Larger businesses have finance departments to help run the financial side of the business – not just basic accounting, but budget setting, putting controls in place and ensuring compliance with those controls. For many small and medium-sized businesses, that expertise just isn’t there.
If you already have an accountant who prepares your accounts, then you could ask them if this is a service they could provide. Or you could ask Clare Associates.
Planning (including financial planning)
Either as a one-off assignment or as part of a wider business development engagement, we can help you with the detailed planning for your business. The plans can cover a single project or the entire business. We ensure your assumptions are robust, put together detailed financial projections and cash flow forecasts and assess the risks and sensitivities of your proposals.
Financial and operational controls review and documentation
All but the smallest of businesses need a robust set of financial and operational controls in place. Often, as businesses grow and develop, these sets of controls grow and develop haphazardly. We can analyse and document your existing controls framework and identify weaknesses. Then we can recommend improvements to reduce the risk of fraud in your business and the risk of errors in your reporting.
Having made our recommendations, we can also help you to monitor compliance with your controls either by performing compliance testing ourselves or devising a compliance testing programme that you can run internally.
Where required, we can produce detailed controls manuals to be issued to staff. These show, in a clear and concise manner, the controls in place and how each employee is expected to comply with them. Since controls will inevitably need to be changed in future, we produce these manuals in electronic formats.
Mark Poles is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He brings almost two decades of accounting experience to Clare Associates. Much of that time has been spent working on financial statements audits where assessing a company’s controls is vital. For several years, he ran risk management and quality control programmes for one of the ‘Big 4′ accountancy firms’ European operations.