You want to have regular access to an experienced head, maybe as a sounding board or to guide the business forward, but the business can’t support the salary of hiring someone full-time. An ideal solution for some growing Owner Managed Businesses is a Part-time Finance Director – you get the benefit of an experienced pair of hands, without the full overhead.
Part-time Finance Director
There are two aspects to successfully managing a business – one is ‘minding the store’, the other is keeping an eye out over the brow to the horizon – I’m mixing my metaphors, but you get the picture!
- Operational – it involves the ‘number crunching’, keeping the books uptodate, invoicing, paying bills, payroll, complying with VAT and tax laws, producing management accounts, maybe even preparing budgets. The purpose is to keep the wheels turning (especially managing the cash flow) and to produce information for the business owners to take decisions.
This is typically done by a book-keeper, or an accountant, or an inhouse financial controller. In too many Owner Managed Businesses, I’ve seen big gaps in this function: from simply no management accounts for over two years, to no cash budget at all.
Many business owners don’t know what they should be asking for, or how to use the information they do get.
- Strategic – it involves plotting a path for the business, partly to avoid nasty surprises, partly to fulfil the owners’ goals. It includes identifying risk areas, or areas which would strengthen its position to deliver its services. It might include putting in place all the internal resources and systems in the organisation in preparation for the eventual exit of the founders/owners.
Very few Owner Managed Businesses have this covered at all.
My breadth and depth of experience gives me the capacity to bridge both the operational and strategic. I’ve put in place the people and disciplines needed at an operational level, while also working at the strategic level with the owners.
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