The New Craftsmen partnered with flinder to better understand their financial controls, what they discovered was transformative.
In early 2018 The New Craftsmen found themselves in a tricky position with a complete lack of alignment and understanding of the business vision from a finance perspective. They also had a lack of confidence in financial reporting and poor control environment, this gave them limited business-wide management information & lack of visibility to make informed decisions.
Watch the video on the right to see how flinder has helped Mark Henderson, co-founder of The New Craftsmen level up their reporting and gain clear insight on their lack of alignment.
“I would sum up working with flinder as being an absolute pleasure, they are the best accounting firm I have ever worked with!”
– Mark Henderson, The New Craftsmen co-founder & executive chairman
Question: What is the biggest impact that flinder has had on your business?
Answer: “The biggest change we’ve had is a clarity on the management accounts, we get them on time and rapport that comes with the management accounts. This allows us to question before we have a board or management meeting, but we also found that the people that are preparing the accounts are actually present in the board meetings and therefore give us the opportunity to get instant answers. This give us the speed and clarity of responses, which is something we have only been able to achieve with flinder.”
Question: How has flinder helped your business focus?
Answer: “After The New Craftsmen had been working with flinder for about a year we sat down with Alastair Barlow and went through a half-day session on running through what our operating key results should be. Following on from that exercise we then took the board and the whole company through a process of setting up operating key results for the rest of the year. Working with flinder as they do our management accounts every month, the combination of financial control and strategic interest is really really helpful for our focus.
The outcome has certainly made me and the rest of the team feel calmer and I think it’s really important that you work as a rule with people you like and people you respect and we feel that we have that sort of relationship with flinder.”
Question: What was the on-boarding process like?
Answer: “Bringing flinder on-board was pretty much a seamless exercise, they had a month’s hand over from our previous accountants and during the one month we were working with them, we actually built a three-year out cash flow very quickly, so we had a vision that fitted into our strategy plan.
In terms of the actual on-boarding, there were very clear lists of what was required, but it wasn’t just a case of a short list and ‘please give it to us’, it was a case of anticipating what the issues were likely to be for us. There was very good communication and flinder were very responsive so I think immediately the whole company felt they were dealing with people who were serious, cooperative and helpful rather than saying ‘it’s your problem, you sort it out and we’ll just do the numbers’.
VISION: Complete lack of alignment and understanding of the business vision from Finance
Read, discussed and understood the business plan on day 1
Discussed and set clear objectives and vision for Finance on day 1 – aligning to the business strategy & needs
STRATEGY: Disconnect between finance and the business
Developed and facilitated a 0.5 day strategy session on OKRs (objectives & key results) increasing clarity and adoption across the business
Redefined the role and involvement of Finance with the business; increased communication and embedded Finance through increased face to face meeting rhythm
Attend and participate in Board meetings to present and provide instant responses to questions
Developed relationship, touchpoints with, and understand, all parts of business; retail, trade, supply side and payroll etc. to become a truly embedded finance function