So why do I need a Finance Director?


 

Jan 2018 | Justin Sparks

This is a question we often find clients asking. For many business founders and entrepreneurs the step of recruiting a senior non customer facing individual represents a huge move. Our advice is almost always to get on; take the plunge and make that investment. Looking at the key objections that are often raised:

Why do I need a score keeper?

Any finance function has a role to play in reporting the past and in identifying areas for improvement. That said the best FDs are much more proactive in looking at the underlying drivers of business performance. A subtle change to payment terms or a suggestion around a different method of staff reward can very often deliver tangible cash or profit improvements. This is about the production of quality, timely data – the core skills of a good FD.

I have a perfectly good external accountant?

Very often founders build longstanding and deep relationships with their external advisors. These should not be denigrated at all. That said, an external accountant is just that and is managing his own portfolio of clients. He can never be as close to the real drivers of the business on a day to day basis.

I would rather invest in my sales or operations function

This one is the acid test and very often toughest to overcome. How does one really quantify the financial benefits a good finance director brings. We would urge sceptics to talk to those clients we have helped through transactions on both the disposal and fund raising sides. Without exception they would be able to quantify in real value terms what their FD bought.

I have a simple business – what would a finance director do all day?

Another totally fair and reasonable question. The best FDs can find their way into most commercial aspects of a business. It might be they help more with funding or acquisitions related work or equally many FDs find themselves also overseeing IT or personnel – in truth a good FD should be able to work across a number of functions.

The best finance directors we work with are genuine partners to their CEOs. Their skills are in looking at complex data; analysing trends and making genuine improvements to the businesses they work in. When it comes to raising finance and dealing with funding institutions then an FD is simply a prerequisite. Our advice to clients is simple take that leap and make an FD a key part of your executive team.


WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

"We spoke to a number of advisors before deciding to engage with Springboard. We felt that they had the required experience to look after us properly and were able to give us the personal attention we needed. We are delighted that the results vindicated our choice and would not hesitate to recommend their services."
David ShepheardIndecs Computer Services
"Springboard promised a partner led service and a professional sales process. They delivered on both counts, provided sound advice throughout the transaction and demonstrated considerable commitment to achieving a successful outcome."
Mike GallacherFirst Milk
"The sale of Portman was a complex transaction, Springboard provided excellent support to the institutional and management shareholders throughout the process. Their practical, partner led advice was invaluable in delivering a successful outcome."
Daryl CohenVision Capital
"Springboard provided us with outstanding support throughout the process of raising new investment. They showed great empathy with management and shareholders, yet were also tough enough on us all to drive us through the process. Their communication and negotiation style was outstanding."
Andy ReevesMuddy Boots Software
"We are indebted to Springboard for their professional and dedicated work in successfully bringing the two companies together. Their experience proved invaluable in addressing the complex negotiations whilst allowing the management team to focus on continuing to grow the business. I am in no doubt that Springboard saved us time and energy, reduced our stress, and worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome."
Brian McCluskieTollblend
"Springboard provided excellent technical support, leading us through the complexities of the deal and providing hands on pragmatic advice throughout. Their knowledge of the institutional buyer was invaluable in smoothing the way to a successful outcome. I would have no hesitation in recommending Springboard."
Simon DickinsonWorking on Wellbeing
“Springboard delivered exactly what they promised – a refinancing deal on our terms and in a timely manner. We are delighted with the outcome and would highly recommend Springboard."
Chris DavisDunlop Systems and Components
“The transaction would simply not have been possible without Springboard’s expertise and support over many months. They offered insightful advice every step of the way, from structuring a sensible offer, testing the deal logic, navigating the tricky parts of the negotiation and providing active guidance on fund-raising.  I am happy to give them a five-star recommendation.”
Rod Roberts-DearDearnleys and Pentel
“Springboard delivered a professional, partner led service.  They showed a detailed understanding of all aspects of the transaction and worked hard to ensure the expectations of Livingbridge and our fellow shareholders were exceeded.”
Louise KingstonLivingbridge
“We have worked with Springboard since completing the management buy-out in 2008.  They are highly reactive and have been instrumental in developing my business.  I see them as a trusted business partner and would have no hesitation in recommending them”
Chris KisbyEasy Autocentres