With a long-standing heritage, this manufacturing trades body had continued to evolve as an organisation. Like many organisations they had invested in one of the leading accountancy software platforms Sage, which had served them well over the years with their trusted bookkeeper at the helm. However, as happens to many companies, without internal knowledge of the advancements in Sage and someone to keep the platform up-to-date, the system they were reliant on had become a legacy version and they were missing an opportunity by not capitalising on the additional functionality that is now available within the platform.
As a result, processes and ‘work-arounds’ to get the reporting the leadership team required had become lengthy and overly complicated. Far from seamless, the monthly reporting had become an arduous process with the CEO reliant on manually running his own reports in Excel based on basic outputs from Sage.
Under the advice of their new finance director, the organisation identified that they needed help bringing their accounting processes up-to-date as part of their wider project to professionalise their finance function and help the business grow.
They needed to address the fundamental issues; from how daily transactions were being captured and how they were monitoring their budgets; through to how their month-end reporting was being run. To do this they recognised they had neither the capacity nor capability in-house and so brought in a YRH Financial Controller, on a part-time basis working 2 days a month.
With extensive experience of implementing Sage using best practice methodologies, the YRH financial controller soon set to work re-configuring Sage and making it fit for purpose once more. By making small changes such as using the foreign currency function to help the organisation process overseas supplier and customer invoices and by automating bank transfers, our financial controller was able to do much of the ‘heavy lifting’, making processes more efficient and effective. We worked alongside the company’s existing bookkeeper, providing training and in-house support to bring her up to speed with the latest functionality.
More extensive changes were also identified as opportunities to help improve profitability and growth, including implementing Sage’s innovative ‘Product’ module, helping the organisation track stock more effectively and quickly identify its most profitable product lines.
The trades body was able to draw on the skills and expertise of YRH’s financial controller on a flexible basis, enabling them to optimise their existing platform, incorporating the latest functionality and adapting their processes in line with industry best practice whilst also up-skilling their existing team.
The implementation of automated month-end reporting and bank transfers, together with a more structured system has taken the strain off the existing bookkeeper, freeing up 25% of her time to focus on other tasks, whilst improving accuracy and delivering information on a more timely basis.
Similarly, the Finance Director and CEO are now able to access more accurate and better quality reporting giving them back the significant amount of time they were previously spending manually generating the reports they required. With meaningful management information now at their fingertips they can see the bigger picture and make decisions about the future of the business with greater clarity and confidence.
Sage remains one of the leading cloud-based accountancy software platforms, however, when it is not configured correctly to suit the individual business or is not kept up-to-date it can soon become clunky and frustrating. The same can also be said of Xero and QuickBooks and is a common problem in businesses solely employing in-house staff or self-employed bookkeepers who may lack the breadth of experience and not invest as heavily in the latest training or stay abreast of the latest best practice.
There is help at hand though, contact us if you’re looking for a little extra support.Book a discovery call