Is Your Company Experiencing Growing Pains?
A sustainably focused manufacturer based in Atlanta was in need of a major records audit and accounting processes overhaul to handle the demands of their very successful business.
Then, their CFO suddenly left, leaving them with an open position they didn’t have time to fill and a serious lack of financial guidance and accounting department oversight.
They needed help from an outsourced CFO and they needed it fast.
Outsourced Accounting For Your Local Atlanta Business
The company was growing at a healthy clip and their accounting department had been falling behind for a while. The current staff was already working overtime and they still weren’t able to keep up.
The books were being closed way too late, they had no accounts reconciliation process and it wasn’t clear who was supposed to be responsible for what.
They were even doing payroll data entry by hand and their whole accounting system was disorganized and prone to human error.
On top of that, their parent company was worried about US GAAP compliance, errors in the accounting records and a lack of higher level management reporting for forecasting and budgeting.
They hired Rialto to review and fix everything just in time.
Step 1: Clean Up Your Records
The first thing that needed to be done was a review of the historical accounting records to eliminate errors and ensure compliance with GAAP standards.
We went through and collected all the records and reviewed the entries against them. Our team spotted numerous errors and then realized the problems ran deep – their accounting processes needed to be overhauled and scaled for future growth.
Step 2: Fix Flawed Accounting Processes
The company had no accounts reconciliation process, no month-end close process and an ad hoc process for assigning duties. This led to errors and a lack of accountability, plus confusion for the overworked staff.
They also needed another staff accountant to handle the surplus of work and help finding someone suitable for the position.
Rialto handled all of that, setting up new accounting processes, educating the accounting team and assigning specific tasks with detailed execution protocols and turnaround times according to accounting best practices. We then implemented a user-friendly project management software to track everything.
Our team also recruited and hired that new accountant, reducing overtime and boosting the in-house team’s morale.
Step 3: Implement Proper Financial Systems
We implemented a new automated payroll system integrated between timekeeping, review and processing. This saved time, hours and money over the previous system and reduced the opportunities for error.
They had an insurance coverage issue, so we fixed it and ensured proper compliance with requests.
We also built and implemented an accounts reconciliation system that allowed them to close the books consistently within five days.
Everything we built and every new process we put in place is designed for transparency, efficiency and scalability.
The company’s accounting department is now poised to grow with the business and produce the records and reporting needed to make big business decisions going forward.
Companies often find themselves in the position of needing temporary or interim CFO or Controller help. It is quite common to hire an outsourced CFO or Controller for a duration of a few months or for just the duration of a project.
Here are some situations where you might consider bringing on an interim CFO or controller:
- Financial crisis or major change in business.
- Issues with forecasting, budgeting and planning.
- For a one-off project like an expansion or a pricing overhaul.
- Before, during or after a merger or acquisition.
- To bridge the gap after an existing CFO or Controller’s departure.
Small businesses that have outgrown their existing accounting structure may find they need a project CFO or Controller to help get things in order, or an interim one while they hunt for their first CFO or Controller, as well.
How We Helped This Atlanta Small Business as Interim and Project CFO
Our sustainably focused manufacturing client was facing several of the circumstances mentioned above: they had outgrown their accounting system and they were having problems planning for their future. And the Covid crisis was affecting their supply chain and logistics, as well.
They really needed a project CFO even before their regular CFO departed.
We’d already begun restructuring their accounting department, fixed weaknesses in their financial department and cleaned up the books. So when the company’s CFO departed, they contracted us to fill that role, too.
Our overhaul of the accounting processes meant we were well-positioned to assume oversight and department management control.
Rialto set up a cash forecasting process and set up protocols for maintaining buildup files in the future, so management can always see the numbers that go into forecasts.
We then took over budgeting, financial forecasting, cash flow management and strategic planning for the near-term fiscal quarters to help bridge the period without an in-house CFO.
Our team is now helming the search for a new permanent CFO and setting up the structures and benchmarks for reporting and performance.
Atlanta’s Best Small Business Accounting Team Gets Real Results
Rialto has years of high level management experience with a Big 4 background, so it was easy for us to get up to speed quickly and assume these crucial roles.
Our new processes facilitated increased communication between management and the parent company, plus the deeper financial reporting and analysis they needed.
Since Rialto came on, the parent company is pleased with the better accounting processes and new financial transparency. They now know the balances they’re using for forecasts, budgeting and decisions are sound and made up of real numbers they can trust.
The CEO has new insight into the cash forecast, anticipating when up and down weeks will happen and getting a clear view of the coming 8 to 12 weeks.
The COO likes the new communication and results Rialto brought, including better cash flow and less time spent on vendor communications. Rialto handles all that and the extra Covid logistics strain on the business, too.
The accounting team is thrilled with the new level of structure and knowledge of who’s supposed to do what. They’re also glad they have the capacity problem solved so they don’t have to put in all those extra hours.
And HR loves the new streamlined payroll process and having an error-resistant system they can trust.
All of the systems we’ve put into place for this small business will scale, so they can grow as the company continues to evolve.
Our extensive operational and financial experience made us qualified to take on this company’s unique challenges in the roles of interim controller and project CFO.
In Need of Accounting Help for Your Local Atlanta Small Business?
We can help. Call us now at (404) 850-7932 for a complimentary financial discovery session. We can answer all your questions and figure out a plan that suits your needs.
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