The existing FD was unable to perform her duties on a full-time basis, therefore, the Managing Director of the business wanted someone to help with the annual accounts and general running of the finance department until the future became more certain.
However, after meeting with the MD it became apparent that he wanted a lot of other areas also looked at:
- Reports – Clarification of format, distribution and frequency of new reports.
- Cash Flow
- Revamp of Budget
- Investigation of existing financial systems
- Examination of job functions in the finance department
- Website review
- Policies review
- HR reporting systems review
- Trustee meetings – how to make them more relevant and useful to the business
- IT capability e.g. Electronic Care Plans
- Restoration of trust in forecasting capability
- General business review to get a better idea of key issues
The MD and trustees had totally lost confidence in the FD because of some wildly seesawing forecast figures for the year end. I had to convince the MD that this was a communication problem partly caused by his lack of financial experience and that the FD was in fact competent. Also make the FD realize that she shouldn’t be bullied by the MD into producing figures that weren’t fully checked and produce a lot more written explanation and assumptions alongside the figures.
I needed to get the FD to trust me enough to understand that I wasn’t a threat and that I genuinely wanted to help restore confidence in the finance function. Produce a full business review that showed a lot more strengths than weaknesses with solutions to all issues uncovered during the review.
I was able to assure the MD and the Trustees that the charity wasn’t a financial basket case and that with a few changes the FD could continue in the role, thus saving the loss of over 15 years experience in the business.
Case Study: Jon Hather (Click here to see Jon`s Profile)