From a promise between colleagues, to a firm that employs 650+ professionals serving clients in the US, Europe, and Asia, Scrubbed has come a long way in 10 years! As we celebrate our 10th anniversary and look back to how it all started, we find the same principles that fueled our founding still drive what we do every day.
Two Paths Collide
It was the convergence of two career paths that set the stage for Scrubbed’s founding in 2012.
Gani Laguisma started his career with Ernst & Young (EY) in the Philippines in 1988 and Mark Pineda joined same EY office in the Philippines 10 years later. Gani and Mark over time established a strong personal bond that turned into a vision.
When Mark decided to leave EY for the US, he told Gani during a meeting at the firm’s Manila office. What he heard in response was unexpected: Gani was leaving for the US too, to focus on building a family.
Fulfilling the Promise
“While in the San Francisco Bay Area, let’s learn as much as we can and broaden our experience, then create a bridge between the US and the Philippines” With those words Mark spoke, and neither knowing exactly what form it would take, both Gani and Mark felt a strong desire to leverage their experience and the scale of the US business community for the benefit of the fellow Philippine professionals like them.
Once in the US, Gani and Mark gained significant accounting*, audit, finance, and business experience in organizations large and small, working with clients across a broad range of industries and at various stages in their maturity and lifecycle. Eventually they ended up working together again, both joining a California-based accounting* and business advisory firm.
While there, they worked on a project conducting due diligence for a US-based firm looking to set up an offshore office in the Philippines. At the same time, many of the Silicon Valley clients with whom they partnered were struggling with the challenges of hiring costly in-house accounting* and finance talent to produce the sophisticated financials their investors required.
“I kept hearing the same thing from colleagues and friends who worked in investment banking: ‘We’re making major investments in startup companies, and they’re struggling to produce the financial reports we need to see,” Gani says. This experience was encapsulated during a brief encounter with Michael Ackrell, a founding member of Ackrell Capital in San Francisco. Michael, a founding member, shared his frustration with Gani about startup companies being underserved and missing out on needed financing because they lacked reliable financial reports and financial models. A day after, that short moment created the one spark that stitched the vision together.
The idea…What if the two established a firm in the Philippines that offered high-quality outsourced accounting* and finance services to businesses in the US and other countries?
With both Gani and Mark feeling the pull to move back to the Philippines and raise their families in their native country, it was clearly time to fulfill the promise they had made years before. They would start a new firm to leverage the highly talented accounting* and finance workforce in the Philippines, establish high-quality jobs for Philippine professionals, and enable leading businesses in the US and other regions to supplement their internal accounting* and finance teams cost-effectively and with confidence.
Growth from Every Standpoint
Scrubbed’s first clients were primarily small businesses owned by family, friends, and colleagues. Over time, those satisfied clients referred the firm to many more. Simply through word of mouth, the firm grew significantly—from the two co-founders in 2012 to 650+ professionals today.
The breadth of Scrubbed’s services expanded greatly, too. At first the team focused mostly on bank reconciliations. Then clients asked them to take on more tasks—from AP and AR to full general ledger accounting*. Scrubbed began to utilize more sophisticated technologies to develop financial reports using data visualizations and to conduct financial modeling. Today Scrubbed’s comprehensive offering also includes tax services, corporate finance services, and advisory services for clients engaging in buy or sell transactions.
Early years of operations in the Philippines started from a garage and a guest house inside Mark’s family compound. As the business took off, they built a large, modern, high-tech campus in the middle of a sugar cane plantation—enabling the growing professionals to avoid hours-long commutes to the business district in Manila.
What will the next 10 years bring for Scrubbed?
We expect we’ll continue to grow and expand on every level—in the services we offer our clients, the number of talented professionals we employ, and the geographic areas we serve.
It’s going to be an exciting time, and we look forward to continuing the journey with our valued clients and partners!