The answer to the question “Can your financial manager also take care of your business finance?” is a resounding YES!.
The proviso is that he/she must have the necessary qualifications and experience to be able to take care of your business finance successfully. Like everything in life, the right qualifications and education provides the bases from which to build solid skills and experience in the role of financial manager.
Without the right qualification and experience, a less than average financial manager can cause huge amounts of damage to your business if they are not equipped to take care of your business finance.
If you are assessing whether your current financial manager can take care of your business finance there are a few questions that need to be answered that will give you a good indication as to if they are up to the task or not:
- Do your management accounts arrive so late that the information is redundant and irrelevant?
- Does your Financial Manager have the required tertiary education? There is a big difference between an Accountant and a Financial Manager. Don’t confuse the two.
- Are you being provided with information that assists you in making strategic decisions?
- Is your monthly reporting out of sync with the annual report and accounts?
- After every audit are you processing realms of material audit adjustments?
- Is your company consistently on a financial decline but your Financial Manager is unable to offer concrete or viable explanations and relevant solutions?
The last thing you want is awkward discussions between top management and investors without providing viable and achievable solutions. What you need is timely, accurate information and a professional with the ability to make forecasts on the back of such information. This accuracy of such forecasts is directly proportional to the experience of your Financial Manager.
What can a good Financial Manager can do for your business?
As businesses grow, their needs increase. The person steering the finances needs to be someone who can take on a broad commercial role. Budgets, Forecasting, operational expenses, IT, tax issues, insurance and back office functions – all of these functions need to run smoothly. A fast growth business needs someone who can anticipate both future opportunities and potential problems and advise company management timeously.
A good financial manager can help management understand which aspects of the business are the most profitable, as well as forecasting ways to exploit other opportunities that present themselves. They should be someone who can provide financial insight but also be able to offer a strategic point of view regarding new products and markets.
Where do you find experienced financial managers?
Experienced financial managers are hard to find. Hard as it may be to believe, excellent financial managers are like hens teeth in South Africa. Companies who appreciate the value of good financial managers hold onto and quickly promote their financial managers. It can take between six and nine months to find the right financial manager for your business. Finding these experienced FM’s can be a long and expensive process and the fact that demand exceeds supply at this level means that good financial managers are head hunted regularly, potentially leaving you worse off than when they started with you initially. This is particularly true in the Employment Equity (EE) space.
There is, however, a solution that is proving to be very successful for businesses in South Africa that are looking for excellent financial managers that won’t be head hunted and have proven track records and still provide a level 4 BEE spend. There are companies that outsource highly qualified and experienced FMs on a part time or interim basis.
What are the benefits of using a part time financial manager?
Outsourced financial managers have proven track records. They have a wealth of experience from which to draw and are able to asses a company’s financial status and offer solutions swiftly. These part time financial managers have made a career out of providing part time solutions to companies and do not wish to be employed on a full time basis. Financially it makes sense for a company to engage with a part time financial manager as you can tailor a package that covers the scope of work needed and yet still fit within your company budget.
What are the benefits of using an outsource company to provide part time financial managers that can handle your company finance?
Outsource companies only engage with financial managers that specialise in part time financial management and accounting services and who have chosen a career in outsourcing their services and expertise part time.They do not undertake this work as a stop gap or until they can find a permanent position elsewhere. The outsourced part time financial manager has the luxury of consulting with the pool of FMs within the outsource company’s network, meaning if they are looking for guidance or assistance with a particular issue they encounter within your business they are able to offer you solutions quickly and effectively.
Photo credit: fundweb.co.uk