Outsourcing: Which “shore” is right for the SME?

Which “shore” is right for the SME: onshore, nearshore or offshore As technologies converge facilitating the easy transfer of documents and data, and as communications improve to allow the provision of services anytime, anyplace, anywhere so the question has emerged in the world of SME outsourced accounting:  “which is better onshore, near-shore or offshore ?” What is the Difference Between the ‘Shores’? Let me start, for the avoidance of doubt and … Continue reading

Is it possible to revitalise a tired venture capital backed business?

Being a venture capitalist must be one of the toughest jobs going – they are as popular as a traffic warden who used to be an investment banker. Their odds of success are no more than one or two projects in ten. Although they perform as much due diligence as they can, they are still reliant upon the representations that the management team make. If they succeed no one likes them, if they fail they deserved … Continue reading

Is Crowdfunding suitable for ambitious, fast growing technology businesses?

Having worked with several entrepreneurial businesses, we understand how difficult it can be to raise funding to start and grow a business.  The task of securing investment can be a lengthy process, one which may take several weeks and months of effort. We recently exhibited at VentureFest East which brings together innovators, successful entrepreneurs and investors. It addresses issues specifically related to building a business in today’s fast moving market. … Continue reading

An accounting problem shared is a problem solved!

Have you considered outsourcing your finance and accounting function yet? The decision to outsource is not an easy one.  It is a big step and there is no getting away from that – and yes it is true, there are risks involved.  But reward and risk go hand-in-hand.  With an experienced partner, and the right approach, it is a rewarding journey to take. If you have taken the decision to … Continue reading

Outsourcing bridges the accounting skills gap for SMEs

Running a small or medium business involves managing a range of priorities and challenges, many of which can needlessly burden the management team. By investing in qualified accounting resource, finance doesn’t need to contribute to the burden. In SMEs 36% of those responsible for finance and accounts do not have a relevant qualification According to recent research by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) into how SMEs manage their accounting: … Continue reading

What is the role of the Finance Director?

The modern finance director has changed, no longer are they expected to just ‘count beans’ or be a ‘safe pair of hands’. So what exactly DOES a Finance Director do? As a supplier of part-time FD and interim FD services, we are often faced with clients who are not entirely sure what a finance director does, or why they should need one. “I have a financial controller who is more than … Continue reading

Good budgeting and planning is more than just financials

Every business management theory book, since the emergence of spreadsheets, highlights the importance of budgeting and planning but I am still surprised at how few small and medium sized companies budget or plan sufficiently. There is nothing more likely to accelerate business success than a coherent and accurate financial plan. On the flip side, nothing is more likely to jeopardise your business than the lack of a strong plan. Why then … Continue reading

Financial Reporting: Do you have the right information at the right time?

It is surprising how many businesses struggle to get timely and accurate financial information at the end of each month. Off-the-shelf accounting packages such as Xero, Sage and QuickBooks are cost effective and very good at what they do, hence their popularity, but when it comes to reporting they are very limited. Yet without accurate financial reporting – up-to-date visibility of how the business is performing against key business drivers how … Continue reading

Outsourced Accounting: What is the True Cost of an Employee?

When I am in a ‘sales’ situation explaining the benefits of outsourced accounting or a part time FD, one of the thorny issues I have to deal with is the question, “what is the real cost of an employee?” In fact, just the process of looking at outsourcing part of a business process is healthy because establishing the cost of an employee is one of the central questions that a … Continue reading

Visual analytics – making sense of the numbers

Too much data We live in a brave new world of Big Data and Business Intelligence (BI).  In recent years there has been unparalleled investment in new technologies that bring together vast amounts of data from disparate, often unconnected, systems.  Larger organisations can use tools such as OLAP to analyse and crunch data as never before in order to gain a competitive advantage.  At the same time SMEs have been … Continue reading