Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Secantor supports Activ8 funding round

Secantor is pleased to support the the latest funding round of Activ8 a ground breaking company in the field of HR analytics.

Organisations these days are more and more dependant upon their human capital for their success. HR analytics takes HR intelligence out of the HR department and into the organisation so that performance becomes transparent. This is at the heart of what Secantor do from a financial perspective, taking a finance function from something that is to do with compliance and upgrading it to  financial intelligence at the heart of the organisation's decision making process.

The "merger" of HR analytics and financial analytics is a "hot topic" and one which Secantor is proud to be involved with.

Not only does Activ8 look at past performance metrics but combines this with predictave technologies to forecast likely outcomes. A powerful tool in assessing the required criteria for individuals that a business is looking to employ. This is is similar to Secantor's financial approach which seeks to build on historic financial information to forecast "what if scenarios" for SMEs. This effectively reduces risk and maximises return.

Let's get HR and Finance working together to add value for organisations!

Nigel Bacon
CEO Secantor

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Building Your Finance Function Part 2

Building your finance function is not a one size fits all exercise. There are a wide range of choices:

1) There is the people mix, in terms of matching the differing levels of seniority. Why go to a recruiter as the first stage? Prior to this you need to understand the apprtopriate staff mix for the finance function and this is where Secantor can help you; with the decisions about whether you should appoint at the bookeeper level, the mangement accountant level, the financial controller level or a part-time finance director. All of this will mean that you have the appropriate input of expertise and skills at the appropriate level. In this way you will end up saving costs on your finance function by ensuring the right amount of input, at the right level. Many businesses from £2m t/o upwards should have a finance director but you do not usually need a full time finance director until your turnover is in excess of £30m. At this level, it is not so much about time as it is about skills, and experience.

2) Growing businesses need to start to integrate their finance function as an information centre. This then delivers real value by helping management run the business, and to enable effective delegation that is required for growth.To achieve effective delegation mangament need  regular information for planning and control purposes.  Ensuring that the finance function is delivering value to management is the domain of the FD.

3) At Secantor we have many years of experience of developing finance functions for SMEs. We can help guide you through the maze of what at first sight only appears to be a cost. We can paint a picture for you of how your business might look in the future and the building blocks to get there.  An effective finance function should be coupled with stakeholder management, through your part-time FD so that you can focus on growing the business knowing that your investors and bankers are being kept informed. This means that there are no "shocks or surprises" building confidence that mangment are capable of running a larger business.

4) Systems and processes are critical in the development of the finance function and its linkages with other parts of the organisation. Secantor harnesses the talent of all its people to ensure the right solution for you.

5) Outsourcing. We have many clients that simply ask us to run their finance functions with agreed outputs this can not ony be cost effective but scalable to avoid those step changes you might experience through employing extra people.

For a free consultation call us on 01564 330676.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Building Your Finance Function Part 1

The best way to build your finance function is with the advice and expertise of an experienced finance director as provided by secantor . This could simply be a piece of consultancy work or it could lead to an ongoing role. This role does not need to be full time in businesses up to £50m turnover.

The advantage of using a Secantor FD rather than your external accountants, or other consultants, is that the Secantor FD has practical hands on knowledge of using systems and the sort of people that are required to carry out the various functions. This ensures that the information being produced by the finance function is not only compliant with statutory and other requirements but also suits the needs of the business to help managment teams drive the business forward. The old adage is "what gets measured gets done". The Secantor FD "thinks outside the box" and all are commercially experienced as well as financially qualified. This enables them to look at a whole host of indicators that might be useful for a mangement dashboard not just those of a financial nature.

In building or re-shaping a finance function they are alive to the needs of owners/managers and build it in a bespoke way. This can be from total outsourcing, to parachuting in experienced bookeepers, financial controllers or mangement accountants. This also can be done in a flexible way where Secantor might employ them and deploy them on more than one client all under the wing of their experienced FDs.

The thing that really sets secantor apart is its team based approach and reputation for quality that is recognised by the professional and banking communities and clients where we operate.

Why not book a finance healthcheck  and find out the benefits of improving your finance function function. Ring Secantor on 07887 826824.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Why we are different

Many companies described as Part-time FD  companies are in fact recruitment companies.What this means is that they are unable to add any value beyond the person they might place for their fee.

At Secantor we are a professional service firm employing a team based approach, Not only does this allow clients to benefit from our collective knowledge and wisdom but it also means that our FDs are cost effective in focussing on the high level stuff whilst ensuring the more routine financial tasks are carried out in a cost effective way either through the appropriate level of staff, or indeed, outsourcing.

Cost and the Effective Finance Function

The above link takes you to a video where I talk about the Effective Finance Function.

The Effective Finance Function starts with the FD. It is his/her responsibility to ensure that the finance function is effective and needs to build a plan to achieve this. We at Secantor are not prescriptive in how we do this. The answer might be total outsourcing a solution we are able to deploy, or might be a senior bookeeper whom we can source for clients as an employee of our clients or as a Secantor employee.

More and more these days the focus is on cost and in most cases we can revamp a finance function to get improved output (in terms of the quality, reliability and timeliness of information) and also reduce the cost by ensuring the skil mix and mix between full time and part time is right. All of this overseen by an "on demand" Finance Director to ensure that quality is first rate.

Nigel Bacon CEO Secantor Limited