How We Transformed Our Financial Management

08th August 2016
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CASE STUDY

Three years ago, we answered a call from a business owner whose in-house accountant was leaving after several years.
While he had generally done a good job, there was one detail that was niggling at the business owner: He had recently told them they were making a small loss.

“I knew what was happening in my own business, and my intuitive sense was that it was profitable,” says the business owner.

That was when we came on board, and quickly discovered that his intuition was correct. The company was turning a small profit.

What had happened was typical for very fast-growing companies (since this one had started in the owner’s own bedroom, it had grown to 10 or 12 employees, and a turnover of nearly £1 million). They outgrow the financial people and systems that suit them early on.

“This was a trigger to professionalise our financial management,” says the business owner.

If this story rings a bell it’s because I’ve actually told it in a previous email, but I’m repeating it now because so often, people ask me: “What do you actually do? How are you different to an accountancy firm?”

So today, for a change, I’d like to tell you what happened next, when they hired us as their outsourced finance department. While I can’t reveal the name of the company or its owner, I recently reached out to him to hear his perspective.

For the first few months, we worked with what they had in place, in order to gain an in-depth understanding of their business and financial situation.

Then it was time for change….

First, we put in place a new set of processes to manage their accounts more effectively. We took responsibility for the numbers, and started using our market-leading accountancy software to make sure they got clear financial reports.

“We were taken back by the financial information we suddenly received,” the business owner told me. “It was fast, it was accurate, and I understood it.
“For the first time, we really knew how we were performing, what was profitable and which of our products were selling.”

We worked with them to use this information to make decisions about what products to develop, what to scale back and where to allocate resources.

“We became a lot more strategic, and I had a lot more confidence in the decisions we were making – and the numbers they were based on.”

In hindsight, he said, “We didn’t have enough financial information to make good decisions with our accountant.”

But that was just the beginning. With the basics in place, we could help them use the financial information we were generating to take much larger decisions about the direction of their business.

 “The result has been that we’ve taken several large steps which we would never have been able to take otherwise. Our accountant would never have known about any of those options.”

In the three years since we’ve worked together, this company has doubled its turnover to over £2 million and grown its workforce, too.

“Now we can plan ahead,” he said. “You challenge us on how we manage our financial affairs. And what I get as a business owner is an overall sense of having a steady hand on the rudder.

“This is way beyond the relationship we’d have with an accountant. It’s added enormous value to our business.”

We give the same service to many other companies who have ambitious growth goals, and who need their financial management to evolve in tandem.

If that sounds like you – or a company you know – and you want to find out more, please get in touch and let’s chat. We’d love to help you get really reliable financial information – and use it to grow strategically, too.

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