By Lynne Bulstrode – Lead Adviser – FD on Demand.
In my previous blog I talked about my unique role and responsibilities at Inspire and how I provide businesses with support, often undertaking the role of Finance Director or Financial Controller on Demand.
Many small and medium sized businesses do not employ a Finance Director (FD). Is this a problem?
On a day to day basis most smaller businesses do not need an FD and have good accounting personnel that look after the numbers.
However, FD support is in fact needed on a regular and ad-hoc basis for all businesses, whatever their size. Business owners do benefit from the advice and support of a well qualified FD.
Yes business owners are experts in what they do be it engineering, recruitment or construction, but that does not automatically mean that they have the skills of a finance director and the business benefits from the financial insights and financial strategic advice that an FD would provide.
So what role does an FD perform?
- Provide and interpret good analytical management information.
- Consider product and customer profitability and key trends in the business.
- Provide advice about the financial well being of the business, especially focusing on cash flow management and identification of cost savings.
- Advise on major projects and expenditures (such as new premises or asset acquisitions)
- Planning for the future of the business including key milestones, and acting as a strategic sounding board.
- This future planning can include budgets and forecasts that would support financing applications. An FD would also handle those financing negotiations for the business owner at the bank.
- Provide advice and support to accounting personnel, especially at month ends and the financial year end.
But don’t panic! The good news is, if you do not have a full time FD you can still benefit from an FDs support and advice via the FD on Demand Service that Inspire provides.
The key aspect of the FD on Demand Service is that it is entirely bespoke and is tailored to each individual company’s requirements and as such there is no “standard package”. Essentially, we provide the resource to carry out the activities that an FD would do within each business, so is unique to each business.