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Testimonials

The FD Centre has consulted with over 500 clients. Below you can find out what a small selection of our clients have to say about us:

RTT Group

The FD Centre played an integral role in helping us create two of the most exciting black empowerment enterprises in their fields. Safeea Rahiman worked tirelessy to pull all the relevant stakeholders together, tie up loose ends and facilitate closure of these transactions.

Dr Iain Barton – CEO, RTT Group

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RTT Group

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Paul Worsnip, Lexis Nexis

“FD Centre’s insight and understanding of our business provided us with the capacity to outsource a ‘business development opportunity’ whilst continuing to focus on internal priorities, at a particularly pressurised period of the financial year.

FD Centre were able to integrate their work on this project, with internal resources to deliver a report containing high quality, insightful findings which exceeded our expectations and delivered a significant cost saving in terms of scope objectives.

There is a fine line between organisational effectiveness and cost reduction as this could be damaging to the organisation in the long run. The FD Centre’s independent approach encouraged company-wide participation and assisted us in adopting pro-active position for reporting these initiatives to key stakeholders.”

Paul Worsnip, Lexis Nexis

Our client Lexis Nexis is a provider of content-enabled workflow solutions to professionals in law firms, corporations, government, law enforcement, tax, accounting, academic institutions and risk and compliance assessment.
We were called in to undertake a company-wide review of their cost structures and identify opportunities for cost reductions within the organization over the next 12 months.

In all, 74 new ideas that require planning & implementation are being investigated and 6 ideas have the potential to deliver savings of over R 1,1 million in the next 12 months. A further 14 ideas are considered as having high potential for savings in the next 12 months but will require additional work to assess and implement.

Effective cost management is a critical component of achieving financial success. There is a fine line between organisational effectiveness and cost reductions which may be damaging to the organisation in the long run. The independent approach encouraged organisation wide participation and assisted us in adopting a pro-active position reporting these initiatives to key stakeholders. FD centre provided us with an outsourced Executive perspective in prioritising the ideas generated and clarity in decision making relating to implementation of the ideas generated.

In another instance we were called in to undertake an investigation into the sales commission and royalty system to confirm compliance with policies & procedures. We completed the requested investigation and reported on all findings within the timeframes required.

FD Centre were engaged at short notice following a matter which called for direct FD attention whilst conflicting with internal bandwidth and priorities. It was comforting to know that resources were on hand to respond to the request whilst allowing the Executive time to continue to run the business. The flexibility in reporting and frequent realignment of work plans added to the quality of work delivered, at a fee which accommodated our non-operating budget constraints.
We have also been closely involved in the Assessment & Selection of an e-Learning Authoring / Course Development Tool and Learner Management System
We completed the assessment and made the selection, submitted and presented a report-back to the Executive Committee.

One of the biggest challenges we face as a business is the level of expectation placed by key stakeholders on Executive bandwidth and the need to balance day-to-day strategic and operational priorities against new opportunities and initiatives which require investigation and review. FD Centre’s insight and understanding of our business provided us with the capacity to outsource the business development opportunity whilst continuing to focus on internal priorities at a particularly pressurised period of the financial year. FD Centre were able to integrate their work.

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Lexis Nexis

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Alexander Forbes Group Services

Alexander Forbes is a JSE-listed financial services group with its head office in Sandton, and business interests in Africa and Europe. Alexander Forbes offers integrated retirement, investment, life and insurance solutions to create, grow and protect wealth and assets.

My division is responsible for the financial reporting of the Alexander Forbes group. Earlier this year, as we were heading into our year end, one of my key people was promoted to another division. Facing a resource gap, it was perfect timing that Hylton Surat from the FD Centre contacted our CFO to see if our company could make use of the FD Centre’s services. They placed Lynn Preece with us on a full-time basis for three months.

Lynn’s experience was exactly what we needed for the preparation of our 2016 annual financial statements. She got on top of our processes very quickly and produced quality financial reports with great attention to detail. Lynn’s personality and leadership skills made for a pleasant working relationship, as she related well to the staff and also played a mentoring role.

With Lynn so capably filling the gap, I was able to oversee the year-end process more effectively without having to focus on every detail. It eased the pressure for me in what is typically an extremely pressurised period.
I would definitely consider using the services of the FD Centre again should we need another short-term placement in the future.

Bruce Bydawell: Financial Director, Alexander Forbes Group Services

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Alexander Forbes Group Services

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ICR Electrical

Craig McBain
Non-Executive Chairman

What does your company do?

ICR Electrical, one of the largest electrical service organisations in South Africa, prides itself on its extensive expertise covering all aspects of the electrical construction industry.

What prompted you to take on the services of the FD Centre?

I approached the FD Centre in June 2011 to help us stabilise the accounting functions of ICR in light of the imminent departure of the company’s chief financial officer. During this time the company was facing significant structural and cash flow challenges and was busy with the financial year-end audit.

Has having FD Centre on board specifically benefited your business?

The team provided by the FD Centre, Mike Jordan and Yolande Jansen with the support from the Regional Director, provided stability to the company from the first day. They reacted swiftly to our needs and displayed significant awareness and understanding of the challenges the company faced. Once stability was achieved the FD Centre team implemented further improvements to the financial and executive team functioning of the company.

Mike and Yolande’s ability to deliver tangible improvements in a challenging and pressured environment has significantly contributed to the company’s success in the second half of 2012.

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ICR Electrical

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MotorOne

Brad Maynard
Managing Director

What does your company do?
MotorOne sells motor vehicle accessories to motor dealer groups that are directed at generating dealer profit.

What prompted you to take on an FD Centre FD?
We had a financial manager taking care of day-to-day things, but our business was growing and we needed some help with strategic and business modelling.

How has having an FD Centre FD specifically benefited your business?
We had been involved with a couple of acquisitions and Duncan Hastie from the FD Centre was instrumental in helping us build models to understand the value of the transactions and how the business model would work after the acquisitions. He also gave input on how we could run our business better and improve our extraction of financial information.

Cashflow used to be a concern for us but Duncan’s cashflow modelling interventions have made a big difference in that area.

In what ways is having a part-time FD an effective solution for your company?
Having a part-time FD allows me to focus on other priorities. Duncan adds great value to our team while the part-time nature of the arrangement makes it a highly cost-effective solution for a company like ours.

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MotorOne

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Michaelhouse

Damien Rautenbach
Bursar

Michaelhouse is a senior boys’ private boarding school in the Kwazulu-Natal midlands. Distributions from the well-administered Michaelhouse Bursary Endowment Trust provide bursaries and scholarships to at least one third of all learners at the school, allowing a diverse range of boys to benefit from a Michaelhouse education.
In 2014 I took up the position of Bursar from the previous incumbent of 17 years. Besides the school’s main accounts, there are three Trusts that require significant administration and investment management. I wanted to update the accounting system to streamline the investment reporting and also enable improved outputs such as interim financial statements.

In 2015 I approached the FD Centre to assist with these tasks and also to complete our 2014 year-end financials. They appointed Lana Scott-Robertson to help us. Besides wrapping up the year-end reports, Lana developed a new financial accounting model with superior functionality that enables regular reporting and administrative transparency. These features are very important for the Board of Trustees to fulfill their duties.

Thanks to Lana’s intervention the school is now in a robust position to manage its funding with greater flexibility. Our association with the FD Centre will continue as we review future requirements.

It might be generally considered that only businesses, not schools, need the sophisticated offering provided by the FD Centre, but any school’s accounting management system could benefit from the FD Centre’s professional service. I would not hesitate to recommend the FD Centre to any school or organisation needing external support.

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Michaelhouse

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Imperial Health Sciences

Tjaart van der Walt
Financial Director

Imperial Health Sciences is a leading pharmaceutical warehouse, distributing in South Africa and Africa on behalf of multinationals and other pharmaceutical manufacturers. The company started in 2000 and was part of the RTT group before being bought by Imperial Group at the beginning of 2013.

As the financial director of Imperial Health Sciences, I look after the commercial side of the entire business. In 2010 we took on the services of the FD Centre. Our Africa division, also known as the Imperial Health International division, was growing rapidly with extensive expansion into Africa. We needed somebody in a senior position to manage the division’s finances.

Bruce Milne from the FD Centre came on board, initially for three days a week, and provided all the financial oversight and detail that the division needed in terms of accounting, controls, reporting and strategy. He did such a good job that we ended up employing him on a full-time basis. We could have gone the route of hiring somebody at a lower level but then they would have needed a lot of coaching. It was enormously valuable for us to be presented with a person of the right calibre – Bruce had all the necessary experience and insight to take charge from day one.

I would definitely recommend the FD Centre to other companies. Bruce plays a vital role in the running of our Africa division and it gives me great peace of mind to have him as part of our team.

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Imperial Health Sciences

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Kokstad Medical Admin Trust

Dr Brett Craig
CEO

What does your company do?
The Kokstad Medical Admin Trust is a medical practice supported by a trust that provides administrative support services, and tied into this is a majority shareholding in Kokstad Private Hospital. I am also the CEO of a second business, a hotel.

What prompted you to take on an FD Centre FD?
When we took on the services of the FD Centre we were experiencing massive growth on the medical side, and large losses as big capital investments were being made in the hotel.
Our immediate need was for robust systems and controls, up to date, accurate and reliable monthly management accounts, and help with managing the delicate transition from a partnership to a business with a profit motive.

How has having an FD Centre FD specifically benefited your business?
Rob Craig from the FD Centre used his skills as a chartered accountant to introduce a sustainable monthly business process that gives us timeous and reliable management accounts. The FD Centre also introduced us to one of their distribution partners who has played a constructive role in the change management aspect of our evolution, particularly at board level.

With the basics in place, the focus is now on cash management, enhancing profitability in order to enhance value, and developing and implementing strategic and business plans. Wayne Jaggard, who replaced Rob at the beginning of 2013, is providing valuable input into the current high level and strategic finance requirements.

The FD Centre has moved us into a different league from an accounting perspective. We now have a financial roadmap whereas before we were thrashing around in a bookkeeping mess.

How has the arrangement benefited you personally in your role as director?
The intervention from the FD Centre has elevated me from being involved in the day to day business processes and dealing with internal and external accountants. I am able to negotiate the challenges of dealing with professional partners more confidently as the figures, projections and accounting logic are in place.

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Kokstad Medical Admin Trust

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On The Dot

Paul Oosthuizen
CFO

What does your company do?
On The Dot is a logistics business which focuses exclusively on the media market segment, serving mostly group companies. As CFO I oversee the business performance management to ensure that we reach our financial goals and manage risk across the landscape.

What prompted you to take on an FD Centre FD?
When we took on the services of the FD Centre in 2012, the business was mature, and had to start a process of reinvention. I had joined the company after an ERP implementation didn’t go according to plan, and I was tasked with improving governance and controls. The finance team was stuck in the paradigm of ‘scorekeeper’ and so we had to regenerate and rebuild it into a ‘business partner’ function.

How has having an FD Centre FD specifically benefited your business?
We had three newly appointed finance managers (FMs) who were technically sound but lacked the experience necessary to manage and direct a team of finance specialists. Cliff Warren, the part-time FD from FD Centre sat alongside me to mentor the new FMs. He has created depth in the finance team, created perspective for the team and myself by acting as a sounding board, and added another dimension to our journey to excellence.

Without the FD Centre’s involvement it would have taken longer to rebuild the finance department. My own experience is supplemented and complemented by the FD Centre, and their role in our business is invaluable.

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On The Dot

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Amazing Vouchers

Deon Botha
CEO

Amazing Vouchers is a call centre that sells a monthly subscription to members who will then have access to free, discounted, two-for-one and value-added vouchers in various categories such as beauty, health and fitness, and travel. The company also offers voucher bundles for corporates as a reward and loyalty programme for their clients.

We started using the services of the FD Centre in May 2014 when our full-time FD left the company. The original assignment was for three days per week as we had a lot of reporting and analysis requirements, but after a couple of months the FD from the FD Centre had our requirements under control and so we reduced the assignment to two days per week.

Our previous FD had produced management accounts but without graphical representations or trends, and this was a requirement for us. The consultant from the FD Centre was able to produce these graphs and trends within two months and in a form that exceeded our expectations. We are now able to produce and manage our business efficiently, and recognise and adapt to trends expeditiously.

Consolidating the management accounts, weekly reports and daily results into succinct dashboards has proved critical to our daily activities. I am able to work more on the vision and growth of the business whilst still being able to reflect on the day to day financial and operational position of the company.

The greatest value that the FD Centre consultant added to our business was the analysis of product performance and the ability to drill down on a specific level of the income versus our traditional global view. This has improved our focus and ability to adapt.

A full-time FD was far more expensive than the FD Centre solution. Our engagement has just come to an end, but I would highly recommend the FD Centre to any other business.

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Amazing Vouchers

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PA Media

Shaun Minnie
CEO

PA Media is a publishing company that publishes several well-known property titles both online and in print.

Towards the end of 2012 we sought out the services of the FD Centre. We had bought out our parent company, and in the new arrangement we were left with financial managers but no financial director. This created a gap in our technical financial skills. I also needed some sound advice on strategy, and high-level interpretation of the company’s figures to help me with the long-term planning of the company.

The FD Centre came on board to fill the gap. Steven Prowse from the FD Centre helped the staff in our Johannesburg office with operational and financial projects, and in Cape Town Cliff Warren was brought in to help me on a strategic level. Having Cliff as a sounding board for my business ideas was invaluable – I really needed an experienced and skilled businessperson to discuss strategy with.

Thanks to the intervention of the FD Centre I have become more proficient in the things I need to do. For example, I was able to prepare thoroughly for a difficult AGM because they helped me to gain a sound understanding of a tough set of financials.

We don’t grapple with strategic and operational issues all the time, so for a company our size it is very cost effective to have a part-time FD who can give input when we need it. I foresee Cliff and Steven continuing to provide assistance on a project basis in the future.

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PA Media

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NMG

The NMG Group provides consulting, actuarial and administration expertise in the healthcare and retirement fund arenas, and financial planning for individuals. It is a multi-national company and has operated in South Africa since 1994.
In August 2013 we were contacted by the FDCentre and invited to consider using their services. This came at a good time as our COO/CFO had just resigned and although we were searching for a replacement, the first round of the recruitment process had not yielded a suitable candidate. We needed an acting CFO to hold the fort and see us through the company’s year-end, so Robert Bennett from the FDCentre joined us in a full-time capacity for five months.

Besides managing our year-end and giving me peace of mind in that regard, Robert established some processes in our financial department and reorganised the financial team into areas of discipline. He was also instrumental in making our financial information more usable. He took a fresh look at the status of our financial reporting within the global group timeline, and gave us some additional insight into interpreting our financial reports.

We were recently able to find a replacement for our COO/CFO, so Robert’s tenure with us came to an end. Having him on board in a caretaker role was a very useful stop-gap measure, and one that I would recommend to any company with a temporary void in their senior financial management structure.

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NMG

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