“Our clients have found that they now have a better understanding of their business, as a result of the work Karen has done with them.”
It’s common place for accountants in practice to see business clients struggle with the accuracy of their internal reporting.
There may be limited time a firm can allocate, to drill down into these issues, to improve internal procedures and create useful internal reporting.
The answer for more firms is to outsource that work to a part-time or virtual CFO, who is mobile, part-time, has other SME clients, is low overhead … and low fee relative to firms. They are able to work on the client’s financial control and develop better internal processes.
Lee Turner of FP Accountants, took this step by contacting CFO On Call. They have since referred a number of clients to Brisbane partner, Karen Ovens (pictured). Since referring some of these clients Lee has seen a remarkable turnaround in the internal reporting.
This improvement has been achieved by fixing existing issues, developing new procedures to assist with efficiency and forward reporting, such as projected cash flows. For example:
Child Care Operator – Lee suggested this client work with Karen, as they were requiring more management/operational reviews and reporting. This business has a number of centres and were in the process of rebranding. They were wanting to review the ROI of their spend, and also wanted a monthly KPI dashboard to help improve profitability and monitor performance of each centre. The client is expanding and Karen assists the client by conducting a due diligence review process. The client now has an interactive dashboard that Karen developed and is stored online for the client, Karen and Lee to use at anytime. This assignment was an initial fixed fee and Karen now services them on a monthly retainer to provide monthly reviews of operations.
Lee also has access to the online interactive dashboard and consolidated forecast that Karen does for this client and this assists her immensely in allowing her accurate figures and forecasts for tax planning purposes.
The benefits for firms and clients are:
- Better understanding of their position (especially cash flow)
- Commercial expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring an internal Financial Controller
- Someone to discuss ideas/opportunities with
- Time saving for the client and confidence in their numbers
- Resources for the accounting firm to fulfill a client need, without much supervision/time
- Confidence the CFO isn’t competitive (they have a different focus than the firm)
The client gets their systems properly set up by someone who understands what information needs to come out of them, in order to guide the business with confidence and take advantage of opportunities.