Case Study

Finance Function Rebuilt Virtually from Scratch following Acquisition Leads to Company Turnaround

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Client Situation

A leading company in a rapidly growing segment of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry acquired its primary competitor to gain market share and economies of scale. The chosen headquarters location for the combined company had left it without a CFO and only remnants of a finance and accounting staff to integrate and manage the financial functions of the combined business. The new ERP system implementation for the combined business had failed several months earlier, leaving the company with no working accounting and financial reporting system. The company was also out of compliance on its bank covenants, unprofitable, and due to run out of cash within five months.

Solution

A finance executive, now a E78 partner, was called in as interim CFO to assess the situation, help achieve stability, and right the ship with respect to the finance function. He quickly built a new finance team and established a performance-based culture in Finance that directly supported the CEO and the new business strategy developed for the new competitive environment. Within two months, he filled key Finance positions by recruiting from outside as well as by elevating existing staff members who understood the new direction for the finance team and company and were capable of taking a proactive role for Finance. 

The interim CFO wasted no time in cutting company costs by reducing positions for the combined company. He also added transparency for reporting by changing the revenue recognition policy, brought financial reports up to date, and renegotiated bank covenants. Importantly, the interim CFO became a strategic partner with the CEO in developing the company’s new strategy and in advising on the culling and filling of other executive leadership positions to execute the strategy.

Results

  • Within five months of the interim CFO’s coming on board, the company was stable and profitable
  • The market value of the company steadily increased, more than doubling to over $1 billion within two years
  • Aided by a strategy-focused finance team, the company had a successful IPO within two years of the CFO coming on board
  • Access to capital provided the company with more financial wherewithal to execute its strategy going forward

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