This specialist firm supplying services to the Banking industry had no internal finance expertise, with the role being undertaken by an ex-Bank Manager. The business was also going through a period of review and change, so it found that it needed both a new management structure and better financial input to evaluate strategic options as well as report on and control the finances of the business.
A new CEO with a non-finance background was appointed and realised that the firm lacked adequate financial management across the business and that he needed to rectify this issue, but equally could not justify a full-time appointment. Consequently, Playfair Partnerships were approached, and they proposed an outsourced solution, whereby one of their partners would be appointed FD, providing advice to the board but also overseeing the finance function and the upgrade of the management systems and reporting.
There were no management accounts being produced inhibiting the management’s ability to control the business. The firm’s accounting software was redesigned making information more easily obtainable and facilitating the production of accurate, meaningful and timely accounts.
As part of the service, Playfair Partnerships prepared annual budgets in collaboration with the firm’s management team, together with regular rolling forecasts as changes in the economic environment and banking industry affected the firm’s work levels. This continued for some time and regular updates to the annual budget were required to evaluate alternative strategies.
Through the budgeting and forecasting routines, it became obvious that the market for the firm’s services had shrunk and many of the services were no longer viable. The board used the financial analysis of various strategies and concluded to follow a strategy of significantly downsizing the business. Playfair Partnerships then monitored the outcome.
The downsized business is trading profitably; and Playfair Partnerships continue to provide financial monitoring and advice on a scaled-down basis.
“We initially engaged Playfair Partnerships to provide better financial control for our business as we wanted to get a clearer insight into and control over our financial performance. As our relationship with one of their partners – Richard Cranstone – grew, we decided that he added value way beyond that of a financial controller and asked him to become our part-time FD. He now brings strategic insights and business development advice as well as a financial perspective to the board”. – CEO