8th February 2016

Case Studies

Turnaround expertise - from £2m T/O loss making to £6m T/O profitable in 2 years!

Yes this looks impressive, but it is true that I helped a specialist roofing business reinvent itself in a very short period of time. Initially I was approached to aid a deteriorating cash position - so much so that the company were considering using loan sharks to give it a few months more life! Fortunately, I was able to advise on the true cash position and created a viable business plan. I supported my client in presenting this to a couple of sympathetic banks that I recommended and soon the company had sufficient funds to stay in business in the short term.

However, this was not all that was required. As Finance Director, I reviewed the business model with the owner and realised that a whole division was disproportionately taking up time, effort and resource and not contributing to the final result. After much discussion, it was decided to close this division. The net benefits were enormous, not only were there significant cost savings, but the owner / manager and his team now had double the time to spend on their more profitable remaining business. They now have an excellent balance sheet and continue to grow profitably

Excessive costs in the accounting function?

Having been appointed as a part time Finance Director of a £10m T/O distributor, I quickly reviewed the work load and objectives of the accounts team. Before my involvement, the company employed a full time Finance Director, Company Secretary / Accountant and an accounts team of 3. The Owner decided that he would give my part time offering a try when the full time FD resigned.

By improving systems, delegation and training, they now have a much more motivated and productive team at a cost of approximately 60% of the original set up! Not only that, but the owner had an experienced "right hand man" to help him guide the business strategically forward.

Systems letting the business down?

Often the smaller business will implement systems - sometimes their own systems. A client of mine set up as an IFA Network with very little up front investment. Although their internally produced systems worked well from their customers' perspective, they were almost unmanageable from the reporting and control aspects.

I have specific skills in IT systems and was able to quickly extract useful data not only for the internal running of the business, but also enabled them to "sell" data to insurance companies and provide the required information for the controlling authorities. The method did not involve the purchase of any additional software licences and helped the business grow from £2m T/O to £15m in the course of 3 years.

Unsure what to do next with the Finance Team?

When I work with my clients, I will always look at ways of improving the output from the team and their motivation. I have had over 20 years experience in this and am keen on putting in place the right mixture of skills and resource at the right levels. Usually I recruit using my cost effective methods - at no additional charge to my clients. Examples of recent successes are -

recruited a trainee management accountant direct from free adverts at local Universities
recruited a company accountant by local advertising at modest cost
trained a motivated and bright employee to take on full accounts production in one year
sourced a self employed book-keeper for no introductory fee on a part time basis

The introduction of a part time Finance Director will give you, the owner / manager, peace of mind that this aspect of your business is in safe hands and enable you to concentrate on what you do best.