In only one year of operations, SurSum has achieved incredible success, which can be accredited to one individual, Tom Blandford. With a 20-year career spanning large firms such as PwC and Armstrong Watson, Blandford now runs SurSum. With the mission to be, ‘Your Law Firm’s CFO’, SurSum is an owner-operated firm specialising in the legal sector, with the core focus of acting as Financial Director and/or Chief Financial Operator for law firms.
Advisory at the forefront
At SurSum, Tom delivers strategic finance projects to law firms to improve business outcomes. Based in Yorkshire, but with national and international clients, SurSum’s clients come to it for its industry expertise.
Like any good FD/CFO, Tom’s starting point is data-driven internal budgeting, forecasting, and result monitoring, then using that to partner with the board and drive business performance. In addition, Tom gets heavily involved in law firm M&A, valuations, firm incorporation, and more.
Working as a one-man band can be a challenge for anyone, and for Tom, his most precious commodity is time. With an abundance of work, and only so many hours in the day, Tom found the time he was spending in Excel could be saved by implementing reporting software, which is what led him to Spotlight Reporting.
Saving time with automation
Tom quickly realised that automating his processes using software could save a lot of time, especially working as a one-man band. With automation, he could free up 2-3 hours of work every day, which would allow him to focus on delivering high-quality advisory services to his clients.
One major draw to Spotlight Reporting for Tom was its industry templates. He was delighted to discover that Spotlight Reporting came with professional practice templates, meaning he had everything he needed to get his reports set up for law-specific clients. The out-of-the-box approach saved him additional time, as he didn't have to spend many hours creating reports for each client every month. After a few hours of setting up the software, Tom had bespoke reports he could use and share with clients.
Fully customisable and easy to use
From the get-go Tom, as an industry expert, had a keen eye for detail. As such, he wanted to ensure that he could make the necessary tweaks and refinements to his reports. He found Spotlight Reporting’s software to be easily customisable, and he didn't have to worry about not being able to make reports highly tailored to the client or subject. With the option to customise the data as per his requirements, and the tool's ease of use, Tom was quickly impressed with Spotlight Reporting and its features.
As with any business owner, clients can bring many challenges to SurSum. For instance, during a consultation, Tom's client expressed difficulty in understanding the financial standing of her business. It was only when Tom presented a cashflow forecast, customised with visual graphs, that the client was able to comprehend the emerging trend. This enabled Tom to provide appropriate advice to the client and help them avoid future financial concerns. By using visually appealing graphs in Spotlight Reporting, Tom believes that people can better grasp the significance of the numbers.
“You need to think about what works for those busy, owner-operated businesses, and that’s where Spotlight Reporting can help.” Tom Blandford, Chief Financial Officer
As SurSum is almost exclusively advisory, Tom explains that he has adopted an advisory-centred approach for his business as a whole. He believes that by using this approach, which involves reversing the traditional accounting process, he can have a significant impact on his clients' businesses. To empower this approach, he uses Spotlight Reporting to automate the process and make it easier for clients to manage their business.
Spotlight Reporting leads to excellent results
Tom explains that his experience with Spotlight Reporting has been hassle-free from the beginning. He emphasises that the software provides more than just numerical data and highlights the importance of considering who the end consumer is for the reports. In Tom's case, the consumer is not always the typical accountant, finance or payroll person. He further explains that with Spotlight Reporting, businesses can gain a better understanding of their operations, and by working together with Tom, they can make informed decisions that lead to excellent results.
Tom shares, “We’ve got to remember who’s the consumer here. What’s important to them?”
Discover the power of Spotlight Reporting today.
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