Case Studies

Business Case Study 1 – Pharmaceutical Industry

INTERIM EFSS FINANCE CONSULTANT – US PHARMACEUTICALS BACKGROUND: A US pharmaceutical company was relocating from Oxford to London. In addition to many staff choosing not to relocate, the manager responsible for all European statutory accounting was going on maternity leave. An Interim was needed to complete the accounts for the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. REMIT: The finance function was suffering from a lack of leadership as many key staff had exited the business. In addition, the accounts needed to be completed quickly against a further background of EU realignment. DELIVERABLES: 1. Working closely with the Director of Tax and the International CFO, completed the statutory accounts for the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland within the agreed timeframe. 2. Reconciled the local accounts to US GAAP, explaining all variances for the benefit of the board of directors, in order to speed up the signature

Read more…

Business Case Study 2 – Independent Cargo Handling

“Thunderbirds are go” Provider: Horus Consulting Heathrow Airport 2010/2011 Introduction: The business was a small independent cargo handling agent operating out of London’s Heathrow airport. It handled the operations of a US, Turkish and Indian Airline covering everything from firearms to tropical fish. The company had recently changed hands for a nominal sum of £1 and little due diligence had been done into its current financial status whilst HMRC had just petitioned a winding up order on the company. The purpose of the assignment was to: Assess the viability of the company and whether its current financial status could improve Perform the necessary due dilligence and advise the board of the outcome Build effective relationships quickly in order to make the recommendation. Analysis: This was conducted through meetings with the Managing Director, key advisor and board of the acquiring company over five months clarifying the key issues facing the business.

Read more…

Business Case Study 3 – Management Contract

Provider Horus Consulting Chelmsford, Essex 2010 Introduction A key member of the finance team had resigned to further their career, and the company was likely to relocate to the parent company’s headquarters in the medium term. The purpose of the assignment was to: Step into the shoes of the departing Finance Manager and run the department Write a series of “How to Guides” so that other staff would know what to do Resolve a serious tax issue with HMRC Analysis Following a brief handover from the current finance manager, it was straight into the month end cycle. The parent company had very tight deadlines which had to be met, but many of the processes to get the information needed were time consuming and manual. Development Wrote draft “how to guides” whilst completing the month end cycle Reviewed the way that information was gathered at present and looked for improvement Thoroughly

Read more…

Charity Case Study 1

Provider: Horus Consulting Central London 2007 -2009 Introduction: The charity was established to help those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. The previous finance director had been dismissed for misleading results, debtors were high, financial reporting was inadequate and the finance function was heavily demoralised. The purpose of the assignment was to: Reduce the level of aged debt Improve morale in the finance function Introduce robust and regular reporting Support and advise the senior management team Analysis: This was conducted through meetings with the Chief Executive and other senior managers together with the finance team over two days clarifying the key issues impacting the charity. During this time clear direction was given to the finance team as to what was expected and when. A preliminary report was to be presented to the Chief Executive the following week detailing how the issues would be resolved and the likely time scale. It

Read more…

Charity Case Study 2 – Missionary Position

“Missionary Position” PROVIDER: Horus Consulting Central London 2014/15   INTRODUCTION: The charity exists because 40% of the worldwide Catholic Church is too poor to support itself. It plays a critical role in supporting the local church overseas by training priests, building churches and combating disease. The previous finance director had been dismissed for misleading results, financial reporting was inadequate and the finance function was heavily demoralised.   The purpose of the assignment was to: Introduce robust and regular reporting Improve morale in the finance function Reduce costs Support and advise the senior management team   ANALYSIS: Following an initial meeting with the National Director an action plan was drawn up to deliver results within 6 months. The team role analysis revealed that the finance department was previously not given clear direction and was demoralised. The two finance assistants had a good source of knowledge about the charity, but required management

Read more…

Charity Case Study 3 – The Zoo

Provider Horus Consulting Leicestershire 2009 Introduction The Zoo is the leading primate centre in the UK and was poised to embark upon an ambitious capital programme. However, the collapse of a leading merchant bank meant that the project had to be significantly scaled back. The Zoo has charitable status but is also involved in education projects, has a retail operation (café & shop) and a mini funfair. The purpose of the assignment was to: Assist the Chief Executive and Trustees with their project plan Undertake a detailed financial review as there was severe pressure on cash flow Advise the Chief Executive of Key Performance Indicators /metrics which could be useful Analysis Initially brought in to conduct a financial review following the collapse of a major bank and advise how it could complete its major capital project with less cash. The current Finance Director had no experience in this area. Development

Read more…

Charity Case Study 4 – Royal Trinity Hospice

  Background The United Kingdoms’s oldest recorded Hospice (£12m T/o) was approaching its financial year end, when its head of finance went on extended sick leave. Faced with no experience in house and, in addition, needing to transition from UK GAAP to FRS 102, the charity decided to appoint an interim. Remit The accounts for both the Hospice and associated retail company needed to be completed quickly, whilst at the same time transitioning to a new set of (FRS102). In addition, with no Head of Finance, the COO needed someone who could work on their own but also give guidance on finance matters. Deliverables Working closely with the Chief Operating Officer, the Management Accountant and the honorary treasurer completed the statutory accounts for both the Hospice and the Retail Company within the agreed timeframe. Built a new statutory accounting model to enable both auditors and operational management to efficiently access

Read more…

Manufacturing Case Study 1 – Made to Measure

“Made to Measure” Provider: 1. Horus Consulting 2. Maldon, Essex 3. 2005/06 Introduction: The business is a global leader in online measurement and is the subsidiary of a large PLC. The current Finance Director did not get on with the Vice President of Finance and several key metrics were missed. As a result the Finance Director resigned. The purpose of the assignment was to: Significantly reduce the debtor days (a major concern for the group) Ensure complete and accurate monthly reporting (deadlines had been missed and error levels had increased) Restore confidence in the Maldon Finance Team Analysis: Following an initial meeting with the Vice President of Finance and a brief handover from the departing Finance Director an action plan was drawn up. The team role analysis revealed that the finance department were good individually but unable to work as a team. The Management Accountant was technically strong and a

Read more…

Manufacturing Case Study 2

SECTOR: Manufacturing. A business with £12M turnover.   BRIEF: Following an initial review carried out by HORUS and further internal analysis, the decision was made to accelerate the appointment of a full time FD, with potential impact on the current Finance Manager. HORUS were requested to provide project support in preparing the way for the new FD.   CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS AND CHALLENGES: Mitigate any risk should issues arise with current Finance Manager and act as a starting base for a new FD. Summarise all known problems and propose viable solutions. Develop a draft policy and internal controls/compliance manual which governs the ‘work book’ processes and procedures, from which the new FD can evolve his requirements. Obtain and deliver all company and group reporting, document the reporting requirements timetable, data sources and calculation logic. Support the realignment of the in-house business system, review the advice provided to the project team by

Read more…

Manufacturing Case Study 3 – International Manufacturing

Provider Horus Consulting West Sussex & Czech Republic 2011/12 Introduction The business is a family run precision engineering company with a subsidiary in the Czech Republic. The previous Finance Director was dismissed following a number of inaccuracies in the reported numbers to the board; the company was also very dependent on one customer and who was suffering from quality /delivery problems. The purpose of the assignment was to: Play a leading role in strategically redeveloping the business Ensure complete and accurate monthly reporting for both the UK and CZ(deadlines had been missed and error levels had increased) Restore confidence in the Finance Team Overhaul and improve the HR function Analysis Following an initial meeting with the Managing Director an action plan was drawn up to deliver results within 6 months. The team role analysis revealed that the finance department was previously not given clear direction and was demoralised. The Financial

Read more…