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FinOps Manager - Technical assessment brief


It’s June 2022, and at RORA, we are about to start working with a new partner, CyberQuant. You are the FinOps Manager and will be supported by a FinOps Associate.
Here’s some basic information of the company from the initial briefing call that the sales team at RORA had with the Founder of CyberQuant:
The company is well established and provides IT consultancy services
The company’s headcount is 5 people
The company’s headquarters is in the UK
The finance function has previously been outsourced to a traditional accounting firm
CyberQuant changed accountants in the last year and have been unhappy with the service provided

The proposal that CyberQuant has signed up to has the following scope;
1 day a week x FinOps Manager
1 day a week x FinOps Associate

Ahead of day one

You’ve arranged a call ahead of the first day with the Founder, who has primarily been in charge of everything finance related.
In the call, you’ve been able to get more detail on some of the challenges they are currently facing. Here are some snippets from the conversation.
“I currently try to spend about a day a week on various finance bits, trying to keep on top of payments to suppliers, some credit control, payroll, chasing receipts from the team, responding to the accountants. We had a lot of problems with our previous accountants and since we gave our notice, day to day running of the finance function has slipped and I’m struggling to sort out our Xero accounts.
Supplier payments
"It’s a really time consuming process for me right now. Supplier bills normally come in to me or one of the team who then need to remember to upload them to Xero. Only I have access to the bank so they have to forward details on to me to make the payment. Sometimes, we get chased by suppliers, and because the bills have been emailed twice, we have accidentally paid suppliers twice. It’s really manual because every time we pay a new supplier, we have to add their bank account details and go through the bank’s security checks. I guess it’s not that bad because it acts as a check against incorrect bank account details."
“This has previously been outsourced, but I understand that it is possible to run this through Xero? Our previous accountants have prepared monthly payroll reports, sent me the details for making the payment and then uploaded the journals manually to Xero.”
“We have customers under annual and monthly plans. Invoices are sent out and booked at the start of the annual plans and are sent out monthly in advance for monthly customers. Once a new client signs, we send over a form to our accountants and they then send out the invoices. I’m unsure whether we are VAT registered, this wasn’t something that was addressed by our previous accountants.”
Bookkeeping and spend management
“Every two weeks or so, the accountants will send me a list of unreconciled items, which I then chase the team to provide receipts for. It’s very time consuming as I have to chase the team so I hope you are able to provide some solutions and be responsible for the whole process, including liaising directly with the team.”
“To be honest, we haven’t been very focussed on managing spend. Our focus has been on growth. The accountant was only able to give us Xero’s default management accounts which wasn’t much use to us. Future investors will want to see key metrics/performance indicators but I am unsure as to what these will be.”

Additional documents

The following documents have also been provided (see below)
Year ended March 22 and with comparatives for previous two years
of larger P&L expenditure codes
Snapshot of Xero dashboard as at todays date
Screenshot 2024-05-06 at 17.13.16.png
Your task
Using the information you have received compose an email to the Founder setting out the following:
Immediate priorities following your review of the accounts/Xero. This should include any areas that you require further detail on, and any specific concerns around the figures in the annual/management accounts.
Based on the extracts from the call with the Founder, what is your opinion on systems/procedure weaknesses and your suggestions for improvements
A list of 5 key suggested financial and/or process priorities over the next three months, and how these would be allocated between yourself and the FinOps Associate
Suggest three key performance indicators that you think they should be monitoring
Your email should be sent into the inbox

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