Rob Vergeer, The CFO Centre Netherlands

Speakers: Rob Vergeer, CFO in The Netherlands

Can you give an example of how you introduce systems and control within your clients and the impact it has on their businesses?

Rob Vergeer: One of my clients is active in the agriculture sector – business to consumers. They sell meat from honest farmers straight to the consumer. With them, you know that there has been no waste of the meat. Head, tail has been used and that the animals have been treated well as well as the land. The main problem why they came to us was that their monthly reports were always late. Let’s say two months after closing, and inaccurate. They were not in control. They sell through the internet and took the turnover at the moment of the sale. After the sale, it takes them, let’s say six weeks to get it delivered to the client. The invoice with regard to this process always came afterwards. So to bring the cost to the same period as the turnover, they had to make a lot of estimations. But afterwards, when the invoices were received, they had big differences. Always surprises! My first advice was to change the moment of taking the turnover to the P&L. Good accounting principles tell you that you should take the turnover when you deliver the service, in this case, at the moment you deliver the meat. At that point the costs are almost clear, 90%. So less estimations and faster closing. It took about two months to change the systems and controls. Now they are able to close the books within seven days after end of the month – faster and more accurate. It gave the owners peace of mind that they now could react faster. It brought the discussion into the strategic field of reviewing the business plan.