Each year, OBJ recognizes the region’s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the city’s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year. The companies will be profiled online in the coming days and recognized at a cocktail reception on May 24 at You.i TV headquarters in Kanata. Click here for more information on the event.
When it comes to his thriving business career, David DiNardo credits much of his success to his former life as a competitive soccer player.
DiNardo, the owner of local accounting firm Envolta, earned his bachelor’s degree in business and his MBA at St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York, which he attended on a soccer scholarship.
“Being on a sports team and being around soccer has instilled teamwork, team support, team everything. Growing up, being a sports player, that’s helped my team grow,” he says.
The business, which started in 2014 as a personal tax company with an office on Richmond Road, has been on a winning run. The firm has expanded to four locations in the Ottawa area and has landed on this year’s list of OBJ’s fastest-growing companies with impressive three-year revenue growth of nearly 620 per cent.
Envolta will be opening a downtown office at the corner of Bank and Lisgar streets in June. The company now has 20 employees and is looking to hire another five over the next month.
DiNardo says once he’s got the Ottawa market covered, he plans to branch out to other cities.
“Eventually when we’ve reached out to Barrhaven and Kanata and Orleans, my next step would be to go to Toronto,” he explains.
After opening, the business quickly transformed into a full-fledged accounting company, offering a full suite of services to help clients keep their ledgers and payroll systems in order. Because doing personal taxes is a very seasonal business, DiNardo says, he expanded his company’s offerings by adding more online tools and resources aimed at businesses.
“We’re building a culture full of people that want to be there and help small businesses out,” he says. “That’s paying dividends. Our processes in technology enhance the customers’ experience. And it’s fun.”
Small businesses now account for about 70 per cent of his clientele, DiNardo says. Most of his clients simply don’t have the resources to employ a full-time onsite bookkeeper, he says, and he caters to companies that might not be able to afford the services of big-name national firms.
“I knew there was a need in the market. I love small businesses and helping small businesses. I believe all good decision-making is based on the numbers in front of you to determine the next steps. That’s how I’ve been successful.”
Envolta uses cloud-based software to help small businesses streamline their accounting systems and understand their expense and revenue numbers.
Down the road, the company’s plan is to have small branches all over the city so as to be more easily accessible to clients. But because most accounting services can be done online now, DiNardo says his team is working on tapping into already-existing software and enhancing it to make the process more efficient and less pricey for the customers its serves.
Fastest Growing Companies: Envolta
Year founded: 2014
Local headcount: 20
Product or service: Professional and personal accounting services
Three-year revenue growth: 619.17%
2018 ranking: #6
Envolta also hopes to create a subscription model to allow clients to pay for their services on a monthly basis instead of being slapped with a whopping bill every once in a while. This will help companies keep a better handle on their budgets, DiNardo says.
Embracing new technology has been a key to Envolta’s growth, adds DiNardo, who previously worked as an IT consultant.
“Tech is moving so quickly that you have to be on top of it,” he says. “If you’re not, it’s scary.”
But at the end of the day, DiNardo says, success in business comes down to building relationships and trust with clients.
“I don’t think there’s another company in Ottawa that is growing from an accounting perspective as quickly as us and building relationships with people like us.”