Team Performance Turnaround 7-person Finance Team Case Study

THE SITUATION

The MD had lost confidence and trust in his Finance Director and the finance function. There had been a series of reporting surprises, and the MD had regularly stated that the financial results did not represent the operational activities of the business. This made decision making harder and did not inspire confidence that the business was being controlled and managed well by the finance team.

The MD asked Emerson Nash to take over the running of the finance team for six months and transform the function.

THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT

To take over the running of the Finance Function and transform it into a function that supports the business with accurate information and improve the controls so that the mgmt. team had confidence the day to day management of the business was in good hands.  

THE PROJECT

Jess Coles from Emerson Nash took over the leadership of the Finance Function. The work undertaken included:

  • Implementing good controls and reviews on the information being provided the finance team and management of the balance sheet.
  • Setting a financial strategy for the business and a plan for the team to deliver against this strategy and agreed this with the client management team.
  • Set clear expectations of each role – the responsibilities, accountabilities and outputs required.
  • Recruited a new Finance Director into the team who started five months after we started the project.
  • Increased the visibility and accuracy of the cash forecasting, as margins and cash were both low. This provided confidence that the business was going to survive over the next six months.
  • Redesigned processes for credit control and purchase ledger to provide greater visibility and accountability for both these functions.
  • Implemented a new ERP system for the business.

Finance transformed into an effective team, with accurate and consistent reporting, a closer relationship with senior and mid-management within the business and the trust of the MD.

THE OUTCOMES

The MD and senior management team started with a finance function they did not trust and whose numbers didn’t match the operational activity. Emerson Nash transformed this concern into trust and reliance on a strong performing team, delivering for the business. Emerson Nash managed their exit by recruiting a more skilled and experienced Finance Director than the previous incumbent, leaving the business and function in a much better position that when we started the project.

The board could focus outwards on winning the next contract, secure in the knowledge that the finance function would look after the day to day management of the business. The mgmt. team received information and warning of any issues leaving plenty of time to resolve these issues before they became problems.

The business also had a new ERP system and a strong platform to continue growth and expansion plans.

About the Business

  • The team has seven staff members, three being qualified accountants.
  • The business operates across Europe, Scandinavia and over 100 countries globally so had a reasonable level of complexity for the finance team to manage.
  • The business was privately owned, and the founder has grown the business to over £20m in sales

 

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