The problem of the stairs to the loft27th February 2019
It’s amazing how silly little details can nearly derail a big project.
A few years ago, we decided to expand our office. We bought the neighbouring unit, and knocked it together with our existing office.
The builders came in, work progressed nicely.
And then we came to the Problem Of The Stairs To The Loft. (Soon to be turned into a major motion picture….)
To cut a long story short, we needed 17 steps to make it work.
But according to the building regulations, we could only build 16 steps before we would need a landing. And that would ruin our plans.
The builders suggested one solution, involving steelwork and very significant cost. Our associate director, Shirley Hoy, suggested another. We called back our architect for their suggestions, and our entire staff got involved in the debate.
No one could see how to do it and meanwhile, the building work was falling behind schedule and could have got very significantly more expensive.
Then some bright spark suggested bringing in the building inspector.
He spent two minutes in the building, and told us that because we were extending an existing staircase, the rule doesn’t apply.
17 steps will be just fine…..
It took someone with expert knowledge, from the outside, to see what none of us could.
Alone, we were going round in circles. But the outside expert could cut quickly to the main issue, and allow the project to move forward.
If you have an in-house team managing your company’s finances, this might apply to you too.
Even if they are generally doing a good job, your team might be using old or clunky processes, which are no longer fit-for-purpose and slow everyone down.
Perhaps there are inefficiencies in the way they work, or certain poor practices have become embedded, leaving you open to accounting mistakes or even fraud.
Maybe the members of the team need to be organised differently, so that you get the most out of them.
And there might be gaps in what they are delivering for you – blind spots which they can’t see, because they have never delivered certain financial services before.
You might sense that something is wrong, but you can’t see exactly what.
Or maybe you’ve tried to solve the issues in your finance department yourself….
Coming up with ideas for all the changes you could make…
But the issues are still there. Unsolved. Costing you money, making it difficult to run your company smoothly and efficiently, and leaving your company exposed.
That’s when you bring the outside experts in.
That’s when you bring us in!
Over the past few years, I’ve told you a lot about the services we offer companies that want to outsource their financial management.
But if you have an in-house team and want to keep it that way, we can help you too.
You see, we have vast experience running the finance function for companies just like yours.
So we can spend time reviewing the way your accounting or finance department runs.
And if there are ways to improve it – and the results it delivers for you – we will spot them immediately, and report back.
(Just like the building inspector immediately knew how to solve the issue with our stairs.)
Then your team can implement our recommendations themselves, or if you prefer, we can help you do it.
The end result? Your finance function runs more smoothly, you can run your company more efficiently, and ultimately you can scale faster.