Issues Identified: Growing business, requiring finance
Reporting Method: Creating annual forecasts, comparing actuals to budgets
Our client is an established client using SAGE software. We were doing the bookkeeping for them and also preparing annual accounts and tax compliance, but when their business increased in volume, they started to see cash taking a hit. Rising sales had meant rising costs, and eventually, they needed to arrange credit terms with their bank.
We met with the client, to gain a full understanding of the current business methodologies, growth forecasts, and to see what information they needed to help them make the correct management decisions.
What followed was that we set annual budgets, based on their growth predictions, staffing levels and fixed costs, and turned that into quarterly reports against actual results. We pointed out areas of significant deviation from the budgets so that they could focus on these to ensure they understood their business performance – they relied on our expertise with numbers, put into simple terms that they could understand.
Soon, the client had outgrown the need for our involvement in the input, so we provided them with a skill set that they could put into a job reference to recruit a finance person to work in their business.
We looked at a new type of software that linked with their back-office software to reduce the need for duplication of the sales system, so that they had an up-to-date position of key customer accounts, as we had also identified that their cash collection from customers was a major problem, and getting worse with growth. We put them in touch with a credit controller to work with them to assist this.
The new software meant that we could hand over parts of the bookkeeping function at a pace that worked for them as we could work collaboratively with the client.
A formal quarterly review assisted in their approach to the bank for finance facilities.
Our client says
“Sheards were instrumental in turning piles of invoices and bank statements into numbers that the management team could look at and understand to interpret our business performance against our targets. They provided a critical analysis of key figures while ensuring that we always had a handle on our VAT and tax obligations. Now we do the bookkeeping in house, but Sheards remain a hands-on part of our management reporting, essentially being our finance director at regular intervals during the year- year end accounts are just a formality now; they are old news to us!”