FreshBooks appoints Wayne Jackson as CFO to support global expansion, M&A plans

FreshBooks aims to tap Jackson’s acquisition and public markets experience.

FreshBooks has a new chief financial officer (CFO) in Wayne Jackson, who brings over 40 years of global finance experience to the Toronto-based accounting software startup.

Jackson previously served as the CFO of both public and private companies, including Pennsylvania-based digital payments and software firm Cantaloupe and Atlanta cybersecurity company SecureWorks. Prior to that, Jackson spent a few decades working as a senior client service partner at PwC, focusing on compliance, corporate governance, and merger and acquisition (M&A)-related work for a variety of media and cable companies.

With the addition of Jackson, FreshBooks has replaced Michael Washinushi as CFO.

The appointment of Jackson comes as FreshBooks has set its sights on international growth and M&A opportunities. FreshBooks CEO Don Epperson said Jackson’s experience “leading global companies through periods of hyper-growth, including acquisitions and entrance into public markets, will be a huge asset as we continue executing our global expansion strategy.”

With the addition of Jackson, FreshBooks has replaced Michael Washinushi as CFO. According to his LinkedIn profile, Washinushi has been FreshBooks’ CFO since September 2015.

FreshBooks did not say why Washinushi was replaced as CFO, but Epperson said in a statement to BetaKit that Washinushi has not left the company yet, noting that he will be assisting FreshBooks and Jackson “with a gradual transition.”

“Michael has been essential in getting FreshBooks to where we are today, and we owe much of our success to him,” said Epperson. “For the past [seven] years, he has been unwavering, and this dedication will continue as he has chosen to make this change a gradual one.”

For his part, Washinushi told BetaKit he made the decision to leave Freshbooks, and is looking to take personal time off to spend with his family. “After seven great years with the company, I decided it was time for a break,” he said.

FreshBooks has made a number of executive changes in recent years as the startup has grown. Epperson replaced founding CEO Mike McDerment as FreshBooks CEO in early 2021 to spearhead the company’s international growth strategy. Since then, FreshBooks has made a couple of other C-suite moves, appointing Mara Reiff as chief data officer and Renee Pianka as chief people officer.

FreshBooks’ recent growth and C-Suite changes, including the addition of Jackson, may indicate that the company is setting itself up for a potential initial public offering (IPO) in the future.

Asked whether FreshBooks is preparing for an eventual IPO, Epperson didn’t rule out the possibility, noting, “at this time, we are keeping all doors open.”

Other companies at a similar stage as FreshBooks, like Burnaby-based legaltech firm Clio, have made similar executive moves in preparation for an eventual public markets debut.

RELATED: FreshBooks secures $100 million USD debt facility from BMO, JP Morgan

In August 2021, FreshBooks became a unicorn after securing $163 million CAD in growth funding, and that October, the company acquired fellow accounting and invoicing firm FastBill to support its expansion into the German market. The FastBill deal marked FreshBooks’ second acquisition to date since it acquired Mexican invoicing firm Facturama to aid its growth in Latin America.

Armed with an up to $125 million USD debt facility from previous investors BMO and JP Morgan that FreshBooks secured last month, the company plans to continue growing its presence abroad.

Epperson described Jackson as “a seasoned finance leader with over 40 years of experience leading large, public and private global organizations through periods of significant growth.” He added that FreshBooks believes Jackson’s background and experience “will help guide FreshBooks through its next period of growth and global expansion.”

“I see tremendous opportunity ahead for FreshBooks,” Jackson told BetaKit. “All the pieces are in place to unlock even more success. The team is strong, under the leadership of Mike and Don. The balance sheet is strong and we are in a good position to fund future investments in our platform and our go-to-market efforts.”

UPDATE (07/09/22): This story was updated to note responses from Wayne Jackson and Michael Washinushi.

Feature image courtesy FreshBooks.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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