Situation

A NextLevel client provided business consulting services in six Western US cities, and had completed an internal eight-month process to respond to internal and competitive pressures by changing corporate strategy. The strategy called for the client to change its geographic-offices-only business structure by building industry- and topic-specific practice groups operating across all locations. The client had done most of the implementation of the new matrix structure, including promoting individuals to head the new practice groups. NextLevel was engaged to evaluate the client’s finance team structure (for possible strengthening) and to prepare the client’s coming year budget/financial plan in light of the strategic changes.

Solution

A NextLevel executive acted as interim CFO to implement the following changes:

  • Worked with the finance team to build a budget model. The NextLevel executive designed and led a coordinated budget process, gathering input from the geographic and practice heads and from central support functions.
  • Worked with the COO to evaluate finance responsibilities and current staff strength. As the current lead finance person was transitioning out of this role, the NextLevel executive wrote a new job description, introduced the company to prospective search firms, evaluated candidates and participated in interviews.
  • As an add-on, he worked with the CEO to create a new reporting system using the newly-installed Tableau software, and designed and ran a Steering Committee group of key client executives to gain input.

Results

  • The budget, able to provide executive performance goals in both geographic and practice area view, was completed on time. Company revenue was improved nine percent over the prior year.
  • Certain finance staff were provided with additional training, and a new finance manager was hired. The NextLevel executive provided transition counseling during the early hire period.
  • Profitability, staffing and KPI reports were developed that measured business performance by geography and by practice area. The Steering Committee structure was carried into the future as a Reporting Key Interest Group.

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