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Is your finance function up to the task?

Is your finance function up to the task?

written by dave eaton [blog]

Finance functions are crucial to every business and successful businesses need to be able to rely on their finance function to help them grow. 

Strong financial controls, a robust governance strategy and the link between your P&L and balance sheet in your financials might not be front of mind for you, but when it comes to getting investment, they will certainly be front of mind to potential investors.  

[…]

The art of e-commerce forecasting

The art of e-commerce forecasting

written by victoria farmer [blog]

Building a robust financial model is vital, especially to support the Series A Funding process. In this article, I examine the key considerations needed for e-commerce businesses.  […]

The e-commerce metrics you need to know 

The e-commerce metrics you need to know 

written by victoria farmer [blog]

Data is the secret to better decision-making. It’s also a magnet for investors. Not only do the right metrics provide intelligence on how to run your business, but they drum up confidence in VCs who find comfort in numbers. In this blog, I explore the key metrics every e-commerce business needs to know.

[…]

What is a Portfolio CFO (And when do you need to get one?)

What is a Portfolio CFO (And when do you need to get one?)

written by dave eaton [blog]

For founders of fast-growth businesses, there is a mountain of jobs that in a more established business would usually fall under the remit of the CFO.  Whilst a full-time CFO might not be an option right now, could a portfolio CFO be the answer? this blog explain more about what portfolio CFO’s do and how they can help fast-growth businesses. 

[…]

Series A funding FAQs – All your questions answered

Series A funding FAQs – All your questions answered

written by dave eaton [blog]

How long does Series A funding last? How much equity is given up in Series A? Find out the answers to these and other common questions in our Series A funding FAQs.

[…]

Crunching Unit Economics: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Crunching Unit Economics: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

written by victoria farmer [blog]

In my last blog, I wrote about unit economics – what it is, why it’s important and how to calculate it. Having worked with lots of e-commerce businesses (and even in one), I know this isn’t always easy. There are a number of mistakes that we often see cropping up – here’s how to avoid making the same mistakes and how to fix them. 

[…]

Can EMI Share Options Transform Your Business?

Can EMI Share Options Transform Your Business?

written by dave eaton [blog]

We set out some of the basics of Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) Share Optionsso you can assess whether it might be the right thing for your business as it scales and grows. 

[…]

Putting a value on your SaaS business

Putting a value on your SaaS business

written by dave eaton [blog]

In my last blog I looked at non-financial qualities investors look for in a future investment.

Here I talk about the hard metrics you need to know (and show), why they’re important and how you present them to create a compelling story for investors. […]

Unit economics for e-commerce businesses

Unit economics for e-commerce businesses

written by victoria farmer [blog]

In this blog I will look at unit economics, what it is, why it’s important and how to calculate it.

[…]

5 things to show investors

5 things to show investors

written by dave eaton [blog]

When it comes to looking for investment in your business, it’s important to put yourself in the investor’s shoes.  

Having helped lots of businesses through the investment process, I wanted to share my experience of what investors look for when it comes to investing.  […]

Going for Series A? Get investor-ready

Going for Series A? Get investor-ready

written by dave eaton [blog]

As businesses move from seed funding to Series A rounds and beyond, the funding process becomes a lot more complicated 

Building a robust financial model with integrated P&L, balance sheet and cash flow is one thing, but knowing what investors are looking for and delivering it is another matter.

[…]

How Thorntons melted away from the high street

How Thorntons melted away from the high street

written by alastair barlow [blog]
First published in Accounting Web 24 March 2021

Retail has seen a lot of losers disappear rapidly from the high street, but Thorntons’ gradual retreat was years in the making.

[…]

Growing pains – founders’ 5 biggest frustrations with accountants

Growing pains – founders’ 5 biggest frustrations with accountants

written by alastair barlow [blog]

In our work with fast-growth companies to transform finance functions, we see common issues and frustrations between founders and their finance support. These frustrations often manifest into problems that impact business growth.

The good news is they are all fixable. As Obama might say, ‘it’s what we do’.

[…]

Fixing finance – turning your function into grandmasters of insight

Fixing finance – turning your function into grandmasters of insight

written by alastair barlow [blog]

As your business grows, the nature of the challenges you’ll face will change. New markets. Fundraising. Expansion. Relocation.

With the exponential increase in data and collaborative cloud tools, your finance function could become business storytellers. And for the sake of your business, they must do.

[…]

When your business is also your baby

When your business is also your baby

written by alastair barlow [blog]

It’s not all plain sailing. Setting up and running your own business isn’t always what you thought it would be.

[…]

Arcadia: Goodnight for retail’s bad knight

Arcadia: Goodnight for retail’s bad knight

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The past decade has been a roller-coaster ride for Britain’s real-life high-street Monopoly owner. In this article, I consider the implications of the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group.

[…]

Daniel Teacher of T-Tech | Client Stories

Daniel Teacher of T-Tech | Client Stories

written by alastair barlow [blog]

We spoke to Daniel Teacher, managing director at T-Tech, who provide technology, consulting, support, & strategy for forward-thinking, small & medium-sized Accountancy practices to add more value & support.

[…]

Boohoo’s sustainability questioned as PwC quits as auditor

Boohoo’s sustainability questioned as PwC quits as auditor

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The fast-fashion retailer saw a surge in virtual footfall due to the nationwide lockdown, but can it climb back from PwC resigning as its auditor and a recent working practice scandal?

[…]

Brendan Shanks of Husky on Financial Innovation, Business Advice, Technology & more | Client Stories

Brendan Shanks of Husky on Financial Innovation, Business Advice, Technology & more | Client Stories

written by alastair barlow [blog]

We spoke to Brendan Shanks, founder and CEO at Husky, a London-based Fintech company that makes it easy to take control of your workplace pension through their app and makes sure you’re investing in what’s important to you. Husky helps to make informed pension decisions so you can take control of your personal financial future.

[…]

7 Tips on How To Write an Award Winning Application

7 Tips on How To Write an Award Winning Application

written by alastair barlow [blog]

I recently had the pleasure of judging the Digital Accountancy Show awards. I’m a big fan of awards. While winning an award, or being shortlisted feels great and is confirmation you’re on the right path, it’s the process of applying for an award that’s much more powerful for your business success.

[…]

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

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