Monitoring, delving, and being where it all happens- Where new EFM associate Julian Sutcliffe adds value

Mar 17 2023 Business Updates

At EFM, our team of outsourced Finance Directors (FDs), CFOs and other finance professionals pride themselves on being much more than “just accountants”. Instead, they use their financial insight to inform strategy, engage stakeholders, and strengthen the bottom line- and new EFM associate Julian Sutcliffe comes to us with a track record of achieving exactly this.

About Julian Sutcliffe

With over 20 years’ experience in owner-managed entrepreneurial businesses across a broad range of sectors- including property development, construction, import, export, distribution, warehousing and fulfilment, and leisure- Julian has a passion for engaging with the operational side of business, to experience its challenges and opportunities first-hand.

As a junior auditor early in his career, he was urged to always take a thorough tour of clients’ premises and see the business in action, and this determination to, as he puts it, “monitor and delve under the skin” is a hands-on operational focus that has stayed with him.

He is as at home checking brick-by-brick construction project progress on site as he is working in the heart of leisure and hospitality venues to identify opportunities for smarter staffing, cost reduction, and revenue upside, to overseeing warehousing and fulfilment activities to ensure productivity and profitability targets are met. As he says, “you can’t do all of finance from behind a desk.”

That said, Julian’s experience of leading detailed and complex finance disciplines is certainly not lacking- and they go way beyond the preparation of management accounts. From negotiating finance with company bankers for major builds, to successfully delivering management buy-outs (MBO), and company sale and acquisition, Julian has prior form for maximising finance’s contribution to business performance and growth.

Rigour, consistency, and persistence also figure strongly in Julian’s approach to finance. One phrase he uses often is “being on top of it”- whether it’s about costs and profitability, risk, currency exposure, or whatever other critical metric.

And for him, this is as much about spotting new opportunities to strengthen the business’s performance as rectifying issues that might blow it off course.

What Julian will help EFM to do

Needless to say, Julian will enable EFM’s clients to effectively manage and control all aspects of their financial resources, and to fulfil all their financial compliance and reporting obligations, but at the same time he will enable us to add significant value beyond that.

Accustomed to working closely with company boards and senior management teams to advise on decisions and forecast both impacts and outcomes, Julian will engage not only with business owners and their finance function, but with departments across the business that can benefit from his organisational expertise.

You want the logistics of shipping heavy machinery from aboard taken care of? A new branch of your business set up in Paris? An accounting system sources and put in place to increase efficiencies and attain compliance? It’s all on Julian’s CV.

But for a professional with so much individual drive and determination, Julian also brings mentorship and a light management touch to proceedings.

Effective financial oversight, he maintains, works best when an FD builds and nurtures a team, gives them ownership, guidance, and the tools to do the job, and trusts them to get on with it.

For clients with existing finance teams, this approach will resonate strongly. For those yet to build such a team, Julian is an excellent choice to assume the helm.

In his own words

Julian says: “Seeing change and progress-whether in a company’s financials or in a construction project- has always been one of the most gratifying parts of my finance career.”

“With EFM, I am looking forward to engaging with businesses in many different sectors and stages of maturity, and actively supporting them on that journey- in a way that, in contrast to a full-time FD role, offers them maximum flexibility, accessibility, and affordability.”

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