Team Performance Turnaround 4-person Finance Team Case Study

THE SITUATION

The owner approached Emerson Nash because he was worried about his Finance Team’s ability to control the growing business. The management accounts and monthly reporting were six months behind so there was no visibility of current performance.

There were issues with debt collection and a number of other processes within the finance team. The owner had reached the end of his patience and wanted the situation resolved.

The team were struggling to make any improvements and we were asked to take over the management of the team to resolve these issues. The team were trying hard but were struggling with how to manage an increasingly complex business. The finance team had not been able to impact how other functions carried out tasks which directly impacted the finance function’s ability to do their job.

These issues combined to reduce drastically the finance function’s ability to manage and control the business.

THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT

Firstly, to get the management reporting up to date and clear up the aged debtor problems.

Secondly, to structure and strengthen the team to ensure that they would be able to cope with future growth without similar problems building up and have a great positive impact on the wider business.

THE PROJECT

Emerson Nash worked with the team over five months.  In this time, we

  • Provided direction, focus and a strategy for the team to develop their support of the wider business
  • Appraised the skills of the team, putting in place a training and coaching programme
  • Recruited a new Head of Finance into the team and additional team members to add skills and capability
  • Created a focus on invoice queries resolution and debtor management. This included getting support from the other functional teams
  • Re-designed processes in the finance team and operations team to support month-end processes and good practice with the finance team
  • Helped the operations team re-design some of their processes, such as dealing with returned products.
  • Put in place standard reviews and control processes, such as balance sheet reconciliations and payment signoff levels.
  • Found and resolved a variety of compliance and HMRC issues

The steps above combined to create a stable, effective finance function. This created significant confidence in the wider business to enable it to continue growing.

THE OUTCOMES

Within four months, the management accounts and financial information were up to date and accurate.

The business leader and management team were a lot more confident in the performance of the business. Decisions could be made with a lot more confidence, knowing how the business was performing at a variety of levels.

The finance became self-sufficient allowing Emerson Nash to step away, confident that the team would continue delivering and supporting the business.

About the Business

  • The business manufactured high quality durable products and sold these products in over 10 countries across Europe, US and Asia
  • The business had been growing steadily at over 20% per annum for 3 years, with current sales of £6m
  • The finance team was a 4-person team providing support to a 30-person business

 

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