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There’s often no such thing as a full-time Finance Director role

In large companies, with large finance teams, there will be a full-time Finance Director role, but most companies aren’t that big. If you run a smaller business, this is how you can fill the finance director space.

Run your business on “auto-pilot” and you don’t need a Finance Director

Most businesses do the same thing each day and they have routines which, if followed, will get the job done. If all of the procedures are followed the business runs like a well-oiled machine – on auto-pilot.

When your business is purring along like this you don’t need a Finance Director, you simply need to call in a little extra experience when things change. But how do you get to this position?

Let’s start with a business where the bookkeeping and accounting is in a mess. The key objectives will be to:

  1. Reconcile the bank statements to the accounting records and keep them reconciled.
  2. Get on top of credit control and make sure future sales invoices go out on time and are collected quickly and efficiently.
  3. Set up routines for all the regular bookkeeping transactions and activities such as payroll, so that all transactions are processed correctly within the month when they arise.
  4. Produce monthly management accounts which are informative, consistent, accurate and, ideally, finished within five working days of the month end. The management accounts should identify opportunities for profit improvement and risk reduction.
  5. Resolve any ongoing problems with debtors and creditors, including HMRC and make sure similar problems don’t recur.
  6. Implement a cashflow model

Although all businesses have their idiosyncrasies and specific issues to be understood and resolved, there generally isn’t much more beyond these six points that needs to be dealt with, but they DO need to be dealt with.

And once you are on auto-pilot?

As these six areas come under control and a process for an annual budget has been set up, smaller businesses will be running on auto-pilot as far as their routine financial management is concerned.

Bright, sensible accounting staff can handle most of the work.

At this point that the Finance Director usually gets asked to take responsibility for IT and / or HR and you know that the Finance Director role is no longer full-time!

So if you can see where the process is going to end, why would a smaller company recruit a Finance Director for a full-time position?

There are other, more cost-effective ways of getting a solid finance function in your business that do not require the recruitment and salary costs of a full-time Finance Director.

If you’re wrestling with this problem, give us a call and we’ll see if we can show you a better way of moving forward.


Michael Austin

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