Financial Direction & Control

All businesses are different, but small companies rarely have the need, or budget to employ a full time Financial Controller or Finance Director. There simply isn’t the work available for a small business to justify such a cost, and yet a growing business is one that needs technical financial support and experience more than ever.  

Having spent many years working in commercial firms of all sizes, we know what it is like “on the ground” on a day to day basis and the challenges that you will face.  

We are therefore able to provide direction, guidance and support for you and become part of your team in a part-time capacity, so you get the full benefit of a senior finance individual without the need to employ.  

If you’d like the reassurance and support of a qualified accountant experienced in working in small businesses themselves, then please contact us to see how we could help.

Management Accounts

Management Accounts show how your business is financially performing for any period, usually a month or quarter. They can contain all sorts of information that will help give more control over your business and make decisions, but normally contain key performance indicators, a profit & loss account, balance sheet and cashflow forecast. A good set of management accounts will contain other operational data, not just “the numbers” 

It is important to understand the management accounts thoroughly, so they should relate to your business and how you think about it. Your profit and loss account might be split by department, sales type or customer type for example. This isn’t a necessity, but your accounts should not come in a standard accounting format that you have to translate every time you get them. 

We work through your management accounts with you, to help you understand and interpret them if its all new to you, or as a supportive and challenging FD if you are more familiar with the content. 

Want to understand your business better? Contact us to talk about how we can help with Management Accounts for your business

Measuring Performance - KPIs & Budgets

What makes your business tick? There are any number of measures which businesses can use to measure performance, some financial and some from a wider operational point of view.  

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs as they are more commonly known) need to be relevant to your business, you and your team. Having a long list of “standard” accounting measures is of little value if they don’t mean anything to you when using them to assess how you are doing. 

Setting targets is very important, but for many small and growing businesses this might only be a sales target based on a big, round aspirational number. A fuller budget helps you understand how your business finances work – and measuring against this budget with your management accounts helps maintain financial discipline and keep control of your costs in a timely manner. 

Talk to us about helping you put a budget together, and other performance measures that can help you run your business.

Cashflow Forecasts

Forecasting cashflow is complicated, some accounting software will tell you some basic numbers,  but it won’t be as accurate (or sometimes even recognise) the more infrequent payments that can often catch you out. VAT, Corporation Tax, dividends or drawings to cover personal tax payments are all things we regularly see coming as a surprise when due. 

Forecasting is therefore important but will never be 100% accurate to the penny – its there so you understand what peaks and troughs are on the horizon and can act accordingly in good time. We work with our clients to include useable forecasts in management accounts packs as these provide a valuable insight into where finances are going based on current balances and forecast trade. 

We also undertake work to forecast for individual projects, such as loan, CBILS or grant application funding from your bank or finance provider.

If you need a forecast building or don't currently get enough information on your cashflow then please get in touch

Process & Accounting System Reviews

Most businesses capture large amounts of information through operational software such as EPOS systems or e-Commerce solutions. This might be used by sales, marketing or operational areas of the business without being linked to finance.  

Your bookkeeper may be working completely independently or manually taking sales information from your software and re-inputting it into your accounts. Nothing frustrates us more than the sight of paper copies of electronic information being keyed back in another bit of software – its more common than you might think. 

We are always looking at efficiencies with our clients. we never advise change without just cause but if you are thinking “there must be a better or easier way of doing this” then an objective review of your financial and commercial systems is a great place to start.  

Some changes could be small, just to help save some time or planning a complete transition to a new system. We’ve been through all sorts of implementations, transitions and upgrades ourselves in the past so we recognise the challenge this can present but also the benefits that it brings and can help project manage this with you.