As we turn the page on another remarkable year, it’s time to pause and reflect on our team’s journey.
From expanding our services to forging new partnerships, from celebrating our team’s achievements to learning from the hurdles we’ve overcome, 2023 has been a year of transformation.
In this post, we’ll share some milestones, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped our team, our clients, and our company over the past year.
The world is evolving crazy fast these days. Just hitting the books won’t cut it anymore. You’ve gotta embrace a mindset of constant growth to level up in all aspects of your life—socially, intellectually, and in your adaptability game. At Bean Ninjas, we make it happen through travel, group learning, and some awesome team-building events.
In the spirit of one of Bean Ninjas’ core values, “Always Growing,” this philosophy shapes the way we approach our work and our interactions with each other. It’s the essence of our team’s identity. It inspires us to relentlessly pursue excellence, to remain curious and open-minded, and to celebrate each step forward in our collective journey of growth and discovery.
This is just as true 8.5 years in as it was when we launched the company 7 day startup style back in 2015.
Holding our first all-company retreat in Boracay
It took us three years and a couple of cancellations (thanks to a pandemic and a volcanic eruption) to get our global team together in Boracay, Philippines. It was our first chance to get the whole gang – from the US, Europe, Australia, and the Philippines – in one spot. And for a team that’s all about remote work, this was the first time many of us met face-to-face!
Picking the right time and place was key. We settled on October (steering clear of the Christmas rush) and chose Boracay for its beachy, touristy vibes. Running the event in The Philippines was also more cost effective than somewhere like Australia. We booked the Fairways and Bluewater Boracay resort for its mix of focus, fun, and exclusivity.
The purpose of BeanCon was all about connection and celebration. Our agenda was a mix of structured activities and chill time.
We wanted more than just a team-building exercise or listening to talks in a stuffy conference room. So, we aimed to create a space where we could all share our stories and celebrate our wins.
Rose Ann Tomas, Head of People and Culture, was the mastermind behind the schedule, balancing team dinners, team-building games, and plenty of downtime. We kicked off with a relaxed first day, followed by a second day packed with Filipino cultural games and beach time. The retreat wrapped up with closing remarks and one-on-one manager meetings.
“Hosting BeanCon was an expensive exercise, but it was worth every dollar,” says Meryl. “Seeing the team spending time together, laughing, singing, and forging strong relationships was life-changing.
One of the highlights for me was hearing the stories of our team members and how Bean Ninjas‘s flexible work environment has improved their lives in the Philippines:
- Multiple team members are helping to put their brothers and sisters through college.
- Two families are home-schooling their children to provide a better education than the schooling available in their area.
- A number of team members are involved in giving back to the community through church groups and non-profits. This is possible now they’ve cut their commute.
- One team member applied for a role at Bean Ninjas three times, but didn’t get through the application process due to Internet speed issues. They worked another job to purchase wired internet and then applied again.”
In 2023, our team was committed to connecting with more people in the eCommerce and accounting industries on and offline.
“Engaging with vibrant eCommerce and Accountant communities and attending power-packed events (like eCommerceFuel Live, XeroCon and QuickbooksConnect) fuels my learning and growth,” says Wayne. “Through the sharing of personal and professional experiences, we forge connections, conquer together challenges, and build bridges of collaboration. These communities also keep me ahead of the curve, offering insider intel and sparking epic collaborations with industry leaders.”
Here are a few notable highlights.
- Wayne went to the inaugural A2X summer camp in Toronto. (See picture below.)
- We attended XeroCon and Meryl shared these tips to help newcomers.
- We also attended Quickbooks Connect for the second year in a row.
- Members of our team were featured on over a dozen podcasts and webinars this year, including the Unofficial Shopify Podcast, the Ecommerce Edge podcast and this holiday financial KPI webinar with our friends at Fathom and A2X.
- Meryl delivered the welcome speech to new members of the Chartered Accountant’s profession at a recent milestone event.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
“This powerful quote perfectly captures the journey of building a top-performing accounting team in today’s competitive market,” says Wayne. “In the Philippines, where accounting talent is highly sought-after, attracting and retaining the best minds requires more than just a tempting salary. It’s about creating and maintaining a culture that fosters collaboration, growth, and, ultimately, the success of us all.”
Here are some memorable moments from our team in 2023.
- Our Bean Ninjas Europe team planted more than 2,000 trees with One Tree Planted! This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team members, led by Tom, who are committed to positively impacting our environment.
- Our client, Hello Klean, was featured on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, which is the UK’s version of Shark Tank.
- Morgan Holbrook Hurst joined the team earlier this year as our accounting manager.
- 2 members had well-deserved promotions in 2023.
- We hosted 16 team virtual happy hours and online meetups including our inaugural Zoom games over the summer. These virtual events are designed to build camaraderie across the company.
At Bean Ninjas, our mission is all about taking the stress out of managing business finances for our eCommerce clients. We’re here to give them the freedom to work on what they love, decide how much they want to hustle, live wherever their heart desires, and how they spend their time.
This mission will continue to drive us into 2024.