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Case Study – Part-time Financial Director helps growing business to meet the audit threshold with confidence

By Gordon Carmichael

Background

Following a period of rapid growth, the business had outgrown its finance systems, processes and controls. The business was approaching the audit threshold and quarterly corporation tax payments, so cash control and forecasting needed to be reviewed much more frequently.

The MD required more experienced commercial and financial support to help drive growth and assess future options while ensuring that customer focus remained at the heart of the business.


Searching for a solution

Following strategic review and an introduction from Gordon Carmichael who had already been working with the company, we met with the MD so that they could outline their need and discuss how a senior Finance Director would restore confidence, professionalise the finance function and contribute to commercial issues and challenges with regard to growth.

Fundamentally, the Finance Director needed to introduce:

  • insightful management reporting and analysis of performance to enable the MD to make strategic and commercial decisions based on meaningful information
  • stronger financial controls
  • more efficient financial processes

In addition, the role would involve:

  • professionalising the finance function in line with the rapid growth of the business, and ensure it was ready for an audit.
  • restoring confidence and recruiting additional resources where appropriate.
  • introducing robust cash forecasts, both short and longer term.
  • contributing to commercial issues and challenges with regard to growth, new tenders, pricing and strategy.
  • maximising the long-term value of the business.

The solution

Within a week of the meeting, we introduced a senior FD who was an excellent match for the client’s needs and culture due to:

  • possessing strong fundamental accounting skills to ensure smooth running of the day to day activities, that all compliance and regulations were met, and the accounts were true and fair.
  • being comfortable getting their ‘sleeves rolled up’ and understanding the detail as well as the big picture.
  • having a demonstrable track record of helping businesses achieve profitable growth.
  • being experienced in maximising shareholder wealth.

The Finance Director was engaged on a part time basis to enable the client to benefit from the seniority of the FD’s experience at a fraction of the cost of a full time hire.

Benefits

Within the first six months, our Finance Director had delivered against the initial requirements of the strategic high-level brief. They provided added value in terms of identifying additional areas for improvement and implementing positive solutions, such as:

  • delivering a significant improvement in the procurement process and financial controls.
  • introducing a more efficient operating system to reduce cost to the business.
  • proposing and assisting with the selection of an improved project management system and its integration with the financial management system to provide information on project profitability that wasn’t previously available.
  • proposing and systemising additional resources in the finance team.
  • working with strategic advisors and NEDs as well as the senior management team to help prepare the business for growth.

The changes were implemented so as to ensure that customer focus remained a key aspect of the business and was enhanced rather than disrupted.

The key benefit to working with a one of our part-time Finance Director is that their experience and expertise means they can very quickly fit into the management team, identify the known and unknown priorities and deliver commercial outputs within a matter of days.

For a confidential chat about a strategic review or placing an experienced part-time Financial Director into your business, contact Gordon Carmichael .

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