MJA Studio is a dynamic and nimble design practice. The studio is headed by recognised leaders in commercial, mixed-use and multi-residential architecture.  MJA has won numerous awards for their work and have recently expanded to open a Melbourne office.

 

The Challenge

When KHT started working with MJA, the Directors were focussed on delivering a superior service to their clients.  As a consequence, the business was growing. 

Whilst they had an internal bookkeeper, there was no one in the business to focus on core financial matters or financial strategy.  Further, there was no system of monthly management reporting.  This meant the Directors were not certain of how they were tracking with cashflow and profit month-to-month. 

Like any growing business, cashflow needs to be managed as profits are injected back into the business.  Key cashflow items, such as tax payments, weren’t always budgeted or planned for, leading to some surprises at tax time.

MJA needed an entire finance function to:

  • Devise and execute a financial strategy
  • Implement an appropriate system of financial control
  • Ensure all administrative tasks are accurate and completed in a timely fashion
  • Select and manage the appropriate financial tools.

As for most small businesses, employing a full team to perform this function was not an option; nor did it make sense.

The Directors wanted to focus on delivering to their clients, but also wanted to have a sound financial underpinning.

 

The Opportunity

Working with MJA we identified a number of areas of opportunity. 

After a thorough review of the business structure, it was decided there would be great benefit in completing a restructure.

Monthly management reporting with Key Performance Indicators would be implemented.  A system would also be implemented for ongoing tax planning and tax cashflow forecasting, alongside budgeting and cashflow management.

We also identified the benefits of moving to a cloud-based accounting system (Xero).

 

The Outcome

The transition to Xero and monthly reporting on business KPIs went smoothly.  Xero enabled KHT to follow the business in real-time.  We also selected some Xero add-ons which gave us KPI reporting.

We set up a system of monthly management meetings.  KHT was tasked with preparing the monthly reports for these meetings.  The benefits of these meetings became evident, as the MJA Directors saw it as an opportunity to move beyond a discussion of just the numbers to broader company issues.

KHT started their engagement with MJA with a single-minded focus on providing their client with absolute financial certainty.  With this as an underlying philosophy, the directors of MJA are now able to focus exclusively on providing a superior service to their clients knowing their core financial considerations are fully managed by KHT.