Growing a business

Grant Thornton LLP and OCIN: How OCIN Found Flexibility in Their Business

Hear stories from small businesses and how they grew with the support of their accounting provider and QuickBooks Online.

After 15 years of working in fashion, Courtney Chew wanted a change of pace and founded OCIN (pronounced “ocean”) in 2018—an eco-conscious swimwear company and lifestyle collective based out of her hometown of Vancouver.

Courtney almost immediately knew that she needed new ways to handle her business.

From Excel to QuickBooks Online

She was handling all of OCIN’s financials through numerous Excel sheets and other trackers, all of which had to be updated manually. It was, as she puts it, “very tedious.”

“I was doing everything myself, so accounting took up a lot of my time,” Courtney says. “I would literally have to set myself three days of notifications so that I could get ready to do nothing all day except taxes for the business.”

Courtney realized that the numbers were taking her away from the rest of her business, and that’s when she turned to an old friend. She had gone to university with Alex Lau, now a partner at Grant Thornton LLP. She knew that she needed to streamline her accounting, and she knew that meant getting support from a trusted advisor.

Alex pointed her towards QuickBooks Online, and she has never looked back.

“Alex made it easy—there was already a sense of trust there, which made working with an accounting firm comfortable,” she explains. “The entire team made the process so approachable and helped me feel confident enough to do it myself.”

Ultimate Flexibility with Grant Thornton

As an e-commerce-focused business (OCIN has wholesale agreements with the Holt Renfrew H Project, as well as independent storefronts and resorts across the West Coast and Hong Kong), Courtney loved QuickBooks Online for its seamless data integration and ease-of use.

“I was always good at staying on top of my books and keeping them up-to-date, but my old processes took 10 times longer than they do now with QuickBooks Online.”

Ultimately, this flexibility allowed OCIN to rise to the occasion after COVID-19 disrupted new deals with retailers. With help from Grant Thornton, Courtney was able to refocus on their online experiences and curating relationships with local artists, both of which are core pillars of OCIN’s identity.

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