Many growing SME companies cannot afford the cost of having a full time Financial Director, but they need financial management support on a temporary or part time basis in order to develop their businesses. This is often the type of support that their auditors / accountants are unable to provide and if they can will be at a very high cost. Therefore they need someone who can bring in financial expertise, be independent of their auditors / accountants, and most importantly someone who can be trusted and part of their management team.
Often these growing companies do not recognise the value that part time financial support can bring and, if they do, finding a suitable person that can be trusted can be very difficult. How often are Managing Directors working late a night trying to prepare information, when they should be concentrating on using their skills to develop the business?
Their auditors / accountants will often be reluctant to recommend a third party. The recruitment agencies will not have many people on their books and are often discouraged by the part-time nature as it reduces their commission without reducing the effort required to find a suitable candidate. If they advertise themselves, there are many problems caused by the selection process.
At the Helpful Bean Counter we can work with your business on an on-going basis, providing a number of days support each month, or can provide support on a temporary basis to see through a project or one-off activity. We call the latter a Virtual Finance Director service. As Required! http://www.helpfulbeancounter.co.uk/virtual-finance-director-to-smes/ The Helpful Bean Counter is also regulated by the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA). As such it can provide a high standard for the work carried out. www.helpfulbeancounter.co.uk. Although we are also registered Accountants, our service is not conditional on you leaving your current Accountant
The benefit of establishing a longer-term arrangement is that over time the expert resource builds up a vast working knowledge of the business and becomes a very valuable sounding board for important decisions and it’s in this capacity that most value is added going forward.
Is this a cost effective service?
Having a part time finance director is a cost effective but very useful resource for a lot of companies and the role will be as varied as the company’s own evolution and development. The cost is normally on a daily charge or even hourly basis, and this will be significantly lower than the equivalent charge from your current auditors / accountants. Compared to a full time role the daily cost likely to be higher, but the work will be focused on adding value and not so much involved in daily administration.
Finding the right person and agreeing the scope of the role are perhaps the most difficult challenges for MDs looking for help in this field. After all, most people have never recruited a senior Accountant before!