CFO & Accounting Support
The Company, a consumer products manufacturer, had a successful 20 year history. The owners were uncertain how to plan for their long-term future and lacked financial management of their back-office operations.
We provided Fractional CFO assistance and general accounting support and helped the company develop a strategic plan. We completely redesigned the accounting system and implemented new processes and procedures to improve financial reporting and cash forecasting and prepared an annual budget. When it was time to sell the Company the books were in such good condition we were able to secure a review by a national CPA firm quickly and cost-effectively. The buyer used one of the largest international CPA firms for their due diligence. The did not take exception to any of the data we provided and the Company was sold for a price that was significantly higher than expected.
Finance & Accounting Support
A publicly traded holding company operating in the financial services and real estate development industries needed to implement the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for the real estate development operations. The operating subsidiaries all operated as “stand-alone” businesses and had headquarters in differing cities/states.
We managed this project. The operating subsidiaries consisted of a nationally recognized home builder, a smaller regional home builder, a commercial real estate developer and a developer of master planned communities. We planned & executed this effort to assess and report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting using the COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework. The accounting management for each material subsidiary engaged local resources (usually local CPA firms) whom we supervised to complete the documentation and evaluation of the control environment, risk assessment, control activities, info & comm and monitoring for each material subsidiary. The team working on this project included various in-house and external personnel and ranged in size from 6 to 12 individuals at any given time. Our direct report for this project was the Company’s CFO.
The Company intended to embark on a significant acquisition and was looking for a partner to support this effort that would commit the time and effort over an extended time frame and had the financial expertise to work quickly and efficiently and respond effectively to interested investors.
Safima provided the financial due diligence and other M&A support over an eight month period that culminated in a $575 million acquisition. In addition to financial due diligence, our services included preparing a five-year forecast of the operations of the target company by location, and compiling a consolidated forecast with full financial statements for the combined entity. We also compiled a number of supporting analyses, established and managed a data room, and provided additional information as required for prospective investors. Subsequent to the acquisition, we assisted the target company in securing its audited financial statements and compiled pro forma financials of the combined entity under SEC SX Article 11 guidelines.
The Plaintiff’s counsel in an insurance defense matter was acting in an unreasonable and somewhat irrational manner and had alleged multiple Loss damage claims for casualty and other reasons. The insurance company had made a reasonable offer to settle the claims but it was rejected by Plaintiff.
In this case, we were engaged as the “Expert Witness” for the defense counsel. The Plaintiff later agreed to an out-of-court settlement that was a small fraction of the damage claims sought. The Plaintiffs agreement to this settlement was primarily the result of the economic, financial, accounting and other reasons for rebuttal that we provided defense counsel. The following were the more significant meritorious defense strategies that we devised:
Our comprehensive analysis of the claimed property damages revealed that the Plaintiff did not have accounting or other documents which supported the loss amount(s).
We provided the defendant’s counsel with substantial winning counter arguments against the claim of loss of beneficial lease forcing the Plaintiff to abandon this claim.
In regards to Plaintiff’s claims of “Loss of Earnings, Loss of Income & Loss of Profits, we demonstrated that in this case these claims were either duplicative or inclusive. Further our detail analysis of the Plaintiff’s financial statements, revealed that the Company had never been profitable nor did it generate positive cash flow resulting in additional diminution of these claims.
Lastly, we developed an overall defense strategy to attack the Plaintiff’s character by demonstrating that the Company was unstable, unreliable and not credible based upon its history, operations, structure and atmosphere.
A failed financial institution with a large commercial loan portfolio required due diligence review, but the due diligence contractors were not permitted to review the original loan documents because the institution was under extensive investigation. The contractors were required to perform procedures that would qualify the loans for securitization and sale in the secondary market. This meant that the loan files had to be replicated in duplicate, and the replicated files had to look exactly like the originals – including Post-It Notes and hand written annotations. The replicated files had to be ready for review within three weeks.
Three departments were established: (1) Production – This department obtained the original loan files and prepared them for duplication. This entailed organizing literally thousands of paper-filled files, removing paper clips, staples and attachments and otherwise ensuring that the final assembled pages would reproduce accurately. (2) Duplication – This operation involved the use of 11 high-speed copiers with three individuals at each copier. The files were received by one person and made ready for duplication. The second person operated the copier and the third person obtained the originals to ensure they stayed in the order received and to put the two duplicated copies in the same order as the original; (3) Quality Control – This operation took the original and duplicated files and double checked them page-by-page. They then returned the original loans to the file room and delivered the duplicated files to the due diligence contractors. Every step of the process was documented to protect the legal chain of custody over the documents. The entire process was successfully established and began operation within two weeks of the commencement of the assignment.
Improved Inventory Procedures
A large automobile dealership was experiencing parts inventory shortages, and the inventory procedures in place did not provide management with sufficient information to either determine the cause of the shortage or provide assurance that the inventory was regularly conducted properly. The inventory procedures were not well documented and there were no procedures to hold those performing the inventory accountable for the accuracy of the physical count.
New written inventory procedures were drafted and implemented to ensure accurate documentation of the physical count. The counting process required two individuals – one to perform the count and one to handle the recording – and formal check-in/check-out procedures were established to provide assurance that the physical inventory was being taken in an accurate manner throughout the day. The dealership was subsequently purchased by a large national company and these procedures were designated as best practices by the internal audit department of the acquirer.
Accounting Records Cleanup
A company converted their accounting records to a new system. The conversion process was not well managed and their accounts receivable records were in disarray. The company could not accurately send customers statements or collect its money in a timely fashion. The transaction data involved more than 1 million records.
The procedures that were performed in the conversion process were carefully reviewed to identify any areas that may have contributed to the disorder. Once identified, a number of reparative steps were taken to analyze the data and identify and separate the valid receivable transactions from the invalid transactions. The accounts were reconciled in less than 60 days.