Design Engineering Company
This design engineering company has two offices in the North of England with around 30 staff. They came to us about three years ago, via a referral, looking for support as they were experiencing cash flow difficulties after embarking on an ambitious growth plan that wasn’t delivering as they had expected it to.
Although they had a Finance Manager in place, the Directors felt that they need the support of a more senior and experienced Finance Director (FD) but didn’t require one full-time. This is where our part-time Finance Director role was ideal as they could benefit from an experienced FD a couple of days a month without taking on a large salary. After a year of working together, the Directors asked us to handle their year end accounts, tax (both personal and business), tax planning and payroll as well.
How does the role work?
With this business, Victoria reports directly to the Board and works alongside the Directors and other external senior advisors. She reviews what the Finance Manager does and presents the information to the Board in a monthly board meeting.
One of the biggest impacts that the FD role has had on the business has been putting financial controls in place and increasing the focus on gross profit margin to ensure the core business is profitable. A structure was put in place so that the numbers could be reviewed in real-time and decisions made quickly with confidence that they give an accurate picture.
Victoria spends one day a month split over two days as their FD either face-to-face or virtually going through their monthly results. She also gets involved with reviewing annual budgets, assisting with investment decisions, sourcing finance when required, advising on business strategy, reviewing tax saving strategies and managing dividends for the owners.
When asked about what she enjoys about the FD role, Victoria said “I enjoy helping the directors to sound out ideas for growing their business and giving them clarity on what those scenarios might look like. It is rewarding being able to assist the directors in feeling comfortable with their business performance and providing them with challenge when they are heading down the wrong path. It’s also my job to steer the company back on track when the performance isn’t as strong as expected.”
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