The business is a family run precision engineering company with a subsidiary in the Czech Republic. The previous Finance Director was dismissed following a number of inaccuracies in the reported numbers to the board; the company was also very dependent on one customer and who was suffering from quality /delivery problems.
The purpose of the assignment was to:
- Play a leading role in strategically redeveloping the business
- Ensure complete and accurate monthly reporting for both the UK and CZ (deadlines had been missed and error levels had increased)
- Restore confidence in the Finance Team
- Overhaul and improve the HR function
Following an initial meeting with the Managing Director an action plan was drawn up to deliver results within 6 months.
The team role analysis revealed that the finance department was previously not given clear direction and was demoralised. The Financial controller was technically strong with a good source of knowledge: the purchase ledger just required management and guidance. The issue was no accurate reporting, inadequate financial modelling and a significantly out of date HR handbook.
- Daily meetings were instigated with the Financial Controller to complete the outstanding statutory accounts and develop a transparent accounting framework in which all costs and revenue were booked to the ledger.
- Regular discussions were held with the Managing & Operations Directors
- Mapped out the existing process, reviewed the constraints and blockages, analysed what is needed and by whom?
- Talked to the senior management team to ensure issues were resolved
Other issues were looked at during this time as confidence in the finance team grew: – for example:
- The auditors were replaced with a firm more suited to the needs of the business.
- Sales and procurement strategy were developed to minimise the rapid swings in profitability.
- Tax planning was introduced.
- Accurate management accounts for the UK & CZ were issued within 5 days of the month end.
- Improvement in morale, leading to less mistakes and willingness to undertake new ideas.
- New improved HR pack now legally compliant and more effective.
- Introduction of 12 week rolling cash forecast for both the UK & CZ.
- Introduction of key risks and a plan to minimise them.
Case Study: Michael Ware (Click here to see his profile)