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The A Team’s Role in Streamlining a Company’s Environmental Investment Audits

Accounting Services Case Study Controller Finances

Introduction

The A Team played a crucial role in transforming the financial operations of an environmental research and investment company that specialized in initiating renewable energy projects. This business was facing challenges in organizing the financial assets needed for an external audit requested by investors. This case study highlights the significant impact of The A Team’s Outsourced Controller Services in addressing the company’s key challenges and pain points. 

Client Background

Our Client, operating globally and focusing on the viability of renewable energy projects, engages in extensive surveys, research, and geological studies. The company evaluates the social, geological, and environmental impact of projects including wind turbines, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy. The need for an investment audit arose as one of the Client’s partners considered joint development, requiring a comprehensive analysis of 15+ years of company expenses.

Challenges and Pain Points

In producing this deliverable, the company faced several challenges:

  1. Large Scale Project: Preparing schedules and support for an audit of over 15 years of expenses incurred by the company posed a significant challenge due to the scale and complexity.
  2. High Employee Rate Turnover:  Years of high employee turnover resulted in incomplete documentation of financial records, leading to difficulties in verifying expenses.
  3. Incomplete Documentation: Auditors expected a thorough expense report from an in-house Controller who was no longer employed, lacking detail and supporting scheduling documentation.
  4. Unsubstantiated Numbers: Unsubstantiated figures and data added complexity, requiring significant manpower to gather documentation and rebuild the expense report.
  5. Technology Problems: Coordinating with old email addresses, unorganized documents in boxes, and old hard drives presented technological challenges.
  6. Remote Locations: Remote and isolated locations for project coordination demanded strategic planning and mobilization of the team.

Solution

The company hired The A Team to address these challenges and provide a comprehensive solution. Our Outsourced Controller was able to address these complex challenges and deliver tangible results.

  1. Clear Goals and Deadlines: The A Team worked with the Client to establish clear goals, deadlines, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for effective project management.
  2. Consulting and Advice: The A Team offered one-on-one consulting, feedback, and expertise in audit situations, guiding the Client regarding what should be included/excluded.
  3. Project Management Expertise: The A Team Controller provided strong project management in handling multiple moving pieces and a vast amount of documentation.
  4. Large Team Management: The A Team effectively managed the Client’s large team to Outsourced Bookkeepers, to assist with the data management process.
  5. Organization and Delegation: The A Team facilitated efficient organization and delegation of tasks to Client’s internal teams through weekly emails, updates, and phone calls.

Results Achieved

The A Team’s Outsourced Controller services resulted in significant positive outcomes for the Client:

  1. Substantiated Expenses: Over 97% of the $27 million in expenses were substantiated, reducing the error rate to 2-3%, deemed excellent for the industry and budget.
  2. Timely Completion: The project, initiated in June, was completed by November within the specified timeframe.
  3. Efficiency and Repeatable Processes: The streamlined verification process laid the foundation for increased efficiency and repeatability, and established Client procedures for seamless future audits.

Conclusion

The A Team Controller played a pivotal role in transforming the Client’s environmental investment audit landscape. The A Team’s expertise in Fractional Accounting Services not only resolved immediate challenges, but also laid the groundwork for future financial success in the company’s environmental initiatives.

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