How Can an Outsourced FD help your business?

21 May 2021

Phil Matthews, Outsourced FD

Phil Matthews, Outsourced FD

With the rise of Advisory services within accounting practices, Phil Matthews of WR Partners throws some light on what his job entails.

What would the benefit be of using the services of an Outsourced FD help your business? Firstly, there’s the obvious answer, helping the business get up to date Management information whilst keeping an eye on KPI’s such as gross margin levels and overheads. There is nothing worse for a growing company than to attract lots of new work, increasing turnover and recruiting staff only to find when the annual accounts are produced, no extra profit has been generated (or worse) and that cashflow is under pressure. Understanding the working capital cycle of a growing business is a vital dynamic that must be understood if a business is to grow successfully.

An outsourced FD can also assist in other areas too. There is often an overlap into IT especially when a business is looking into enhancing its systems and embracing new technology and the associated cost that this entails. I can also look at re-negotiating contracts with suppliers for utilities which goes hand in hand with keeping a lid on overheads. Most of these duties will be undertaken by the owner/ director of a SME, which was probably fine in the early years of a business but as a it grows the pressure to keep on top of these, together with being the main driving force of a business can become overbearing.

We hear a lot about adding value to a business and as an outsourced Finance Director this can take many forms from almost a Quasi Non- executive Director in the advice given, to posting queries or dealing with new legislation that’s being introduced, the key should always be flexibility.

The main drive of an outsourced FD should be” If I was working for you on a permanent basis, what would I want to improve in your business?”.  My involvement can be as little as once a quarter to a day a week, bespoke one-off advice, or ongoing assistance, it’s all down to what your business need is.

An outsourced FD’s role should be more than just producing financial reports, however this is normally where the first introduction is made, either for Management Accounts or forecasting information, but the real value comes from understanding these figures and also understanding the business and that can only be done as part of an ongoing relationship. To understand a business, it is vital to get to know its owners and managers, where they want to go and what they want to achieve. Marrying these ideals and aims to the business performance is the key to providing meaningful advice on the financial information.

What I gain personally when I work with a business as a one off or have a regular contact, Is huge enjoyment from building relationships, providing advice to the owners, and helping them lead their business in the way that’s right for them.

Phil Matthews is part of the WR Partners advisory team offering advice and assistance on all areas of business life.


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