Jeff Chorlton

Flexserv becomes the in-house accounting and HR for our clients. Our professional staff includes bookkeepers, controllers and HR professionals who work on an ongoing, long-term basis according to each client’s unique needs. Our clients come to see us as integral members of their teams. We will completely automate the internal accounting and provide the staff to run it. We manage and process all of the invoicing, payables, payroll, reconciliations, and more. We’ll create budgets, report on financials, and design and implement financial controls.

For HR, we provide HR Policy, recruiting (at dramatically reduced prices), performance management, benefits selection and admin, employee relations, compensation and rewards, development and training, workplace safety, and much more!

Tell us about yourself?

I was in tech for the first 25 years of my career. I sold several hundred million dollars worth of work while at Accenture and PwC. I then ran the Canadian operations of two tech companies and started a third for Bell, Rogers, and Telus. In each of these leadership roles, I needed corporate quality controllers, bookkeepers, and HR professionals but not full-time resources.
We needed ongoing, long-term staff in a part-time capacity. It was very difficult to hire on this basis as recruiters usually dealt with full-time roles, and agencies were often focused on temp work. I realized that 95 per cent of Canada’s over 1 million businesses had similar needs.

Because I was unable to find a firm that could provide ongoing, long-term accounting and HR functions on a fractional basis, I founded Flexserv in 2011. The company has been a huge success ever since.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Having experienced 50 per cent growth in the past year, I would have advised myself to bring on more qualified staff earlier.

What problem does your business solve?

Flexserv

Our clients get great quality handling of their budgeting, financials, invoicing, payments, and payroll. Their costs for these services are directly aligned to the size of their business, with senior professionals delivering above-average quality service. From an HR perspective, they get higher levels of staff engagement, better performance, recruiting at an average of 20 per cent of what they would pay external recruiters for the same service, and the comfort in knowing that their organizations are fully compliant.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

As a President and CEO, I sought experts who could help me plan and run my businesses. Most of the providers were hammers looking for nails. Essentially, they were saying, “This is what we sell, and if you need exactly that, we’re great for you.” What they were selling was usually driven by their own interests rather than their clients’ interests. We seek to understand the world through the eyes of our client’s leadership and tailor our services to what fits them best.

We aim to have our clients see the in-house accounting and HR that we provide as a well-functioning, integrated part of their business – a challenge they have the comfort in knowing is solved as they move forward.

What is your magic sauce?

  1. We offer integrated HR and in-house accounting.
  2. We provide the full in-house accounting and payroll functions – not just pieces of it.
  3. Our clients use modern systems that optimize processes, deliver a paperless environment, and provide top value.
  4. Our staff are seasoned professionals. They are proven and are ready to deliver value as soon as they begin with a new client.
  5. We provide stability and longevity to each of our clients.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

In 2021, we began to expand across Canada. I would like to see us have a vibrant presence across the country in five years. In that time frame, I could see us easily being three to four times our current size. We seek for Flexserv to be the most commonly recognized brand by small and mid-sized businesses.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Our biggest challenge has been staffing. Finding experienced people who offer the complete package is hard to find. The gems stay with us for a long time. It doesn’t matter how thorough our recruiting process has become; we have still made recruiting mistakes. We strive to improve the process with skills testing, extensive reference checks, and putting candidates through multiple interviews. We have definitely improved greatly since the business began 12 years ago, but this is something we can always improve upon.

How can people get involved?

If you are a public accountant whose clients’ internal accounting messes make your life difficult, particularly doing year ends, give us a call, and we can help you and your clients. If you know of a company that is looking to grow, get them in touch with us to save close to 80 per cent on recruiting fees. If they are looking to streamline their internal accounting processes, that is another good reason to make an email introduction to Jeff at [email protected].