Our client had a problem. They could not determine which employees, projects, clients, and/or divisions were profitable and which were not. They didn't track employee time, which made it difficult to determine where their profits (or losses!) were coming from. One of our first tasks was to implement a timesheet system and analyze the data to uncover the true profitability of their business.
FOP faced a daunting challenge – to convince the employees, contractors and even the owner to accurately and consistently track time. This was never expected of anyone before and met with immediate resistance.
FOP worked with the agency to introduce a timesheet system that made tracking time simple. We started with just a single client as a “teaser”. The platform provided real-time data on how much time was being spent by each employee and division on each project.
Once the data was collected for a relatively short period of time, FOP created a dashboard to present the data in a meaningful way. Within a few months, we rolled out timesheets across all clients and implemented incentives for employees to keep their productivity and project profitability where it should be. Armed with this new information, the agency was able to revamp their rate cards, eventually phased out a continually unprofitable division and invested more resources into what made the most money.
Our client is a thriving design agency known for their captivating visual creations. However, they faced a common challenge many agencies face - accurately predicting their cash flow for the next 12 months. This missing piece hindered their ability to plan effectively, allocate resources and “alleviate the headache” of not knowing with any degree of certainly if they were cash positive or negative beyond the next week or two.
The agency tracked new business opportunities on a spreadsheet, but this was for discussions only, not for any actionable financial planning. Further, account managers had a habit of “inflating” the potential when talking about it in meetings.
FOP designed and implemented a reliable, scalable solution to help the design agency predict their cash flow with confidence. Here's how we achieved it:
- Accurate projections: We created a tool where all new business leads were entered with total potential revenue, time frame and percentage likelihood of achievement.
- Percentages and amounts were to be updated as new information necessitated with an explanation as to why it changed from week to week.
- Potential revenue is “factored” by the likelihood of being achieved and put into a cash flow model that can reasonably predict future cash collections for a rolling twelve months!
- We now track historical data to see which employees have a tendency to “start off strong”. This is now factored into our discussions as well.
We successfully created a cash flow report that can predict cash surpluses (and deficiencies) for twelve months. We can now make informed decision making, efficient resource allocation and seize growth opportunities.
Our client, a high-net-worth individual, used us for tax return preparation and some light bookkeeping assistance. We pitched a ‘full-blown” family office to manage her entire financial space that included multiple financial advisors, bankers, lawyers, an estate planner, philanthropic endeavors, businesses and the personal lives or her and her three children. She was trying to coordinate everything herself and while she’s highly intelligent and motivated, she had a tight, demanding schedule and didn’t always properly or timely communicate among her professional team.
Before engaging our services, the client faced several challenges:
- Siloed expertise: Each professional worked in isolation, focusing solely on their respective areas of expertise. As a result, information and insights were not shared seamlessly, leading to missed opportunities and suboptimal wealth management strategies.
- Communication gaps: The absence of a centralized communication system made it challenging for professionals to collaborate and exchange critical information. This resulted in redundant efforts, conflicting advice, and a lack of coordination.
- Ineffective coordination: The client's financial affairs lacked proper consistency. This led to oversights, late bill payments, missed estimated tax payments as well as neglected opportunities for optimization, growth and efficiency.
FOP created a well-oiled machine, with streamlined communication, enhanced collaboration and formal procedures on a regular basis. Here's how we achieved it:
- We took the lead on communicating to all professionals as necessary. We also established regular meeting schedules and published agendas to minimize time and inefficiency.
- We now pay all bills, move money between accounts to maximize earnings, eliminated credit card late fees and negotiated better returns at the bank for idle cash. We also make regular estimated tax payments, saving her more in tax penalties than our fee! No, that is not an exaggeration.
- Payroll is now run every week without fail and her household staff is eternally grateful at the consistency of their paychecks. They literally high-five us when we stop by the house.
- We created an easy to digest Dashboard showing all of her assets in one place and all income and expenses on another. We went from “winging it” to data updated in real time to the exact dollar in a few weeks.
Our client now has one number to call (us!) to handle everything in her financial world. We are saving her money, earning money for her where possible, saving her time and frustration and paying bills when due. We continually think of her future, even when she is not.