As a well-established East Berkshire golf club, with a turnover of £1.5m, one might think this would be a relatively simple business in terms of finance. However, this club actually has the complexity of a £10m turnover group of companies, all with different accounting and business challenges. From membership organisation, hospitality, retail, events and a leisure business to large part of fixed asset investment, partial exemption VAT, cash sales and also point of sales tills.

THE CHALLENGE

The club had a financial controller working for 3 days a week delivering everything within the accounts function. On top of this they had had two people in the role in quick succession who hadn’t worked out for them.

 

Margins on all the different businesses fluctuated wildly and without apparent explanation. The volume of work combined with lack of continuity in delivery meant the club secretary didn’t have confidence in the numbers being produced, which was reflected by the club committee too.

 

There were also a lack of sufficient controls in place, while a review of billings identified £60k of missed invoicing relating to corporate visitors. To compound all this, when the club first met with YRH, the current Financial Controller was leaving the day after so a very quick set up and handover was required.


KEY ISSUES

  • No continuity as rapid staff turnover
  • Margins fluctuating wildly with no explanation
  • Lack of consistency meant little confidence
  • Lack of sufficient controls in place
  • Fast turnaround implementation needed to keep things running

THE SOLUTION

YRH were chosen for our managed service and also our proven ability to “in-source” the accounting. By working on-site we were able to quickly build trust and confidence working alongside the in-house team to manage the club’s finance function.

 

The club quickly accepted that their accounting was not a role for one person, but a combination of a bookkeeper to deal with the day to day AND a Financial Controller to prepare the reports, improve the controls and manage the finances for them, which is one of our key service offerings.

 

YRH have been able to introduce comprehensive management information to allow the Club Secretary to meet with his internal stakeholders with confidence, knowing he can provide full visibility for the different business areas.

Onsite within 24 hours

Month by month numbers YTD within 6 weeks

YRH carried out a full review to:

Focus On Process

  • Controls were quickly implemented into the revenue side of the business, checking till takings, reconciling invoicing and visitors.
  • Processes were implemented to regularly report on all aspects of the finance function
  • Structure was put in place allowing the Club Secretary to let the department run autonomously so he could focus on other key aspects of his role

Increase visibility

  • Processes were implemented to ensure the golf club can look ahead and confidently plan for future investments.
  • A framework was introduced to allow regular reporting so all could quickly and clearly see how the various business areas perform against budgets and prior periods.
  • Monthly reviews were introduced with the Club Secretary and Treasurer to give them full confidence in the finance function.

“I like knowing that I have an experienced and competent person running the department and even when they aren’t in, they are contactable if I need something. Flexible, cost effective and competent, we consider YRH part of our team.”

THE RESULTS

YRH were able to hit the ground running, providing a team with within just 24 hours, despite the complex requirements of the club. Within 6 weeks we produced numbers month by month YTD that the club secretary and committee were able to interrogate and have full confidence in.

 

We were also able to implement controls around the revenue, including the cash sales coming through the till, and also put in place a credit control process to get the money collected from corporate and society visitors.

 

The club is able to take action based on the numbers seen and the Club Secretary feels supported by our Financial Controller, who reviews the numbers with him and the Treasurer every month.

THE FACTS

  • Within 3 months resource was reduced to 2 days a week and within 12 months to 5-6 days a month.
  • The ability to quickly see how the business areas are performing gives the Club Secretary 100% confidence.
  • Margins on the different businesses are now consistent and trusted.
  • The confidence of the treasurer and the committee is at 97%.

SUMMARY

These results were achieved because our service is so much more than just the numbers. It is also about understanding the client and their business and the industry in which they operate. Our knowledge and experience allowed us to rapidly get under the skin of the business, within just 1 working day to ensure they had some continuity within their finance function. We were then able to take an approach that allowed the Club Secretary and the Committee to gain real confidence in their finances – giving them clarity, consistency and control.