As a growing business we really needed visibility of our key financial numbers and input into the finances of the company.
Up until we met Russell Smith Chartered Accountants we had issues with inaccurate accounts, we were often months behind and had no structure or process to deliver timely accounts each month.
We also had no accurate way of forecasting profit or cost of sales and had no meaningful budgets in place that we could track our actual results against.
It came to the point where I had to accept that our current accountant could not supply the information required and the tough decision to change was made. I needed accurate monthly numbers to enable me as managing director to make good business decisions.
The team at Russell Smith Chartered Accountants have worked tirelessly to not only understand our business and how we need to understand and use our management accounts but also how I work and what I need in my role.
The team were able to address all my problems to the extent that we are now able to provide accurate forecasts for gross profit, cost of sales, net profit and sales.
The team at Russell Smith Chartered Accountants provide clear and up to date monthly management accounts tailored to show exactly what I want to see each month which can change over time especially when I want to highlight certain areas.
We have been a client of Russell Smith Chartered Accountants for over two years now and Russell and his team have delivered whatever I have needed and wanted.
The management accounts now show exactly what I need and as a result of these I am able to make informed decisions saving us tens of thousands of pounds in the last financial year.
Russell and his team are also able to take feedback onboard and deliver what is needed, this is particular useful for me since I am always looking at strengthening the business and need to be able to analyse in depth certain parts of the business finances.
Whilst we had all our year end compliance work done by our previous accountant we wanted more input from an accountant.
We had just signed up with an actionCOACH (a business coach) and wanted to build a team of advisors that would be linked to the coaching.
We knew that Russell Smith Chartered Accountants had strong links to actionCOACH, so we met up with them to see what they could offer that would strengthen the business coaching.
It was the 'financial director' service that we believe would give us the most value, since this would give us a virtual financial director who would be able to communicate our key numbers to us which would complement the business coaching.
The two main parts of the financial director services is that Russell Smith Chartered Accountants produce monthly management accounts for us and also carries out a monthly financial director meeting.
The monthly management accounts raises the visibility of our key numbers to our two directors and the monthly financial director meeting then encourages discussion and brings up important issues that need to be covered either in the short term or long term.
Typical areas that are covered in the meeting are sales targets, gross profit margins, overheads review, debtor days and cash review.
Whilst we are comfortable operating on our accounting system, the figures that it produces are quite dry and do not necessarily produce what we need.
The monthly figures that Russell Smith Chartered Accountants produce are more user friendly.
Also, having the financial director in the meeting going through the numbers and asking questions ensures that the discipline of the planning aspects of the finances happens on a regular basis, for example the budgeting process, which we did not have in the business until now.
The financial director role is good because sometimes you need a third person to have a degree of independence on the numbers who is someone that can come in with the authority to say "what's going on?"
Heather Bellis, Architecture 2B Limited, Leeds
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