The client had been operating for many years with the same accountant – a well known and much larger firm that NGM. The appointment of a new Financial Director and a pressing need for a more goals driven approach prompted a change.
The client’s only experience of financial reports was that they were delivered 6 weeks after the quarter end. The perception was that they always delivered bad news and, as a result, there was little or no motivation or incentive to manage the outcomes. The board seldom met formally because there was always something more important than looking at bad results. NGM had to fundamentally help change day to day behaviours and the overall culture while providing the board with the financial clarity required to agree its first formal budgets for the year ahead.
Among the fundamental issues that needed addressing were:
In all honesty I had always found company accounts a difficult read, not necessarily the story they told but understanding the detail of them and how to translate the info into something I could use to improve my business. Once I started working with NGM that all changed, where our previous accountant would prepare our accounts and give a very general overview NGM gave a detailed analysis identifying key areas for growth and improvement.
NGM delivered a service that was tailored made for our business needs whilst identifying key areas for analysis.”
NGM introduced a system where management or monthly accounts were produced just 21 days after the month end. In addition, we agreed a reporting timetable to ensure scrutiny of the numbers before they got to the Board so the in-house finance team could bring their specific company experience and knowledge to the table. The new processes ensure that once a review is completed, the Board can meet to review the numbersand confidently decide on a course of action. Content of the agenda broadened over time to look at operational financial issues impacting on results and understanding what the challenges of the marketplace meant for margin.
As we approached the first anniversary of our working relationship, NGM’s involvement broadened to include a detailed forecast for the next 2 years, designed to support even better margin conversations, costing and contract management.