Episode 23: Understanding the Complexities of Working with a Turnaround Company
The #AskaCFO series is a weekly Q & A with CFO James Vanreusel, CE and Founder of Vanreusel Ventures. In this series, James answers questions ranging from corporate finance, FP& A, Investor Relations, Professional Development, Business Growth, Fundraising, M& A, and more.
In this episode Co-Founder of Stride Services, Russell Benaroya was our special host. He and James discussed the complexities of working with a “turnaround’ company.
A company that is in a turnaround transition has recently suffered a huge loss, had to cut costs and many times paused payroll to keep its doors open.
When you are an interim CFO coming into help a turnaround, working quickly and effectively is key to making quick and impactful changes. The number one goal for an interim CFO working with companies like this is to keep the doors open, keep employees paid, and bring the company back to a break-even position.
The first thing to look at are always expenses. You have to fully understand the business and the revenues and the “why” behind the cash flow and sales decrease. Taking a close look at the expenses and asking your self ” what needs to happen to make this company profitable again,” is always the first step.
If expenses have already been cut, you have to ask “was the cut deep enough?”
When a company is in crisis, the first thing that needs to be watched carefully is cash flow. Creating conservative sales numbers and a 13-week cash flow forecast is a great way to keep a handle on what to expect in the coming weeks. In a turnaround, it is critical to get really exact, because every dollar counts, and is critical to get right.
The ultimate goal is to building momentum, by fine-tuning processes and creating a plan. As an Interim CFO coming in with a vision and a plan as to what the company can look like in 12 months, getting the team realigned and rowing in the same direction again should always be the initial focus, and that can take a lot of work. But eventually, it will build momentum and fine-tune processes so the plan can be solidified and people start getting excited because they are seeing the upside again.