then manage them day-to-day.”
-   Rebecca Pauls, Executive Director, PLAN

The Results

Today, Rebecca and the team at PLAN leave the accounting to Enkel. They are saving time, money, and getting the accounting activities and deliverables they need every month. On top of that, because Enkel specializes in nonprofit accounting and has team members with deep experience working with NPOs, Rebecca has the confidence that the nuances of nonprofit accounting are well understood and managed by the team.

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