Case Studies

Providing technical input when auditors have a conflict of interest

Initial focus

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) is a 14,000-member organisation. They have a competent and experienced Director of Finance, Gordon Evans, and a four-person accounts team.

Under the ICAEW’s ethical guidelines, IMarEST’s auditors were unable to prepare its financial statements and introduced FD Solutions in line with the introduction of the new accounting SORP.

Adding real value

In carrying out the work, our FD realised that he could, at the same time, automate the organisation’s statutory accounts production process by merging two workbooks into one, thereby saving significant time in manually transferring data.

We achieved this within the confines of the original budget. More importantly, this significantly enhanced the efficiency of the year-end process and improved internal quarterly reporting.

An extra resource

Our FD continued to provide ad hoc support as it was needed, assisting with improvements to the workbook and guiding one of the client’s staff in producing an Excel report for the Board.

IMarEST’s financial controller left just before the start of their audit, and Gordon asked if we could help out once more.

We introduced one of our Client Finance Directors to help with the audit and then a Client Financial Controller on an interim basis to fill the gap.

In view of the potential within the accounts team, our FD suggested that this was an ideal time to implement a development programme. A plan was proposed and approved and our FD is now leading a three-month development programme that will feed into the recruitment process for the new financial controller.

A satisfied client comments

It was a ‘red letter day’ when FD Solutions walked through our door. The Institute was in desperate need of assistance to introduce the changes that had to be made to our financial reporting functions to comply with the new charities SORP.”

With the assistance of Howard Jackson and his special skills, we met our target and introduced long-lasting improvements which still form the basis of all our work on financial budgets, monthly management accounts and, of course, statutory accounts. Howard also adapted his work to embrace the accounting procedures we manage for two associated charities.

The latest involvement of FD Solutions stems from another loss of qualified manpower at a critical time. This time, instead of just helping us over a short-term problem, Howard and his team used the work on our short-term requirements to start the bigger task of assessing all work of the accounting team. This has mostly now been achieved and we are ready to appoint a new Finance Manager with a revised brief. The rest of the team have willingly taken on more responsibilities as well. The updated position, therefore, sees us ready to start succession planning for the FD’s role, which will become vacant due to retirement in several years.

Exciting prospects

With an enhanced and motivated accounts team, our FD is assisting the organisation with the recruitment of the right person to fill the gap, and also to play a more important role in supporting Gordon Evans in his high-level duties.