Customer Success Stories
Learn how the Seafresh Group has achieved a more streamlined reporting process for its complex structure of companies
“Everything about Cloud CFO is ease of use”
David Mathers, ACA, Chief Financial Officer, Seafresh Group
The production of management accounts and the subsequent consolidation process had become increasingly difficult and time-consuming for the Seafresh Group with its complex structure of companies including a US legal entity and an associated company in Belize
When David Mathers, ACA, Chief Financial Officer of Seafresh Group saw a demonstration of Cloud CFO, he says: “What I saw straight away was that the Cloud CFO system added structure and was more robust since it incorporates a set of rules that ensures the consistency and validity of the data.”
The ability to incorporate a stringent set of rules was a key factor in Seafresh’s decision to implement Cloud CFO as it ‘removes a significant element of risk.’ “An audit trail is an absolute necessity and you don’t have that when you are using simple spreadsheets. Cloud CFO is taking spreadsheets to the next level.”
Having got to know the Synapse team well as the system was configured, David has been impressed with the calibre of those involved. He said, “The brain power that sits in the office is staggering and nothing seems to be too big a problem. They are a great team to work with and have real vision.”
“Everything about Cloud CFO is ease of use and all aspects of it are user friendly. No longer will we need IT consultants to make changes as we will be able to do these ourselves.”
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“Having made a couple of acquisitions this year, the benefits of having a product like Cloud CFO have been made very clear. We haven’t had to face the challenge of bolting more spreadsheets on and we can be confident that we have the checks and balances in place to tell us what is and isn’t working. With Cloud CFO now capturing information on a monthly basis, the product has given us the ability for more enhanced reporting. A good example of this is in the way Inter-Group profits can now be captured and eliminated so we have a true and more accurate picture of the profits that are being made outside the Group. As we develop, our reporting requirements are becoming more challenging and from time to time, we need reports enhancing and new ones created. The team at Synapse is always very amenable and understanding of our situation and these requests are turned around quickly.”
Nick Ogden, FCA, Group Financial Director, Norman Hay PLC
How Cloud CFO is ‘simplifying and consolidating’ the financial operation at TOBE Outerwear
“Time spent on reconciliations each month has been cut from three days to just half a day”
TOBE Outerwear is an extraordinarily successful business that has seen a forty per cent increase in turnover, year on year over the last three seasons, against a background of challenging economic conditions for retail clothing businesses.
The success is due to the skilful introduction of a new look and feel to winter sports clothing that moves away from the conservative black and appeals to a new generation of enthusiasts that spend their time on the slopes, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snow biking and skiing.
The business has entered a critical stage of its growth with turnover expected to increase from $3.5 million to $10 million in the next three years. Three new investors including a Government backer, have come on board in 2017 making it even more important to have a full and immediate view of the financial situation at any time.
Because of the company’s existing use of spreadsheets, CEO, Tomas Berntsson wanted to find a system that would fit in with existing processes and give a sharper focus on the finances of each of the three markets TOBE operates in. Cloud CFO is unusual in the fact that it has been built by accountants for Group Companies, like TOBE, that want to take Excel to the next level and benefit from a tool that provides the level of financial reporting Board members and Stakeholders now expect.
Tomas was the ‘business catalyst’, who instigated the change to Cloud CFO and already the system is living up to the high expectations everyone had for it.
Before its introduction, the business struggled to keep track of ever-changing exchange rates. Operating in three primary markets – North America, Canada and Sweden – and with an internal currency of the US dollar, TOBE needed a strong multi-currency capability for accurate monthly reporting.
Tomas says: “It was hard to keep track of the exchange rates and prior to the implementation of Cloud CFO, we were only able to present an average on the Profit & Loss statement. Now, we can actively select the currency we want to report in and show the Board the turnover compared with the Budget and the Group turnover in just the one currency. These accurate conversions have thrown up some interesting insights and Canada, is one market which has increased turnover in 2016, compared with our original figures.”
The ability of Cloud CFO to keep track of where money is hidden in the company has also been revealing and it is making it much easier to see the true cashflow each month. Take for example accounting for ‘stock that has been paid for but may be out of sight as it is taking months to cross the seas’, Tomas explains.
In real terms, the new system has cut the time spent each month on reconciliation from three days to just half a day and Tomas is confident that the time taken to produce the transaction sheets has been reduced too. “As we are mirroring the process in Cloud CFO, it is easy to see where differences are coming from.”
The Cloud nature of the reporting tool means that the finance function can view ‘a single version of the truth’ on demand from anywhere in the world and the business makes extensive use of the comparisons functionality to monitor progress between the budget and the estimate. “This gives me a real picture so I can estimate budgets accurately,” says Tomas.
According to Tomas, ‘Cloud CFO is simplifying and consolidating’. “Normally, CFOs spend their time working backwards to check the monthly figures are correct but with Cloud CFO you know that everything in the system has been checked and that the figures are 100% correct. There’s less time spent looking back.”