Learn how a multi-award-winning live entertainment production company was able to improve cash flow and optimize business structure.
An entertainment production company located in New York City was looking to expand the business and grow their profits through outside investments. Without proper financial models and technology in place, it was hard for them to keep track of their overhead and business costs. Withum’s Advisory Team stepped in and provided them with a three-year financial plan, as well as modernized their technology capabilities to ensure the company’s success moving forward.
A New-York based, full-service production company founded in 2003 that creates award-winning custom live events and entertainment worldwide.
The client was searching for outside investments to help grow their business exponentially. However, despite their size, they had never taken the time to put together a financial model or a three-year financial budget. The company found itself profitable but had little insight into how its business activities was impacting the bottom line. This all presented an issue for any outside investor as there were no financial projections to gauge each business line accurately. Additionally, the client had considerable overhead costs, but never thought to allocate the cost out to each business line.
At the suggestion of another trusted Withum business unit and longtime client partner, Withum’s Financial Planning and Analysis Team was recommended. The team was contracted to assess the current state of their business financial operations and optimize their budgeting and forecasting processes. More specifically, Withum was engaged to build a three-year forward-looking financial projecting tool, as well as come up with additional strategies to help improve cash flow and optimize the business structure.
Withum used a diagnostic to quickly gain an understanding of the organization. This approach allows the business to be seen through internal and external view points and ultimately provides the inputs required to align solutions with strategic vision.
The Approach and Solution
In order to fully assess the scope of the client’s needs, Withum used a diagnostic to quickly gain an understanding of the organization. This approach allows the business to be seen through internal and external view points and ultimately provides the inputs required to align solutions with strategic vision. The client’s discovery process involved establishing a holistic review of the current financial and operational landscape. This task was completed through a series of boardroom workshops, interviews, and discussions with the company. These meetings provided us the information to uncover key business processes and scenarios for consideration, with particular emphasis on:
Identifying the current pain points were observed and recorded as issues to address within the organization. These specific pain points were evaluated to determine their short, medium and long-term goals and to define a future state vision for the company.
Withum was excited to suggest a multi-year financial model that could be presented to outside investors. We were also able to develop an allocation methodology to properly allocate overhead costs to each business line. This tool was extremely helpful to the client as it allowed them to accurately calculate the profitability of each line as well as provide guidance on where future growth could be pulled from. Our diagnostic uncovered many other potential areas to improve within the company. We discovered that the client had multi-million dollar annual contracts with its large clients and were invoicing these clients on a weekly basis. This created a great deal of unnecessary extra work for both parties as well as a significant drain to their cash balance.
Our solution was to propose that our client submit invoices for the month ahead of time and issue a three percent discount for pre-payment. This created a significant cash infusion and saved time on the backend for all the invoicing that was done previously. As part of our diagnostic, we pulled and reviewed all of the client’s current contracts. During this process we discovered the client did not have a proper revenue recognition file. After conferencing with Withum professionals, we were able to assist them as they created a proper template to use for revenue recognition.
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The most significant benefit of this project was the three-year financial model. Our model allows the client to allocate and model out overhead costs for each of its business lines. We also built-in functionality; therefore, the client could perform a sensitivity-analysis and receive real-time results for any future business decisions they considered. The financial model we created can also be used by the client to prepare future financial budgets and forecasts. This tool can also be utilized as information for potential investors to review their business plan.
Another great benefit to the client was that we were able to help them secure over six figures of additional cash and streamline their process by eliminating weekly invoices. This created critical operational cash flow for the client.
Meeting with their employees and other business stakeholders to fully understand their pain points, Withum noticed several themes threaded throughout the client’s current technology and operational state. These pain points were standing in the way of their desired future state functionality and included:
- Manual processes and antiquated systems
- Insufficient documentation and communication
- Lack of reporting and process controls
As a result of all these findings, we introduced the client to the Withum Technology Advisory Team. They performed additional storyboard sessions to develop a plan to modernize their technology capabilities. These meetings lead the client to utilize the Withum Technology Advisory Team to implement a state-of-the-art Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool to eliminate the system pain points we had previously discovered.
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