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7 Tips for Planning an Investor-Focused Model

7 Tips for Planning an Investor-Focused Model

written by alastair barlow [blog]

There are a lot of apps available to build forecasts. They all work to some extent but like everything, they have their sweet spot and they have their limitations. The more you pay, the more power and functionality you get. But if you’re looking to build a multi-year model to put in front of an investor, expect to build it in a spreadsheet. It pains me to say that given how much we leverage technology but it’s the way it is (for now). Equally, investors know and understand spreadsheets; it’s much less likely they know and understand the black box of an app you choose.

[…]

From the 1770s to the 2020s | How Debenhams is Fighting to Survive

From the 1770s to the 2020s | How Debenhams is Fighting to Survive

written by alastair barlow [blog]

It can be pretty confusing to understand what is really going on with high-street companies. Even before Covid-19 times, there seemed to be continual news of high-street giants shedding jobs or closing down. In recent months, we’ve seen even more of a flurry of high-street redundancies, closures, CVAs, and administrations. Unfortunately, Debenhams is just another on a long list, that’s getting longer.

[…]

6 Lessons to Grow like GymShark

6 Lessons to Grow like GymShark

written by alastair barlow [blog]

If you haven’t seen the news, Gymshark announced it’s now worth more than £1bn thanks to a 21% investment from General Atlantic. This now brings founder, Ben Francis’, share of Gymshark to over £700m.
[…]

4 lessons in leadership and team work from Coach Carter

4 lessons in leadership and team work from Coach Carter

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I recently watched the movie Coach Carter for the first time – if you haven’t seen it before it’s a biographical sports film drama based on the true story of a basketball coach (Coach Ken Carter) played in the movie by Samuel L Jackson.
[…]

7 common mistakes to avoid when setting up an EMI scheme

7 common mistakes to avoid when setting up an EMI scheme

written by Dave Eaton [blog]

Share options are common currency today for attracting and retaining staff in the fast-growth tech world. They are also becoming more common place in other companies. Share options are frequently used to incentivise, and part compensate, employees in their commitment to an aligned goal of increasing the value of the business, and thus rewarding loyal employees when that value is realised.

How TM Lewin are approaching a post-COVID-19 landscape

How TM Lewin are approaching a post-COVID-19 landscape

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Another one bites the dust. After celebrating the British success story of Gymshark in my last article, I feel compelled to pick apart one of the many recent downfalls.

How Gymshark has scaled like a tech company

How Gymshark has scaled like a tech company

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I often write about screw-ups; Jamie Oliver, Patisserie Valerie, HMV, Theranos, Marks & Spencer, Pizza Express, Heinz etc. After all, we learn most from mistakes – and learning from other people’s means we can hopefully avoid making them ourselves.

However, this time I want to write about a company that’s doing things well, a company that has an inspiring story, and hopefully one we can also learn just as much from – Gymshark.

How to Reach Peak Mental Fitness – Mindfulness For All Accountants

How to Reach Peak Mental Fitness – Mindfulness For All Accountants

written by alastair barlow [blog]

In this webinar, I wanted to give my views on how to keep a focused state of mind to increase your ability in both business and personal performance. I feel it is critical in stressful times to be able to de-stress, reenergize, and focus on the task at hand, especially during the current times of this webinar being recorded.

What you can learn from McMillion$ Monopoly scam

What you can learn from McMillion$ Monopoly scam

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I’ve started watching McMillion$ on Sky. McMillion$ is the story of the McDonalds Monopoly scam that occurred between 1995 and 2001. I’m only a couple of episodes into it so I don’t know the full story yet but it’s fascinating to watch and hear.

The Last Dance: Business lessons from Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls

The Last Dance: Business lessons from Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls

Listen to the article:

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I was a huge Michael Jordan fan; I watched every game on Eurosport as a kid, I even had a full-sized poster of him in my room (next to Charles Barkley from the Phoenix Suns). But even if you’re not a basketball fan, if you haven’t seen The Last Dance, you’re missing out on one of the most inspiring sporting stories of all time.

How to lose £650m revenue in a month | Primark Vs. COVID-19

How to lose £650m revenue in a month | Primark Vs. COVID-19

Listen to the article:

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I’m not going to dress this up – physical retail has absolutely and definitively taken a complete beating in the last month.

What riding a bike can teach us about the life of an entrepreneur

What riding a bike can teach us about the life of an entrepreneur

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I was recently out on my bike getting a bit of exercise and whilst out I had a few thoughts on how the countryside hills I was navigating had some parallels to being an entrepreneur running a business. The following are my thoughts I recorded while cycling that explains the challenges:

How we are approaching COVID-19 & how to safeguard your business

How we are approaching COVID-19 & how to safeguard your business

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Hope you’re doing well and combatting any cabin fever you may be feeling working from home the past week! In this blog post I wanted to talk about how we are approaching COVID-19 at flinder & how you can safeguard your business in the months ahead.

An Important Message to our Clients

An Important Message to our Clients

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Here’s an important email that I sent out earlier today to flinder clients:

Dear all, following on from my note last Friday please see below additional business exercises to consider in these testing times. Businesses need to prepare for potential significant business disruption and adverse impact to demand (some may actually see an increase in demand depending on their sector).

How To Get to Sleep for Business Owners 😴

How To Get to Sleep for Business Owners 😴

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Many entrepreneurs struggle to get enough sleep. I’m one of them – my most creative thoughts come to me in the middle of the night. I can fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow but it’s the 4 hours later that I’m literally wide awake with so many ideas running through my head. And so with that in mind, this week’s 3 things are all about sleep….

A message from flinder on COVID-19

A message from flinder on COVID-19

written by alastair barlow [blog]

This is a note that I sent out to our clients earlier today in light of the recent developments with COVID-19.

Can Marks & Spencer’s new CFO make his mark, and spark a return to the FTSE100?

Can Marks & Spencer’s new CFO make his mark, and spark a return to the FTSE100?

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Alastair Barlow examines the history of M&S leading up to its recent deterioration and loss of CFO Humphrey Singer.

flinder wins Mid-Sized Practice of The Year at IRIS Customer Services Awards 2020

flinder wins Mid-Sized Practice of The Year at IRIS Customer Services Awards 2020

written by alastair barlow [blog]

flinder celebrated in style as they took home Mid-Sized Practice of the Year 2020 after experiencing unprecedented growth in the past 12 months.

HMV’s Top Dog could be in the kennels once again

HMV’s Top Dog could be in the kennels once again

written by alastair barlow [blog]

HMV has been in the news recently so I thought I would dig in a little deeper to see what was going on with its performance and strategy. Have a read below for my take on this once high-street super-giant!

How science & data beat intuition and how you can use it to your benefit | Moneyball

How science & data beat intuition and how you can use it to your benefit | Moneyball

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Moneyball is a 2011 American sports film based on Michael Lewis’s 2003 non-fiction book of the same name. It’s based on the true story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane’s attempts to assemble a competitive team using data!

How my customer experience at Snow & Rock can shape your business

How my customer experience at Snow & Rock can shape your business

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Value is one of the most important concepts in business but too often we let price get in the way of seeing the value.

Read this inspirational and determined letter from Jeff Bezos to his shareholders in 1997

Read this inspirational and determined letter from Jeff Bezos to his shareholders in 1997

written by alastair barlow [blog]

As we get back to work this week at the start of a new decade, many businesses (and people in general) will be thinking about objectives (or New Year’s resolutions) for the coming year. While the business side of this should have been done a long time ago, it’s better late than never.

Creative accounting: Don’t put investors off

Creative accounting: Don’t put investors off

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Finance is not a support function so don’t treat it that way: it’s an enabler to making sound decisions and getting investment, so get your act together and stop putting investors off, writes triple Accounting Excellence award-winner Alastair Barlow.

Your 2020 ultimate structured strategy approach has arrived!

Your 2020 ultimate structured strategy approach has arrived!

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Happy New Year – we hope it’s a great one! What you’re about to read will flip all your goals for the next year upside down.

Airtable: The cool, new database on the block

Airtable: The cool, new database on the block

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Have you ever used Airtable?

If not, you’re missing out as there some incredible features that have changed how we work at flinder.
Here’s the low-down 👇👇👇
The power of segmentation with the three types of data in your business

The power of segmentation with the three types of data in your business

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I had an interesting conversation with a business this week about their data…
I’ve previously talked about our 4 Pillars of Effective Data which you can read on our blog. At a high-level our model covers the following domains:
Does Pizza Express have enough dough?

Does Pizza Express have enough dough?

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I’m guessing most readers have either visited or at least have heard of Pizza Express. After all, they are on pretty much every high street across the country.
Lessons in real-time analytics from racing the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 simulator at Suzuka

Lessons in real-time analytics from racing the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 simulator at Suzuka

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Last week I had the joyous experience of sitting in an F1 simulator – the full on virtual reality version at Mercedes-Benz World. It was an incredible immersive experience whereby I actually felt like I was on the grid and racing the Suzuka circuit in Japan. Words just do not do justice to the experience!

How a coach and OKRs helped me run again

How a coach and OKRs helped me run again

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I used to love running – I used to run a few times a week without fail. However, I hadn’t run a race for over 3 years until last Sunday. Normally, I’m pretty competitive but this time, I was just running to complete it.
Independent Firm of the Year – Greater London | British Accountancy Awards 2019

Independent Firm of the Year – Greater London | British Accountancy Awards 2019

written by alastair barlow [blog]

flinder wins Independent Firm of the Year – Greater London at the British Accountancy Awards 2019. Sponsored by Accountancy Age Jobs
3 is the magic number! | Accounting Excellence Awards

3 is the magic number! | Accounting Excellence Awards

written by alastair barlow [blog]

We recently attended the 2019 Accounting Excellence Awards in London where we won 3 🏆🏆🏆 national awards…
Heinz cans CFO: How not to Kraft a finance strategy

Heinz cans CFO: How not to Kraft a finance strategy

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Heinz’s appointment of a 29-year-old non-accountant as CFO ultimately led to accounting errors, scandals and a plunging share price, and he was swiftly replaced. Alastair Barlow examines how modern finance leaders need to walk the fine line between control, compliance and performance management.
Patisserie Valerie: How to strip out the fat but leave the butter

Patisserie Valerie: How to strip out the fat but leave the butter

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The Patisserie Valerie story is one that Hollywood could very well have written. After listing on AIM in 2014, Patisserie Valerie held a higher than industry-average price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, exhibited strong year-on-year growth and, just a year ago, had a valuation of approximately £450m.
Why data is power: Our 4 Key Pillars of Effective Data™

Why data is power: Our 4 Key Pillars of Effective Data™

written by alastair barlow [blog]

If technology is the engine behind your business, processes, customer experience or even designs, then data is most certainly the new oil. While oil is there to make sure your engine runs smoothly, data is also a rich resource and powerful commodity the can drive your business performance.

Are all accounting firms born equal?

Are all accounting firms born equal?

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Are all accounting firms born equal? Not quite, here’s just one reason why we are different…

I recently recorded a top tip with ACCA to share with other accountants (I have flashes of altruism) – I realise that accountants and accounting firms are often viewed as the same with little differentiation.
This is how we view and transform the finance function.

This is how we view and transform the finance function.

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Every company has a talent, Apple make beautiful products, ,Google do search and Amazon delivers, well anything…
While maybe not to the same scale, flinder transforms and runs finance functions! 
But how do we do this? It’s all in our approach: The flinder Effect – let me tell you more…
First blood: What ambitious businesses can learn from Theranos

First blood: What ambitious businesses can learn from Theranos

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The much-hyped startup Theranos raised hundreds of millions in investment all based on a lie. Ultimately, the story is about how growth targets can metastasise if not properly set and controlled. In this month’s AccountingWeb column, I dissect the case to extract a few key lessons for ambitious businesses.
6 steps to designing an awesome reporting blueprint that kicks-ass!

6 steps to designing an awesome reporting blueprint that kicks-ass!

written by alastair barlow [blog]

Over the past 20 years, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of reporting. There’s one theme I see time and time again; Finance teams produce what they think is relevant and stakeholders don’t really value what they are given. There is a huge mismatch between the two. But why?
Fyre Festival – 4 lessons of a fraudster 💸

Fyre Festival – 4 lessons of a fraudster 💸

written by alastair barlow [blog]

If you haven’t come across Fyre Festival (where have you been for the last 2 weeks?) it was an event (or a disaster) that was to be held on Pablo Escobar’s island Great Exuma in the Bahamas in April 2017. 
How the Naked Chef got Caught with His Pants Down…

How the Naked Chef got Caught with His Pants Down…

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The ‘Naked Chef’ Jamie Oliver has seen his second restaurant group go down in flames with about 1,000 jobs lost. The sad collapse offers four key lessons for interested observers.
6 Key Principles of Leading Practice Management Information

6 Key Principles of Leading Practice Management Information

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I recently gave a talk on How to be a Kick-Ass CFO at Accountex in London (Europe’s largest accounting conference). Most of my presentation circled around improving management information.

We won a marketing award! Here’s how we did it.

We won a marketing award! Here’s how we did it.

written by alastair barlow [blog]

At this year’s Accountex our efforts paid off when we won ‘Best Personal Brand‘ at the British Accounting Marketing Awards! In this newsletter we want to give you some insight into how we achieved this fantastic award to help you increase your own awareness.

[…]

Here’s the top lessons from Accountex

Here’s the top lessons from Accountex

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The past couple of days I’ve attended Accountex in London and I’m exhausted from it! If you read my previous newsletter on management lessons from my fitbit I absolutely smashed my steps over the 2 days and my calories target – I actually burned 4,000 calories on day 1 from walking around. It really is on a huge scale!
[…]

Here’s my Accountex talk on How to be a Kick-Ass CFO!

Here’s my Accountex talk on How to be a Kick-Ass CFO!

written by alastair barlow [blog]

At this year’s Accountex in London, I gave a talk on ‘How to be a kick-ass CFO and leave work early at month end’. The session centred around delivering much better management information (based on our 6 key principles methodology) and a worked example.
[…]

management lessons from my fitbit

management lessons from my fitbit

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I’ve had a personal trainer for about 18 months now – he’s awesome. We’ve worked hard together (more so me!) to shift some of the fat I put on post ankle surgery (invasive micro-fracture surgery on my ankle where my cartilage had pretty much disintegrated). It turns out running is not that great for you after all!
[…]

How skiing as a team helps us reach our objectives

How skiing as a team helps us reach our objectives

written by alastair barlow [blog]

If you follow us on social media you’ve probably seen we recently came back from our annual flinder Takes The Piste! ski trip. It was pretty epic, as you can see from some of the pictures and videos.

[…]

3 key benefits of using mid-market software to grow your SME

3 key benefits of using mid-market software to grow your SME

guest written by darren cran [blog]

Getting a business off the ground often means skimping on avoidable expenses, but there comes a time when it makes sense to invest in a few important upgrades.
[…]

how business finance and cashflow management go hand in hand in the digital era

how business finance and cashflow management go hand in hand in the digital era

guest written by conrad ford [blog]

A business’s capital is affected by many moving parts, so it’s hard to always keep track of your cashflow, especially if you’re a non finance person.
[…]

flinder client & staff ski trip 2018

flinder client & staff ski trip 2018

hosted by alastair barlow & luke streeter

culture is important to us and so is having shared values with our clients. here’s a sneak peak at the culture within flinder at our client & staff ski trip to morzine, france. hopefully, you can join us next year! […]

how alternative business finance can drive business growth

how alternative business finance can drive business growth

guest written by conrad ford [blog]

There are many obstacles businesses need to conquer to succeed. From setup and survival, to stability and expansion — one of the biggest challenges at every stage is cashflow.
[…]

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