Recently acquired by a private equity firm, a new management team was brought in to lead the company. The client’s initial need was assistance with customer account reconciliation in preparation for the new accounts receivable manager that was to join the company. Additionally, the client was interviewing for key finance leadership positions which would oversee the finance team, lead financial reporting and analysis, drive the budgeting process, and be key liaison with the private equity shareholders.
DLC’s involvement occurred against the backdrop of an extended audit which had been delayed resulting from several complicated accounting issues associated with the recent acquisition and was taking a considerable amount of staff focus.
The client had several key initiatives underway but was lacking the mid-level leadership to drive implementation. The search for key positions was taking longer than expected causing the delays and lack of leadership on key processes and new initiatives. An immediate need for management experience was required to assist in the resolution of several key matters such as:
- Current reconciliation of customer accounts to drive collections and cash flows, current reporting, and customer account activity.
- Management reporting packages had not been issued for several months, other period closes and reporting matters nearing.
- General finance team leadership was lacking as a result of the vacant finance director position.
- Implementation of a key budgeting and reporting tool was underway although limited system implementation experience existed within the finance team.
DLC deployed an experienced consultant with exposure to dynamic environments in which the client was currently operating and with the ability to operate at all levels of management effectively. On the initial deployment, the consultant was to provide maximum assistance on the task provided and to identify additional areas where assistance was required.
This required the consultant to:
- Quickly assess the state of the client’s accounts receivable records and processes.
- Assess and identify the impact of open positions and responsibilities including activities to be completed.
- Establish a trusted working relationship with the CFO, Controller, and accounting and finance team personnel.
- Flexible to the client’s needs and assist with the prioritization of projects.
- Provide leadership and experience as all levels and assignments assumed. A willingness to act in leadership or subordinate roles as required was essential to establishing and maintaining successful working relationships in transitioning roles.
As Interim Reporting Manager, the consultant worked with finance team members to issue outstanding management and board reporting packages, including establishing the process for gathering supporting source documentation to be known as “the Book”, and transitioning the role to the newly hired reporting manager.
As Interim Finance Director, the consultant led the finance team through continued issuances of monthly reporting packages, oversaw the initial implementation phases of the budget and reporting tool, and kicked-off of the 5 year strategic plan preparation and review – a precursor to the upcoming budgeting process. Transitioning the role of Finance Director identified an opportunity for continued consulting regarding hands-on development and implementation assistance for the company’s budget and reporting tool, working the software implementation consultants.
The consultant’s knowledge of the company’s business and processes, and a willingness to act in a subordinate position further lead to assuming a role in the core finance team taking on divisional reporting and analysis responsibilities, working with divisional executives and leadership on reviewing period reporting results, and preparation of the strategic plan and budget using the new budget and reporting tool in development.
The consultant was also involved in several additional projects including restructuring of the profit and loss statement presentation and analysis of discontinued operations, to name a few.
DLC’s efforts resulted in the fulfillment of key interim roles and the successful transition of responsibilities to company personnel. The consultant’s deep knowledge of the company’s operations, processes and personnel became a vital asset to the finance team and the company in general resulting in a contiguous consulting relationship of over eight-months.
Key successes included:
- Successful reconciliation and identification of processes and controls relating to customer accounts receivable.
- Successful assumption of duties and responsibilities for the Finance Director, Reporting Manager, and Finance Team Manager roles, allowing the client adequate time to seek the ‘right’ candidate to fulfill key open finance positions.
- Successful transition of duties and responsibilities to the Finance Director, Reporting Manager and finance team member roles.
- Development of a trusted advisor relationship to divisional executives and other finance team members, including a mentor resource for several colleagues.
- Critical contribution to a growing company in a dynamic environment requiring knowledgeable, competent and hands-on support.