Good decision making is at the heart of good businesses. And there is no doubt that instinct and ‘feel’ play a big role in this – not everything can or should be quantified.
But insight based on actual data can also be hugely valuable and a source of competitive advantage. It can back up instinct and give more confidence and boldness. It can help to bring alignment where previously it was missing. Or it can radically challenge what individuals or teams thought to be true and encourage a change of course.
Thankfully, today businesses have more data than ever and in accessible forms. Amongst the SME community, the use of cloud accounting systems such as Xero and QuickBooks has exploded, helped in the UK by Making Tax Digital (MTD). However, many SMEs still use these only as a compliance tool to fulfil their tax filing obligations.
This is a huge wasted opportunity. Looked at in the right way, data in these systems can provide valuable financial and performance insights. And when blended with other financial and non-financial data sitting in the business, this can be even more valuable.
But there are two problems.
So Venturi was born….
We support the Senior Management Teams of fast growing small to medium sized businesses.
These teams need faster access to better forward-looking insights into their business performance.
We support account firms who are eager to improve the management reporting they provide to their clients.
Venturi delivers a managed service, enabling you to concentrate on delivering the core accounting services your clients need.
We support private equity or venture capital investors who are seeking professional and independent management reporting and strategic insights into their portfolio companies.
Altum Health is London’s premier private psychology practice helping on a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression, and stress-related difficulties. It is also the leading niche specialist in the treatment of eating disorders, obesity, and body image problems.
Like many psychology practices, Altum Health had very little in the way of management information that could shine a light on its financial performance by service line, by office, and by practitioner. With increasing pressure on margins due to insurance reimbursement caps, and high cost of London office accommodation, the top team needed accurate monthly information on actual performance to better manage its affairs.
Venturi was bought in to firstly assist to get a handle on the basics. Altum Health signed up to the Venturi financial insights package and within one month was able to clearly identify areas in which it was making money versus losing money, leading to a re-balancing of its business focus and office investments. This exercise led to an appreciation of the key drivers of growth and profitability, including the right mix of full-time staff versus associates, and the hurdle productivity rates required to meet it financial goals.
Now that Altum Health management were clearer on the drivers of success, they wanted to capture and report on that information too. Venturi’s performance package, involving the collection of non-financial data, such as employee utilisation, delivered these additional performance insights and allowed for pro-active management of staff, contractors, client bookings, and promotional activities, all geared to drive profitable growth.
Now that the financial insight and performance insights were able to be accessed, Altum Health took the opportunity to look beyond each month and toward their longer-term aspirations. Through the Venturi strategic insights package, the top team at Altum Health modelled out various market and growth scenarios using Venturi’s smart forecast and valuation application, enabling them to look 5 years out at a range of possible futures and valuations.
From a business that was stagnant for 5 years, Altum Health is now growing at a rate of 30% + with a clear strategic vision, a 24/7 management system delivering financial and performance insights to better manage its affairs, and a promising future view that is sufficiently robust and compelling to attract future investors and key staff.
We worked closely with a VC-backed technology business to help them generate meaningful revenue forecasts going out 18 months. This was much needed to support the monthly management team meetings and board discussions. The senior team and board felt they were making critical decisions with insufficient insight about the likely future picture.
Particular issues included a long and complex sales cycle (6-12 months), a range of contract types including hardware and software which had different revenue profiles and a globally distributed sales team with varying levels of CRM (Salesforce) usage.
Working with the Head of Sales and Head of Finance, we linked CRM and accounting data to create a monthly revenue forecast. By joining historical revenues, booked contracts and weighted pipeline opportunities from the CRM (cleaned for anomalous data and adjusted for revenue recognition timings), we created a forward revenue picture each month using financial and CRM data.
The revenue forecast became a core part of management team meetings each month, giving decision making confidence and helping alignment. Understanding its importance and how their data ‘showed up’, the sales team became more motivated and consistent in reflecting accurate information in the CRM further improving the forecasts.
If you are a SME business who would like to learn more about how Venturi can help lift your business performance, we would love to talk to you.
This is as simple as setting up a 30 minute Discovery Call with one of our experts.
Does your critical business data reside in different applications, which are difficult to connect and integrate?
Do you believe that forecasting should be an ongoing exercise, connected to all relevant data sources and able to provide forward-looking insights into your business?
Is your data filled with inaccuracies or sitting within complex spreadsheets that few people know how to operate and update?
Are you frustrated with how long it takes to get even the most basic business data out of your business?
How many businesses do you know were encouraged to sign up to a cloud accounting package but are struggling to either use or generate the value they expected from it?
Does your financial data need more context, or be brought together with other data sets (e.g. CRM) to provide a better understanding of the big picture?