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Case Study

Crisp Media

Quick Hits


Improve financial clarity and comprehension while saving time on financial admin, enabling more efficient operations and strategic decision-making.


Goals achieved. Through the support of her new finance and accounting team, Christine has been able to take a step back to focus on higher level strategy versus day-to-day activities.

Additionally, with the resulting operational efficiencies, Crisp was able to meet a surge in demand for digital advisory services.

Since the inception of our collaboration, Crisp has experienced a 5.6X topline growth.

Tandem Team:

Andrea Pember, Fractional CFO
Himani Sharma, Controller
Dusti Dolan, Bookkeeper
Samantha Agnew, Payroll Administrator

Previous: Teresa Pang, Fractional CFO; Jacinthe Koodo, Business Advisor; Bhavani Kidambi, Fractional CFO

Tandem Services:

Bookkeeping, AP, AR, Payroll, Monthly Close, Tax Compliance, Cash Flow Data Analysis, Financial Modelling, Strategic Growth Support, Reporting, Cash Flow Forecasting, Due Diligence, Year-End Prep


The significant growth of Crisp’s internal HQ team, and the increased focus on staff utilization, has built the infrastructure for ongoing growth. 

“A fractional CFO brings a wealth of experience from working with various businesses, dipping into different industries and scenarios. What’s particularly great about the Tandem model is that while they offer fractional CFO services independently, being part of the Tandem network means they can tap into a vast pool of other expertise as well.

“They draw insights not just from their own background, but also from the diverse experiences of other clients they’ve worked with. This means they’re not limited to their own knowledge but can access a collective intelligence to support our needs.

“It’s like having access to a brain trust of over 370 experts – 370+ brains – which in many ways surpasses what AI can offer.”

Christine Pilkington, Founder & CEO
Crisp Media

About the Company

Crisp Media is a Vancouver-based boutique marketing firm offering consulting and leadership to growing businesses on a fractional and flexible basis. Led by founder and CEO Christine Pilkington, Crisp primarily focuses on three key areas: fractional CMO services, marketing strategy, and support, as well as digital advisory service delivery for the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP). 

This growing team offers a comprehensive bench of marketing talent – including junior marketers, senior marketers, and CMOs – who team up in different configurations depending on the specific needs of each client. 

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Why We Love Them

Over time, Tandem and Crisp have built a strong relationship founded on transparent communication, mutual trust, and a shared commitment to fractional over full-time hiring models.

This partnership is rooted in reciprocity. Not only is Crisp a client of Tandem, but we were once a client of Crisp’s, hiring their fractional CMO services to mature our marketing function at a time when our founder was wearing too many hats. To this day, we continue to share talent, from digital support specialists to CFOs, seeming to seek out and attract folks who vibe with both organizations. Not only that, we also cross refer clients as our communities are aligned in that way. 

Scope of Work

#TheMeetCuteStory: Christine met Tandem founder Tania Lo as fellow entrepreneurs, both seeking to raise capital and support the growth of their businesses during a time when digital platforms began changing the landscape and business models of publishing companies.

Years after they both stumbled into Spring Activator (in its inaugural year!), as Christine’s business experienced rapid growth, she sought Tania’s support to better understand her business’s financials. Christine needed support to inform better decision making on pricing strategy, pacing growth, and hiring the right people, all while meeting her financial obligations. 

In 2020, we matched Crisp with a Business Advisor and Fractional CFO to help Christine improve understanding of her business model and establish a financial strategy for evaluating new opportunities. 

In 2023 when the Government rolled out the  Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), Crisp seized the opportunity to engage with companies seeking digital advisory to uplevel their business as an entry point to Crisp’s marketing services, leveraging the CDAP grant to kick things off.  

To meet the surge in new demand, Crisp needed a different set of team members. We transitioned in a new team with skills required for this next leg of the journey: Andrea Pember, fractional CFO; Himani Sharma, Controller; Dusti Dolan, Bookkeeper; and Samantha Agnew, Payroll Administrator. 

The new team would manage cash flow by implementing strong systems that ensured payroll, accounts payables and receivables were running smoothly (and strategically).  

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The Outcomes

Tandem’s fractional CFO model proved to be a cost-saving game-changer for Crisp. Accessing our CFO’s expertise as needed has enabled Christine to receive strategic financial guidance without the overhead of a full-time executive.

Additionally, with the support of a multi-functional finance and accounting team, Christine has gained clarity on her financial standing, identified growth opportunities and developed strategies to capitalize on them. Since the beginning of our collaboration in 2020, Crisp has experienced a topline growth of 5.6X.

Bumps in the Road

Throughout our work with Crisp, we’ve recognized the need for adaptive planning, ensuring that the teams we build for clients evolve to match their stage of growth. At the beginning of this collaboration, the two team members Tandem brought on were highly effective at providing strategic advisory, but as the needs of Crisp’s business changed, they needed the hands-on support and accounting expertise of a Controller, Bookkeeper and Payroll Administrator – and a CFO experienced in managing such a team.

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What We Learned

Roles must be clearly defined.

Rapidly growing businesses need teams capable of adapting to rapid growth.

Regular client check-ins ensure we can align human capital with business objectives.

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What’s Next

With CDAP winding down, Crisp is shifting its focus to its recurring revenue stream of packaged marketing services. This area saw a 30% topline growth in 2023, and its trajectory is expected to continue increasing as this service becomes the new priority for Crisp in 2024.