FD Q&A – the year ahead: Paul Moran, Found

Paul Moran, FD of Found, gives his views on the year ahead

What have been the biggest challenges for your business over the past year, and what role did finance play in addressing them?

The last year has seen Found mature its proposition as a one stop digital marketing agency with a focus on offering multi-channel solutions.

Our challenge has been ensuring our specialist and client leadership teams are engaging with each other, as well as the client, in the most efficient and productive way to get the best results.

For finance, this has meant balancing our head count expansion to support growth, yet still meeting our margins.

What are the key political and economic risks/opportunities you face in the year ahead?

Given the last 12 months, the road ahead is paved with uncertainties.

We work across a breadth of industries so can be optimistic that our client base will remain stable and we can leverage past experience to grow into markets which have the appetite to spend.

Our South African business and European partnerships represent business growth opportunities and we are equally looking at an acquisition early in 2017, so remain alert to issues which will impact our group position.

Which capex projects will you be focusing on in 2017, and how will these be financed?

Our product offering is mostly intangible, so we have limited capex spend.

We recently moved premises which involved a small refurbishment. Several financing options were available but we funded the majority from reserves and leased smaller office assets which came with service agreements.

How do you expect the balance of your role to change in the coming year; between compliance and forward-looking/strategic? And why?

I see the role of compliance as giving reassurance that the numbers used to build a budget are accurate and therefore any strategic plans have the best chance to be relied upon.

With compliance in order, I’m able to spend more time looking at the future and work across the business to deliver results.

Advice for other FDs for the coming year?

By understanding the nuances of the business, one can react quickly to changes in your industry which will help steer your organisation through these unsettled times.

This knowledge will drive an accurate forecast and enable strong cost control and cash management.

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