Custom-made solutions for your company

A typical engagement

First things first

We don't start by jumping into the things which worry you most, or by putting out today's fire. We start by listening. And we'll ask for your patience while we ask you a few questions, too.

We want to know what the goals of your shareholders are. We want to understand what your company's strategy is to achieve the shareholders' goals. If the shareholders' goals, company goals or company strategy are not immediately clear, then we will spend time helping you to clarify them. We help you to focus on where you're going, and why, before we set about getting there. We help you to understand what not to do, as well as what to do. We think that a little bit of success is better than a whole load of failure.

We can also advise on internal and external communication of your goals and strategy. We will discover if there an opportunity for us to improve the alignment of suppliers, customers, management and staff behind the company strategy and ensure we are all pulling in the same direction.

We find that small- to medium-sized companies are not wholehearted believers in the benefits of planning, or at least the relevance of planning to them; they're too busy winning revenues, getting orders completed on time, fighting today's fire. We encourage our clients to improve their planning capabilities. Planning really works. It allows you to be clearer about where you're going and how you're going to get there. It prompts you to decide beforehand, with a cool head, what decisions you need to make, which actions you need to take, and when. With good planning, there are fewer surprises.

Planning does need discipline, though, and we are there to help provide this. We can bring you the discipline to define in detail initiatives you need to complete, when you'll complete them, and who will be responsible. We can bring you the discipline to measure and monitor progress. We help you take immediate action when things are not going well, and we lead the celebrations when you succeed.

We can work with you to instil the disciplines of prioritisation in your company, helping all your staff to think about what jobs and tasks add the most value to the company. We can help you to instil an execution mindset in your company. We plan, we prioritise, we execute, we move forward. Steadily.

We run the work around goal setting, planning and prioritisation, discipline and execution in parallel to our work to develop the finance and accounting department.

Development of the Finance and Accounting Department

Our work within the finance and accounting department typically takes the form of a journey. A journey from where you are now, in terms of the capabilities of the department, to where you want to get to.

This journey is called different things by different experts, but it usually involves the move from a position in which the department is solely completing basic transaction recording functions to a position in which the finance department is a business partner, helping the Board of Directors, the CEO, and other departments make better decisions, faster, to accelerate the growth, profitability and sustainability of the company.

The basic transaction processing and recording functions include issuing invoices and receipts, making payments, processing payroll, making annual filings of statutory accounts with the Ministry of Commerce, and the various monthly filings with the Revenue Department, and we would look at improving the accuracy and efficiency of accounting processes. MyCFO is not so focused on getting accounts closed within 10, 5, or even 3 days after month end, but we do work to increase the efficiency of these basic transaction processes in order to free up the time of senior accounting staff for more valuable processes. We might, for example, review the way invoices are being issued, or the number of times per month we make payments to our suppliers, and how.

Once the basic transactions are being carried out in a disciplined, systematic, reliable accurate and efficient manner, we can then look to move from this foundation stage towards introducing more value added processes. These more value added processes might include management reporting (different format, higher level of detail, han statutory accounting, custom built for your company's needs), budgeting and forecasting, cash flow management, capex controls, banking relationships and working capital facility management. Now the company is starting to feel the benefit of more intelligent outputs from the finance and accounting department.

A later step would involve the move to having the finance executives work with senior department managers to help them monitor the performance of their Business Units or departments in real time (weekly or monthly), or the C-Suite executives to help them understand and respond to the financial dynamics of the company. Here, we're focused on understanding what is going well or not, what our choices are (what decisions can we make, what actions can we take) to make improvements, and monitoring whether those decisions and actions are being effective. Finance executives become analysts, coaches and score-keepers for Business Units and the overall company performance.

All that said, every company is unique. The skill of the MyCFO principals is in understanding the unique needs of every client we work with and delivering custom made solutions for each one of them, depending on their needs, over a timeframe which works for them, and to a budget which they can afford.