INVERNESS FINANCIAL ADVISORY was established in 2013 to meet an increasing demand for financial services that could compete with Big Four quality standards but would remain affordable to medium and small size businesses. Two young entrepreneurs totalizing 20+ years experience in Corporate Finance came together to jointly servicing a since-then growing portfolio of customers. Initial projects were focused on due-diligence, valuation, forensic services and debt restructuring.
INVERNESS is now happy to welcome onboard Antonio Revuelta who has joined the team to lead the firm in this new period and develop the Business Support Practice. Antonio is an experienced Finance Executive with a 20+ years finance background and he defines himself as “passionate for multiculturalism, diversity and international businesses.” During his first 10 years of professional experience he served as a public accountant for KPMG and large Spanish and US-listed public companies in as diverse countries as the US, Russia, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, the UAE and India to name a few.
“I then moved on to more executive roles. It was about time to stop asking questions to those who were really taking the responsibility for running the show and being one of them. Main challenge was conveying to my collaborators a risk-based approach and that “materiality” thing that never leaves you. Having my team working more efficiently and on a preemptive rather than on a corrective mode.”
Antonio directly took control of the France-based subsidiaries of the Ericsson Group in 2011 and had them integrated within the Corporate Shared Services structures. “I had to report on a monthly basis to the Workers Council on our progress and on the impact that this transition would have on the financials of the Company. French unionists are talented and highly skilled, they take their social role very seriously. Talking to a Labour Minister would not be any easier.”
From that unique perspective Antonio is now leading a team of multidisciplinary practitioners specializing in Change Management, Shared Services Centres (SSC) deployment, ERP implementation, redundancy schemes, debt-restructuring, trade mediation. He is a part-time CFO and has proven records in decreasing tax exposure, R&D tax subsidies, cost-cutting, financial reporting, consolidation, VAT reclaim, working-capital improvement, trapped-cash management, cash-flow management, Bank negotiation, project finance and project structuring, transfer pricing, audit conduction, internal audit, SOX compliance, US GAAP, IFRS and local GAAPs, SEC filings amongst many others.
Now focused on engineering, electric and electronical industries, Antonio points to the main challenges that project accounting entails following the go-live of IFRS15 in 2018.
“Net Sales are generated by selling skills and talent to our customers, and we pack those up on projects that we normally never deliver in less than 18 months. You can add on some hardware, parts or even home-designed programming or third-parties software.”
One of the founding principles of INVERNESS is turning easy what initially looked complex and blurry.
“There needs being huge pedagogical effort since most engineers and Project Managers think of a project as the ruling time dimension, while accountants need generating a period-end closing on a monthly basis. Both timelines run independently from each other so a bridge needs being put in place to ensure accounting compliance and to support the operational teams at meeting their sales budget which is how their performance is ultimately measured.”
“A project lifecyle is tridimensional: operational, that is how the engineers deploy the contract from the design phase to the expiry of the warranty period, if any; result, which if you keep a sound monitoring of incurred costs and managed to negotiate a contract that allows for revenue being evenly spread over time should remain steady and predictable; and finally the cash balance of your project.”
Most people tend to think that the revenue from a project stems from the billing but that you invoice the customer what really helps at is at getting the cash you need to pay for your internal labour. You could bill and not being able to recognise any revenue or recognising revenue but not having billed. That is why you need your accountant to walk you through project accounting and a Treasury Manager to help you at minimising the cost of funding the project.”
The cash balance of a project will be determined by the required cash outflows (paychecks of your engineers, contractors, parts) less the cash inflows.
In an ideal scenario your customer would be happy with being billed early in the game and paying you upfront but they too have their CAPEX constraints and yearly budget for external contractors so most of the times an engineering company will need borrowing from the Bank on a project to project basis as they deliver the contract. A Treasurer should design innovative ideas to minimise this cost and scale up opportunities.
If you want some more fun you can add complexity by having cost and revenue in different currencies subjected to unstable exchange rates, your Bank not willing to lend in a third country, or a Government restricting your capability to repatriate cash in hard currency to the where your shareholders reside.
INVERNESS has proved experience in designing ways of working, brokering with your stakeholders and supporting your business through those dilemmas in a satisfactory manner. We are a phone call away from making your life easier.