Charity Case Study 1

Provider:

  1. Horus Consulting
  2. Central London
  3. 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:

  1. Reduce the level of aged debt
  2. Improve morale in the finance function
  3. Introduce robust and regular reporting
  4. 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 was agreed that weekly 1-2-1’s would be held between the Chief Executive and the Finance Director to evaluate progress.
The discussion with the finance team illustrated that the current reporting was cumbersome, largely manual, prone to error and unable to provide management with key performance indicators.

In addition other members of the senior management team were not getting support with tenders or the necessary information to challenge local authorities regarding outstanding debts.

Development:

  1. Involved the finance team in how the revised financial reporting would look
  2. Introduced a robust set of board papers including P&L, balance sheet, Cash flow statement, narrative and budget thus restoring confidence
  3. Undertook full debtor analysis and worked with the credit controller in developing a plan for reducing outstanding debt
  4. Renegotiated payment terms with commissioners which significantly reduced debtors from £2m to £600k
  5. Undertook full analysis of every project enabling £90k loss to be reduced to break even
  6. Introduced an investment strategy to maximise interest on surplus cash
  7. Created a financial template for the fund raising director to enable him to accurately account for tenders

Outcomes:

  1. Strengthened the financial reserves of the charity by 10%, whilst significantly reducing debtors
  2. Played a key part in developing tenders which increased charitable tenders
  3. Steered the charity into a merger with a housing organisation thus providing an exit strategy for the owner