A relationship founded on focus, flexibility, simplicity and trust is fundamental for any corporate and its financial reporting partner to achieve collective business growth. As Henry Ford once said, ‘Coming together is the beginning, staying together is process, and working together is success.’ By F R (Rhys) Robinson
We have to remember that successful companies are those that don’t try to do it all, or be everything to everyone – they stay focused on their core business and leave ‘the rest’ to experts in those particular fields. Indeed, partnering with like-minded service providers, those that earn stakeholders’ trust, optimise existing processes and add more value to the bottom line, is fundamental for any strategic growth plan to take flight.
We believe some of the key benefits to collaboration include:
- Problem-solving: With access to a greater number of skills and strengths, it can be assumed that solutions will be reached faster and more effectively.
- Innovation: In the same way, partners bring different perspectives to the table, stimulating creativity and new ideas. Collaboration also turns your business into a learning organisation, one that empowers employees and celebrates positive change.
- Efficiency: As a result of increased expertise, structured communication, and seamless integration.
- Tangible ROI: Results and delivery show up on the bottom line, with no room for excuses. A collaborative environment can often lead to better performance levels across the business.
- Shared success: Mutually beneficial success ensures both parties will strive to exceed expectations at every opportunity.
Picture this. In November 2012, a company had a market capitalisation of R100 million and a target set for 2016 of R2,5 billion. Ambitious? Yes! But absolutely achievable through hard work, visionary leadership, and a world-class financial reporting partner.
For Roy Midlane, who joined Torre Industries as chief financial officer in August 2012, it all began when the then chief executive officer, Charles Pettit, sold him a ‘crazy’ idea. ‘We put in our money to recapitalise a failed listing and bought the business, which at the time had a market capitalisation of R100 million,’ he says. As a company, they then reached – and surpassed – the 2016 target of R2,5 billion, a year early.
‘We stick to our strategy and execute. We think today for what we need tomorrow,’ he says. ‘We think differently – we are disruptive to the extent that our activities are discussed in the boardrooms of other companies!’ The company currently has more than 70 reporting entities under its banner, 14 of them in Africa and two outside the continent.
Torre is an acquisitive company by nature. According to Midlane, the toughest part of the acquisition process is integrating a new business and familiarising the new staff with their corporate culture and out-of-the-box way of thinking. While Torre is not necessarily unique in its story of success, the way in which the company is able to integrate the new businesses’ financial processes into its own certainly gives it the competitive advantage.
Finding a financial reporting solution that is easy to manage and apply across multiple businesses is essential for acquisitive companies, who also need to take into account different company cultures, structures and objectives. For example, prior to buy-out, the subsidiary’s different financial systems and software must be consolidated, information extracted and filed into a single matrix. Once the consolidation is complete, it is then necessary for the data streaming to be standardised, and key financial reports made available for review, including flash, cash forecasting, management reports, consolidated statements, breakdowns for each segment or business unit, and annual financial statements.
The collaboration of an efficient financial reporting partner and a dynamic, focused corporate company can be the perfect partnership if both value the principles of flexibility, simplicity and results. It is this compatibility and shared value base that form the basis of a beneficial business partnership. Undeniably, a focus on relationships, world-class delivery, and win-win outcomes enable companies to sustainably grow their businesses to achieve long-term success.
True of any relationship, personal or professional, a successful partnership allows you to recognise your weaknesses and draw from your partner’s strengths. ‘Good businesses are run by good people. People and the organisation have to be dynamic and adaptable – able to move with the market,’ says Midlane. Indeed, people are the most important assets in business, complemented by streamlined systems, time- and cost-efficient procedures, and trusted partners who share in your vision for the future.
AUTHOR |F R (Rhys) Robinson PhD is Executive Director: Strategic Partnerships and Marketing at Infinitus Reporting Solutions