Part-time FD|Isosceles

Part Time FD - More for Less

More for less, that was the request from this venture-backed Guildford-based software development company, when they approached Isosceles for an outsourced finance solution.

In the cash-intensive industry of software development, it is a common requirement, especially of early-stage companies, to get the most out of their cash through intelligent management.

For this company, developers of a unique platform for creating, deploying and operating digital content services, it was imperative to maintain its commercial edge and remain at the forefront of this emerging market, in terms of thought leadership and its technology solutions.

The Requirement

It was clear to the Finance Director that there were some difficult cost-saving decisions to be made if the business was to continue to be a leader in its market. A founder member of the company, the Finance Director was a very experienced and hands-on individual, but knew that he was not being fully utilised and as a consequence, was an expensive resource. He was instrumental in the selection of Isosceles and remains on the Board as a Non-Executive Director.

We needed a flexible individual with a high level of commercial acumen who could confidently fill the role of Finance Director.


The Process

They considered several possible solutions that would save costs yet deliver the high- quality expertise the business required. Recruitment of a part-time Finance Director would certainly be a cost-saving measure, but would not give them the responsive, flexible individual, that was so essential.

Attention was therefore focused upon an outsource solution in which an individual with the right expertise could work on-site.

The Solution

Isosceles’ strength lies in tailoring solutions to each client’s unique requirements and then delivering against a defined service level agreement.

“This company needed a solution that could scale with their business,” said Mike O’Connell, MD of Isosceles. “In addition, they wanted the known quantity of a fixed price contract and a team that came to their offices regularly. Isosceles were able to tick every box and then deliver the service as promised.”

“For me personally, I needed to be able to work well with the new Finance Director,” said the CEO. “But just as importantly, the individual had to have a personality that would fit in with the team as well as the confidence and experience to cut it at board level. These were the primary reasons for choosing Isosceles.”

A flexible, on-site Finance Department was provided, consisting of an experienced Finance Director who understood the unique needs of a growing technology company; and an Accounts Administrator who was able to seamlessly take over the day-to-day accounts processing.

The selection of the new Finance Director was a crucial element to the Isosceles’ solution. This individual not only under- stood the multifaceted role needed within a company of this size, but also was an expert in cash budgeting, forecasting and management. Very quickly, the new Finance Director was accepted as an active and valued adviser to the Board.

The Isosceles solution also involved transferring from Excel spreadsheets to a more sophisticated accounting package (SAGE) and the implementation of a management information system (MIS).

Using detailed cash-flow forecasting and cash-flow management techniques Isosceles has been able to keep working capital requirements to a minimum. In so doing, the return on investment made by the investors could be maximised.

Mike O’Connell, MD of Isosceles

The Implementation

It was a seamless transition to the Isosceles’ solution with no adverse effects within the organisation. Within just one month, the accounting system had been updated, staff had received the relevant training and all aspects of the finance function had been easily transferred. In addition, the new MIS was introduced, equipping directors with more accurate and useful information.

The Results

The positive results of the Isosceles’ solution quickly became evident. The costs of providing a Finance Department were reduced by over 50%, yet with personnel available seven days a week. Investor decisions could now be based on quality information and the CEO has been able to focus once more on the running of the business with the assurance that the financials are under control and information is readily at hand.

Equally important, the service level from Isosceles has flexed to allow revised solutions and measures as the company’s requirements change.

Successful organisations need flexible providers like Isosceles. It is immediately apparent that they have considerable experience in dealing with technology company issues and their communication and financial modelling skills are excellent.