Have you ever met an accountant and assumed you know exactly what they did?
Well keep that thought and read how I do so much more that makes a real difference for my clients. My passion is empowering business owners to be successful by being the best version of themselves.
Recently, I helped Fiona by translating her numbers into English, I LISTENED and advised her for business growth.
Fiona had set up her electronics business a few years ago and was joint MD with her husband Paul. They were very hands on and enjoyed being in control of all aspects of the business from promotion, selling, production through to finances. As they were working in a business that they loved they quickly attracted customers and the business grew from strength to strength. Fiona and Paul just about managed by taking on more and more of the day to day work.
This extra workload was getting too much and they were beginning to feel that the business had turned into an out of control monster.
· The spreadsheets and paper records they had relied on in the early days were just not coping with the volume of orders and deadlines that this expanding business had to deal with. However, they just soldiered on. They were experts in their own fields but thought that by sharing the responsibilities between each other that they were being good directors and addressing all of their legal responsibilities.
· One day they suddenly realised that their small team of staff were not right for the growing business. They had not intended to squeeze anyone out but people had just been given new tasks because a new opportunity had to be covered. By giving the staff too much responsibility not only was there discontent in the office but there was a huge gap in the processes and procedures as everyone cut corners.
· As everyone wanted to be seen to be the go to person the ordering process was out of control, stock levels were very high with obsolete material and supplies. For example components had been ordered as a buyer had enquired about a big job but then never signed up. The key work targets that people had been given did not tie up with the rest of the business. So attracting prospects and having the ability to get the job out as soon as possible did not translate into the fact that some potential orders were time wasters wanting comparison prices.
· Cash was tight, time was being wasted on dead end orders and morale was flagging.
· The result of having too much money tied up in the stores was that although the business was making money on paper there was a real cashflow problem. Paul had tried to solve this with some invoice discounting but the improvement was very short lived as the records they kept to track this were wrong and very confusing. They were never able to reconcile the monthly statements from the bank and their bank manager was very concerned.
The first thing I suggested was to get as much data on cloud based systems as possible. This way everything was transparent and real time information was shared, thus stopping confusion and duplication of effort.
· To address the fact that some members of staff were completely out of their depth a skills review was carried out to match the existing staff to the new organisation chart and roles. The positions that were not filled were recruited for and a couple of apprentices were also taken on as trainees.
· As Fiona and Paul worked in a niche area they did a lot of research for new product lines. This was ideal for applying for R&D Tax Credits which gave them a quick injection of much need cash.
· The premises they worked in was owned so an Embedded Capital Allowance audit organised, this also found some much need cash.
· The production equipment was needing to be replaced so we applied for a grant which went towards the cost of the new machine. With more accurate historical records it was more straightforward to produce the forecast schedules that were asked for to support this grant application. As we were about to start the recruitment process the required extra headcount was also easily identified.
By showing Paul and Fiona how to delegate and outsource key roles and responsibilities it gave them the breathing space they needed and they stopped taking work and stress home.
· They started to sleep better at night.
· The staff were much happier understanding exactly what was needed from them.
· The cashflow stopped being such a worry.
· The director’s annual legal responsibilities could be completed in good time and not months later when the key facts had been forgotten.
All in all Paul and Fiona started doing what they do best instead of being a second rate version of every other role in the business.
Call me today on 07855275099 to organise your free 1 hour Proactive Accounting Meeting, let’s plan your success.