Interim CFO / Establishment of the finance department – from 0 to 100
The company is an online agency for digital marketing and was acquired by a private equity firm. The private equity house invests in successful, owner-managed companies and supports them locally in their future-oriented development.
This was also the mandate of the Interim Mandate. As is typical for interim management, the position of CFO had to be taken over on an interim basis in a short-term assignment. The company had to be brought up to the level of a public limited company in the financial area and to the requirements of the private equity company, virtually from here to now!
The tasks included all financial topics in full: handling of current (group and bank) reporting topics, monthly financial statements, budgeting and liquidity planning, up to advising the managing director and the shareholder.
The company is an independent and continuously growing agency group that provides numerous digital marketing services (performance marketing, SEO and SEA, branding, tracking and coversion optimization). Currently it consists of 2 agencies, a third one is being integrated.
The company is a successful, owner-operated business. The management of the company was managed by the experience of the owner, there was no comprehensive financial department. As a result of the takeover by the private equity company, there was a need to get up to best practice in the financial area and to establish comprehensive reporting and controlling as quickly as possible.
In addition, the previous CFO has already left the company at short notice. As a result, there was no familiarization phase and little technical support to catch up on ongoing reporting topics (monthly reporting and quarterly and bank reporting) and the budgeting process.
- Short-term catch-up in reporting. Meeting the high quality and timeliness requirements for Group and bank reporting.
- Fulfillment of the high quality requirements for complex, fully integrated short and medium-term planning, as well as liquidity planning.
- Manage the tension between tight time budgets and maximum remote accessibility and availability for the CEO and internal agency accounting managers and external tax/accounting staff.
Measures and implementation steps:
Short-term familiarization of the GOiNTERIM Manager with the involvement of all internal and external contacts. It was important to find out what the problems were and in which areas there were dissatisfactions – ACTUAL analysis.
Based on this, a detailed action and task plan was created and the prioritization of open tasks was carried out. Focus was on ongoing communication and accessibility. There were always problems and discrepancies here. The interim manager understood very well how to integrate and also pick up all stakeholders and contact persons.
Finally, it was also necessary to carry out the processing of the topics according to priority in compliance with the set framework conditions. Not only the concept was important, but above all to carry out the implementation and operational work itself. As is typical in an SME, there was no large finance staff. The interim project was really hands-on, the CFO title did not prevent me from doing the reports and the tasks operationally myself – that’s how interim works!
At the end, the induction of the new CFO and the handover of the agendas was made. The project was successfully completed with a debriefing and final report.
Results at a glance:
All defined tasks were completed to the satisfaction of on-site management and capital providers. In addition, support was provided for other pending sub-projects (preparation of the annual financial statements and integrated planning for another company). The finance area has thus been developed and built up to best practice in a very short time. The high requirements of a listed private equity company have been met.