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Analyzing Employee Utilization Rates to Drive Profitability for Professional Services Firms

Analyzing Employee Utilization Rates to Drive Profitability for Professional Services Firms

How utilized are your employees? What percent of their time is being spent working on projects that are not billable to the client? How much is that costing your company in productive capacity? If you do not know the answer to these questions, you could be missing out on potential revenue benefits.

For service-based organizations, analyzing employee utilization is imperative. Knowing where and how employees are spending their time enables professional services firms to:

  • Appropriately set their rates
  • Properly assess how much to invoice clients accounts
  • Decide what to pay their employees
  • Determine if they are over or understaffed

Calculating Employee Utilization Rates

The resource utilization rate is a balanced relationship between billable hours and working hours available and is a key metric of employee productivity.

For example, if there are 168 eligible working hours in the month of May and Penny spends 100.80 hours on billable client projects then Penny’s utilization rate is 60%.

Billable Hours / Eligible Working Hours = Utilization Rate

Now let’s say that Penny’s annual salary is $50,000, or $4,167 per month. In the month of May, she spends the remaining 40% of her productivity time on business development efforts (10%) and general and administrative (G&A) tasks (30%). That would mean the company is paying Penny $1,250 in May to work on non-revenue generating processes.

Monthly Salary x Time Spent on G&A (%) = Employee Cost

If this general and administrative time is benefiting the company then it may be worthwhile. Otherwise, this time could be used for other work, clients, or spent attending networking and other events to help grow the productive capacity of the business.

If Penny were to increase her utilization from 60% to 80%, her general and administrative employee cost would decrease to $417 per month – increasing efficiencies AND generating additional revenue.

Improving Employee Utilization Increases Profitability

From a revenue perspective, let’s assume that clients are billed at an hourly rate of $150. At 60% utilization the company is making $15,120 in May; however, 80% utilization would bring in $20,160, or $5,040 of additional revenue. Furthermore, if you have 5 employees who can each increase their employee utilization rate from 60% to 80%, you could generate an additional $25,020 of revenue per month.

Higher Utilization = Increased Profitability

Using Utilization Rates to Guide Business Decisions, A Case Study

Earlier this year, Signature Analytics was hired by a professional services firm in San Diego to provide outsourced accounting services. In addition to performing monthly accounting maintenance and bookkeeping services (preparing financial statements, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, etc.), we put together a Utilization Summary Report so the client would have visibility into their employee utilization rates month over month.

The metrics report revealed that in the month of January the company’s average utilization rate for billable employees was 60% resulting in a $95k loss for the month. In February, average utilization was 63% indicating a consistent low utilization rate for the company. To show how utilization rates impacted the bottom line, we also compiled an “if-then” summary report which revealed that increasing average utilization to 75% would generate a profit of $130k for the month.

Using this utilization percentage information, the company decided to make personnel changes in the month of March that would increase their profitability. This included letting go of an underperforming non-billable sales associate. They also replaced a billable-time employee with consistently low utilization with a new billable employee whose skills capacity could be better utilized by the company. Additionally, the firm set personal billable utilization goals for every employee to help encourage the staff to improve productivity and maximize billable projects and hours.

Following the changes, average employee utilization increased to 76%, resulting in a profit increase of $230k for the month of March.

Read another case study: Unknown employee utilization causing unknown or inaccurate client profitability.

Improve Your Firm’s Utilization

At Signature Analytics, we have helped several professional services firms use utilization rates to make key strategic decisions that drive profitability. Preparing utilization summary reports and “if-then” analyses are one way we enable our clients to visualize the effect of increased utilization rates. We are also able to show the company key metrics for unbilled general & administrative time by applying utilization rates to salaries and separating these wages on the financial statements. Furthermore, we have helped clients implement time tracking systems – which is the first step in determining utilization rates – and assisted with the development of company policies to ensure time is accurately entered by employees.

Want to learn more about using utilization rates to drive profitability for your firm? Contact us for a free consultation.

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Do you know your numbers?

When Should You Consider Outsourcing Your Accounting Operations?

When Should You Consider Outsourcing Your Accounting Operations?

  • Do you spend late nights and weekends struggling to keep up with your company’s accounting records? Or worse, does this time intervene with the time spent running the operations of your business?
  • Are you unable to assess the profitability of your business or perhaps have difficulty understanding the cash requirements for the next 60, 90, or 365 days?
  • Do you feel your margins could be improved but aren’t sure how to evaluate them when looking at your financial statements?
  • Would some assistance in projecting your business operations over the next few years help you establish priorities with your employees?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are in good company. Many business owners and executives feel the same way and there are ways you can get the support you need to move your business ahead.

Free Download: Discover how outsourced accounting can provide more visibility into your business

The first step is acknowledging that, although operations are the most key aspect of any business, accurate financial information is vital to making important business decisions. Having visibility into cash flow and knowing where your margins can be improved will enable you to take your company to the next level.

Now the next step is determining if hiring a full-time accounting resource to get your company’s financials in order makes sense from a cost and expertise standpoint.

  • Is there enough work for a full-time accountant? For many companies, a 40-hour a week accountant would be in excess of the time required to perform the basic accounting functions they may need, e.g., monthly close process, issuing invoices, entering and paying bills, performing payroll, etc.
  • Is there too much work for your current full-time resource? And are you asking them to do things beyond or below their skill set? This is a very common occurrence with any role in a growing business. This is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved and can lead to internal turnover.
  • What level of experience will they need to have – CFO, controller, staff accountant? If you are not in a position to support the costs of more than one accounting resource, will you hire a CFO and then over-pay them to do basic staff-level accounting? Alternatively, you could hire a staff accountant and task them with CFO responsibilities; however, both of these options can cost your company significantly and lead to ineffective decision-making.

If your company needs the resources of a complete accounting team but is not in a position to support the costs and management time of that entire, full-time team, then outsourcing your accounting functions is a very viable, flexible, and turn-key option for your business. 

Read more: 3 Ways Outsourcing Accounting Can Improve Your Business

Outsourced accounting companies such as Signature Analytics provide you with flexibility in terms of the number of hours of service to receive, provide a higher level of experience through oversight by more senior-level individuals, and ensure efficient service by experienced accountants (staff accountants through CFO level expertise). The accounting teams at outsourced accounting companies work with multiple clients so they have identified time-saving methods that allow them to complete challenging tasks in significantly less time than a typical bookkeeper.

In addition to acting as the financial arm of your business by providing the resources of a highly experienced accounting department on an outsourced basis, there are a number of other situations in which hiring an outsourced accounting company to handle your financial information might make sense for your business:

Preparing for a financial statement audit or review

Many business owners believe that a financial statement audit is a healthy process for their business and provides confidence to their investors in the financial information; however, most do not realize the resource drain that an audit can have on their business due to the significant number of requests for supporting information and the technical accounting expertise which must be applied to the financial statements. Due to independence restrictions, audit firms cannot assist in performing the accounting functions at the companies they audit and therefore must rely on management to determine proper accounting rules. These issues tend to cause significant overrun bills from the audit firm due to the inefficiencies experienced and can be extremely costly for a business. Engaging an outsourced accounting company can provide management with the peace of mind that they have a team of accounting experts – most of which have previous experience performing audits – that understand what audit firms are asking for and know how to produce that information in a timely manner.

Investors requesting financial projections

Investors love to see what the future of their capital will produce so that they can assist in both financial and operational decisions; however, many business owners do not have the expertise to prepare financial projections and therefore may provide information at a level not detailed enough for the purpose or may be missing significant costs which need to be considered. Outsourced accounting firms that provide support with cash flow management and projections have CFO-level experts who are experienced in understanding a business operation in a very timely fashion and can translate such information into the future potential results of the organization.[gap height=”10″]

Missing out on potential tax savings

When a tax provider receives your financial information they may not search into all of the accounts to find tax deductions. If transactions have been classified to incorrect accounts, tax preparers may not be aware of their existence and therefore not consider simple deductions. A simple example would be meals & entertainment expenses, often a deductible expense, in which some transactions may end up recorded in office expense categories or supplies or miscellaneous. Unless the tax preparer knows that such expenses may be improperly classified, the deduction will go unreported resulting in higher income tax. An outsourced accounting company can organize accounting information and work directly with tax professionals to help identify as many tax savings as possible.

Looking for capital investment from financial institutions

Perhaps you have a capital requirement in the near future and plan to approach different financial institutions. Providing financial information with obvious errors, inconsistencies, or lack of organization could severely impact your ability to raise capital as it may be challenging for the lenders to truly understand the results of the business without transparent financial information. When hiring an outsourced accounting company, you can be confident that the financial statements are timely and accurate. Furthermore, they will provide you with a high-level financial resource that can assist in preparing analyses of the financial information in a professional manner making the lender proposal process less arduous. These statements may be used as a resource to assist in conversations with those providing capital assistance to ensure a complete understanding of the business’s results of operations.

Free Download: Discover how outsourced accounting can provide more visibility into your business

If you think your company could benefit from outsourcing your accounting services, contact Signature Analytics for a free consultation.

 


 

Discover how outsourced accounting can provide more visibility into your business

3 Steps to Prepare Your Business for an Acquisition or Liquidity Event

3 Steps to Prepare Your Business for an Acquisition or Liquidity Event

As an entrepreneur, you likely have a never-ending to-do list that includes meeting with employees, calling disgruntled customers, reviewing company finances, and more. While the list of to-dos never seems to end, you might have an idea in the back of your mind to someday exit the business you have built.

If you have plans to sell your company or a portion of it, anytime within the next 2 to 3 years, the time to start preparing is now. Do not wait until you receive your first letter of intent from a potential buyer. The more effort and time that you can give to preparing for your eventual exit, the smoother the transition can be when the time comes. You’ll likely feel that more work is piling onto your plate, but this is expected as exiting a business, via acquisition or liquidity event is always time-consuming.

Think of it as more effort now, less stress later. The more you can prepare your business for the possibility of an acquisition, the more value you are adding to the company today. Keeping in mind that the business will be better off when the time comes to transition.

Below are a few steps you can take to prepare your business from a financial perspective.

1. Allow Time to Maximize the Potential Value of the Company

From a financial standpoint, it is advised to begin preparing for a liquidity event at least two years before the potential exit. Doing so will ensure you have ample time to make changes that are necessary to improve the business and maximize the future value of your company.

While it is always important to optimize your company’s profitability and value, it is even more so if you are planning to sell. This can be accomplished by streamlining financial statements to ensure management can review them effectively.

For example, simplified and organized financials will enable you to evaluate profit margins by individual revenue stream, develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ratios applicable to your company, as well as identify and consistently report on the metrics that drive profitability and value. It is vital to begin this process in advance of any sale or liquidity event, as your management will need time to identify, implement, and benefit from the changes made.

2. Get Your Financial Records in Order

When preparing your company for an acquisition, it is critical that your financial records are well maintained. Keeping pristine financial records helps avoid any pitfalls that may be uncovered through the due diligence process.

If you believe your accounting department may not be technically strong, it is encouraged to hire an outside accounting consultant to help sort through the critical information. An independent consultant or team can ensure you’re fully prepared for the financial due diligence process. They do this by gathering information and creating a strong package of financial information that clearly explains the results of your business operations. Even if you believe your accounting department can handle this process, we recommend having a qualified consultant perform the initial review to provide an outsider’s perspective.

3. Plan Ahead with Sell-Side Due Diligence

While certainly not required, engaging an outsourced accounting firm to perform what is known as a “sell-side” due diligence (or a quality of earnings report) process could save you from significant headaches and distractions during this already stressful time.

Sell-side due diligence allows you the opportunity to go through the due diligence process in a more reasonable timeframe. Proactively doing this allows your management team more time to find, organize, and interpret the financial information. Throughout this process, leaders should identify questions that may be raised by potential buyers, so they are better prepared to respond to items in an organized manner.

The sell-side due diligence team will also identify what are known as “add-backs.” These are described as non-recurring or unrecorded revenues or expenses that are added back to the Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to generate a normalized figure. Add-backs can be subjective in nature; therefore, it’s valuable to identify them before the buyer brings them up so you can prepare how to argue for or against those items in question.

Having a prepared sell-side due diligence report could also limit the amount of investigative work that the buyer determines necessary as they may be willing to rely on some, or all, of the results of the report.

Next Step: Due Diligence

You are ready to sell your business, your financials are in order, and you have just received your first letter of intent from a potential buyer. Next, it’s time to prepare for what many believe is a terrifyingly brutal process – due diligence. Read our blog post on the financial due diligence process to learn what is required and how to prepare your business to ensure a successful acquisition.

Prepare Your Business for an Acquisition or Liquidity Event

If you have plans to sell your company, Signature Analytics can provide ongoing accounting support and forward-looking financial analysis to ensure you get the highest value for your business. Contact us for more information or a free consultation.




Top 5 Questions to Ask When Closing Fiscal Year

Whether you are a new business owner or one that’s been in business for years, understanding requirements of a fiscal year close can be confusing. Keeping your financial information and records accurate year-round is critical to the success of your business, and it makes things that much easier during fiscal close.

Here are the top 5 questions you should ask, as you approach the process of closing your 2015 books:

  1. Have you recorded all your revenue for 2015?
  2. Do you have organized processes to record expenses in a timely manner?
  3. Does your accounting function have oversight, checks and balances to ensure your books are accurate on a monthly basis?
  4. Have you contacted your tax professional to schedule a meeting? Definitely try to avoid the March 15th and April 15th rush!
  5. Did you make quarterly estimated tax payments throughout 2015? If not, you should ask your tax professional if this is an option in 2016.

We Can Help

If you need assistance with your fiscal year end close, contact us today. Our outsourced accounting teams are locally based and nationally focused. We can help you with this effort, as well as other accounting and financial analysis needs of your business.

Financial Due Diligence: What is Required & How to Prepare Your Business to Ensure a Successful Acquisition

Financial Due Diligence: What is Required & How to Prepare Your Business to Ensure a Successful Acquisition

So you have decided to sell your business, and you’ve received your first letter of intent from a potential buyer, exciting! Now, it’s time to prepare for what many view as a terrifyingly brutal process – due diligence.

There are several types of due diligence, including legal, financial, tax, operational, IT, human resources, commercial, and more. In this post, we will focus on financial due diligence as it’s one of the most commonly executed forms.

Initial Requests

The due diligence process typically begins with an overwhelming list of requests which are expected to be provided in a short period of time. This timeframe is usually due to the time limitations of the letter of intent.

Financial information is typically requested for the year-to-date and the previous two fiscal years. If the due diligence team uses the term “TTM,” they are referring to financial records for the 12 month period (or Trailing 12 Months) which ends with the more recent month.

Once the monthly trial balances are provided, there will likely be requests for schedules, such as ones that relate to customer revenues and costs. Once those are submitted, they should agree with the trial balances.

Each balance sheet account typically includes numerous requests for supporting documents to prove the accuracy of the balance throughout the period. Preparing these just before the due diligence process can be very time-consuming and can distract management from the day-to-day operations of the business.

Once all of the requests have been prepared, they are then stored on an electronic drive known as a virtual data room (VDR).

On-Site Visit and Meetings with Management

Once the data has been provided, the due diligence team will schedule a visit to your facility or offices. These meetings with management often take multiple days to cover all of the questions and clarifications needed.

Typically, meeting agendas could include:

  1. Overview of the business operations.
  2. Tour of the facility and introductions to key members of management.
  3. Discussion regarding customer base, types of agreements, fluctuations of revenue by customer, revenue recognition, attrition of customers, and concentration of customers.
  4. A walkthrough of the entire trial balance. Questions may be asked on fluctuations of the balances on certain accounts, breakdown of items within accounts, and justification for the accounting method used.
  5. Throughout this process, the due diligence team is attempting to identify any unusual or non-recurring items, and any transactions that may not have been recorded or occurred but are expected to be incurred in the future.
  6. Understanding of inventory and accounting methods.
  7. Understanding any trends in pricing or future expectations for pricing.
  8. Determining whether all liabilities have been properly recorded.
  9. Understanding headcount, payroll expenses, and other benefits employees currently receive, as well as committed employee contracts that may include acquisition-related bonuses.
  10. And many other topics – so be prepared!

The on-site process can be grueling for a company. The due diligence team usually requires the attention of the more senior or experienced employees, the ones who are integral to keeping the company’s operations running. Part of the preparation process will be helping these individuals on what to expect. If your management team can answer all the due diligence questions thoroughly and clearly, doing so will avoid multiple follow-up questions. This type of preparation allows them the ability to continue focusing on their daily tasks.

Final Report and Negotiation

When the due diligence team concludes their visit to your facility, the expectation is that they will review all of the information provided in detail and communicate any additional inquiries. Then, they will complete their report and submit it to the buyer. It is up to the buyer to use the results as a negotiation tool when determining the purchase price or other key terms in the purchase agreement.

The Risk of Not Being Prepared

By now, it should be evident that being adequately prepared for the financial due diligence process is critical to the completion of a successful acquisition.

Business owners who become distracted by the number of financial requests can lose sight of the negotiation process, and therefore not receive the greatest value possible for their business.

If the financial information is considered disorganized, not accounted for properly, or not supportable, the buyer could assume that the results provided may not be an accurate depiction of the business. The buyer could view this as an additional risk and discount the potential purchase price as a result.

Prepare Your Business for the Financial Due Diligence Process

Signature Analytics has supported several companies through the acquisition and financial due diligence process. Our team can ensure your financial records are accurate and organized before the start of the due diligence process. Our experts can help prepare supporting schedules and documentation that may be requested by the due diligence team. We can gather and arrange a sell-side due diligence or quality of earnings report, so you’re fully prepared for the financial due diligence process.

Don’t go through the financial due diligence process underprepared or alone, contact us for more information or a free consultation.


Grow and Scale Your Business – Seminar Highlights and Video

Grow and Scale Your Business – Seminar Highlights and Video

Last month, Signature Analytics hosted a seminar on best practices for growing and scaling small and mid-size businesses to a group of San Diego CEOs and business owners. Each speaker’s presentation focused on one of the 4 keys to scalable growth: financial analysis, sales process, sales strategy and cash. The rapid-fire case study format gave attendees an inside look into the best practices real San Diego companies have used to grow and the actual results they received.

Read more about each of the presentations below. You can also watch our short video with highlights from the event. To register for our next seminar, visit www.signatureanalytics.com/events.

 

Financial Analysis – Jason Kruger, Signature Analytics

Jason’s presentation highlighted the transformational changes 7 San Diego companies made to grow their business and the financial reports that provided them with the insight to do it. One case study showed how analyzing profit margins by individual product line allowed a rapidly growing brewery to increase profits by 15%. Another case study explained how a growing internet marketing firm was able to increase EBITDA from 10% to 15% by looking at employee utilization summary reports and analyzing the profitability of each of their clients.

Sales Process – Matt Stoyka, RelationEdge

Matt discussed the specific ways 6 companies used their CRM (e.g., Salesforce.com) differently to drive leads, increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. He explained how a digital marketing firm automated their lead nurturing process to achieve the highest monthly sales in the company’s 7 year history. He also showed how a factoring company used their CRM to automate proposal creation, reducing the time to prepare final contracts from 2 hours to 2 minutes.

Sales Strategy – Jack Kelly, Corlea Group

Jack gave the audience an inside look at the sales strategies of 6 San Diego companies that generated millions of dollars in organic growth, despite being in some of the most highly competitive industries. Jack explained how a payroll services company with slowing growth leveraged client surveys to generate 1,287 add-on product and services inquiries. He also explained how a biotech company ditched their elevator pitch at the 2014 BIO Convention and instead told stories to generate 297 leads and more than $225,000 in potential new business.

Cash – Tony Sands, Opus Bank

Tony showed the financial structures used by 4 local companies who leveraged their cash flow and balance sheets to access bank loans to support their expansion, growth and acquisition plans. For each lending situation, Tony emphasized the importance of providing 12 month projections – income statement, cash flow and balance sheet. The bank will not lend without them and the number of companies looking for financing that are unable to provide this key piece of financial information is staggering.

Feedback from Attendees

“I thought the case study format was great. It was engaging and a good way to understand the information. There were a lot of good antidotes as well.”

“I thought it was really good. It’s amazing to find out how many fundamentals aren’t deployed on a regular basis. Just some of the really simple stuff.”

Register for our Next Seminar

Our July event was such a hit, that we have scheduled additional seminars focused on best practices for growing and scaling your business. To view our upcoming seminar dates and register to attend, visit www.signatureanalytics.com/events.

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Preparing for an Annual Audit or Review: How to Eliminate the Pain and Reduce Overage Fees

Preparing for an Annual Audit or Review: How to Eliminate the Pain and Reduce Overage Fees

If your company is looking for financing from investors or financial institutions, considering a potential acquisition, or foresees an IPO within the next three years, you may need to have an annual financial statement review or audit.

Many dread the infamous annual audit for several reasons:

  1. It demands a significant amount of time for preparation,
  2. Management must field exasperating questions from auditors, prepare numerous schedules and gather supporting documentation, and
  3. Costs can become astronomical.

What Information Will You Need to Provide the Auditors?

To begin, the audit firm will provide management with a list of anywhere from 50 to 150 initial requests that can include items, such as:

  • Articles of incorporation and bylaws and any subsequent amendments
  • Board minutes from inception
  • Fluctuation analysis’ on balance sheet and income statement accounts
  • Reconciliations and support for reconciling items
  • All debt and equity agreements
  • Fixed asset additions and disposals

Once these initial items are provided to the auditors, they will typically request additional supporting documentation, which can include:

  • Bank statements
  • Check copies
  • Invoices
  • Bills
  • Payroll reports
  • Supporting schedules for any accrual or estimate balances

How Long Will the Annual Audit Process Take?

Depending on your preparedness, the organization of your accounting department, your bandwidth to take on the additional hours required to assist the auditors, and the cleanliness of your financial information, an audit can last anywhere from 3 weeks to a full year.

The Cost of Not Being Prepared

Before getting started, the audit firm will provide you with a schedule and budgeted fee that assumes the team can complete the audit with minimal issues; however, if the company is not appropriately prepared, there will likely be significant delays. Any additional time it takes to provide adequate schedules and support in excess of the time that was originally budgeted will impact the auditors’ initial schedule. This can result in a lack of availability for the audit team, preventing them from completing the audit and providing an opinion on time.

If you’re not prepared, the result will be obvious in the audit firm’s final bill, which can include thousands of dollars in overage fees.

Eliminate the Pain and Overage Fees from the Annual Audit Process

If your company is not appropriately prepared, the annual audit process can be an expensive undertaking, both in employee time and company money. It does not have to be though! By enlisting the right assistance, it is possible for your audit to be a simple, stress-free, and a less expensive process.

Hiring an outsourced accounting firm, such as Signature Analytics, that provides you with a professional team of accountants and certified public accountants (CPAs) who have previously been auditors themselves, can significantly reduce the amount of re-work for a company because they know exactly what schedules and support the auditors are looking for.

An outsourced accounting team can prepare schedules in advance so the auditors do not waste unnecessary time waiting for the schedules to be completed. They will also assist with handling inquiries and follow-up questions that arise during the audit process, reducing, if not eliminating, overage fees.

Ultimately though, one of the most valuable tools an outsourced accounting team can bring to the annual audit process, is freeing up your internal staff to focus on their daily responsibilities with minimal interruption due to auditor requests.

Be Prepared for Your Next Annual Audit or Financial Statement Review

Whether you are preparing for your first annual audit, or are dreading an upcoming audit because you have incurred significant overages and delays in the past, Signature Analytics can help. We will ensure that your company is fully prepared and that your financial and business records are in order, making the annual audit process as painless and efficient as possible. We will be the main point of contact for the auditor during the entire process so your staff can focus on their day-to-day responsibilities.

Contact us today to learn how we can help reduce your annual audit fees and minimize the disruption to your business during the process.

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Client Increases Profit Margins After Receiving Custom Margin Analysis

Client Increases Profit Margins After Receiving Custom Margin Analysis

Signature Analytics was engaged by a rapidly growing San Diego brewery which, at the time, did not have an internal accounting function. The brewery’s management team spent the majority of their time on the operations of the business, so it was not possible to make maintaining proper account records a priority; however, they recognized that it was critical to have accurate financial information to make proper business decisions. So they reached out to Signature Analytics to provide outsourced accounting services.

Within a one month period, the Signature Analytics team was able to update all of the accounting records for the previous months which had been neglected. Our accounting team also set up a monthly close process which included proper reconciliation of all bank and balance sheet accounts, the implementation of a system to track inventory, and ensured proper Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and accrual basis of accounting. Additionally, we established monthly meetings with brewery management to review historical performance and discuss future activity and projections. Communications with the Brewery’s management were ongoing and imperative, allowing the engagement to maintain flexibility and drive effectiveness.

While these procedures were exactly what the management team expected of Signature Analytics, we knew there was more that we could do to assist with the most crucial business decisions. During the month that the accounting information was updated and while we learned about the business, the Signature Analytics team noted that more focus should be placed on the gross profit margins of the brewery’s products. Once the data was properly structured and accurate, a seasoned CFO put together a custom margin analysis and was able to identify several opportunities for improvement. The insights from this analysis enabled the Brewery to properly evaluate profits and increase margins.

In addition to getting the Brewery’s accounting records in order and providing a custom margin analysis, the Signature Analytics team prepared a 13-week cash flow forecast to assist with cash management and the payment of bills. This analysis helped the management team better understand each of the inflows and outflows the Brewery experienced and identify areas where they could improve the business financially.

Although we were initially engaged to only provide monthly accounting maintenance and bookkeeping services, the Brewery’s management team quickly recognized the value of Signature Analytics’ proactive approach to outsourced accounting services. Having a full accounting team on an as-needed basis was a perfect fit for the Brewery’s needs and the additional financial analysis and reports we provided allowed the Management team to get a better understanding of their business. This enabled them to confidently make business decisions based on the accurate financial information they were provided, ultimately improving profitability for the Brewery.

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