Case Studies

Besides standard management accountancy issues, the following case studies are examples of operational process problems that have arisen within clients’ businesses. When resolved, there was a positive effect on the business direction and cash flows.

1. Cash Flow Problem

Initial issue:

Business was not collecting its debtors; too much cash tied up in the 90+ day buckets; cash flow stresses; business owner was receiving complaint phone calls and emails.
Graphic - Aged Debtor visual

Solution:

Pareto 80:20 principle: That 80% of a business’ cash is owed by 20% of its clients

The business took the system-generated Aged Debtor listing and ranked the clients in order of size and age, matching it to the assigned Client Relationship Manager (CRM)

We distributed a company-wide Friday Flash report, which was sent to all CRMs and the Business Owners

The CRM made contact with each of their clients to discuss operations and new business; a warm and friendly chat rather than a colder credit control call.

Rather than collecting low-hanging fruit, management focus was on the Worst 10 clients until they were resolved. The following week, the next 10 etc.

Statements for material accounts were sent out on a monthly basis.

Effect:

Cash collections improved. Cash stresses removed. Minimised complaint emails to managing director. Business became more cash-flush enabling a business expansion plan.

2. Business planning and periodic re-forecasting

Initial issue:

Gifts business needed to prepare business plan for grant and loan applications.

Solution:

Profit & Loss account

Balance Sheet

Cash flow

Long-term outlook

Graphic - Business Planning P&L visual
Graphic - Business Planning BS visual
Graphic - Business Planning CF visual

Effect:

The plan formed the basis for their operational actions during the year, in the lead up to the main trading period at Christmas. With a written down plan, there was a more definite drive to the business to be successful.

3. Work flow management

Initial issue:

Business was not receiving official Purchase Orders from their client to match against costed quotes provided to them for jobs. The client had several completed jobs ignored because the client had not issued a PO. This was causing relationship issues between the business and the client.

Solution:

An easy-to-use workflow tracker was prepared:

The Operations Manager entered the Work-Order information, including

1. unique job-identifier code
2. job description
3. job manager
4. quote price
5. associated client PO number (and whether unique or blanket PO)
6. date of commencement
7. date of completion

An automated status matrix enabled the Finance Manager to know which jobs were fully certified as completed, enabling prompt weekly invoicing. (See graphic: “Workflow matrix”)

Graphic - Workflow matrix

A dashboard provided senior management with an instant overview of the workflow values. (See graphic: “Workflow dashboard”)

Graphic - Workflow dashboard

Effects:

1. All stages in the workflow tracker were controlled and tracked. Job delineation and stage ownership was understood by both Ops and Finance.
2. Invoices were prepared and processed with minimal querying by the client.
3. Blanket PO levels were constantly tracked, ensuring that no jobs were commenced without PO coverage.
4. Cash inflow improved as there was minimal delay between completion and batch invoicing.

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If any of these or similar issues are occurring within your business, call us for a strictly confidential consultation.

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