Breakfast Cereal Manufacture and Export


Primary: Manufacturing

Secondary: Wholesale and Retail Trade

Key Contribution

Improved the timeliness and quality of the management accounts and reporting to the leadership team and the Board and provided a positive and valuable contribution to the business as a member of the leadership team.

The Business

The business was a household name in breakfast cereals in New Zealand and had, over a period of 15 years, built a strong presence in export markets such as Australia, Singapore and China. The business manufactured its breakfast cereals entirely in New Zealand using a combination of local and specialised ingredients and sold through its own and private label brands.

The Challenge

The business had been unsuccessful in employing a replacement for their departing Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and decided to look for a senior, commercial CFO to join the business through a transitionary period and to give them sufficient time to make the right permanent appointment.

The Assistance Required

The business needed to engage a senior, commercial CFO on contract to work through a limited handover from their long-standing, departing CFO, pick up as much intellectual property as possible and hit the ground running to deliver the required outcomes from the Finance and Customer Services team and provide a positive and valuable contribution to the leadership team.

The Approach

The business engaged on contract a senior, commercial CFO with strong food and commercial business experience and the right personality to work effectively at all levels in the organisation to proactively manage the administrative, financial and risk management functions for the business through a time of business change and complexity.

The Results Delivered

The engagement ran for 7 months resulting in the successful handover to the permanently appointed Financial Controller.

Key results delivered during this engagement included:

  • Performed a review of corporate services functionality assessing people, structure, process, documentation, and systems. Identified and communicated opportunities for improvement and implemented remedial work as required;

  • Ensured the business’ statutory and legal obligations were met, prudent financial management and stewardship of the shareholders’ investment occurred and led the development and implementation of key financial strategies in support of the

organisation’s strategic goals;

  • Provided decision support in relation to new funding arrangements

The contract CFO’s significant contribution and effective relationships with the leadership team and all staff was such that the business re-engaged him less than six months later for 4 months to help them address several key issues facing the business including:

  • Improving the accuracy of the financial year to budget gap analysis and the expected year-end result;

  • Contributing to and involvement in delivering the required messaging to the business’ key stakeholders;

  • Agreeing the high-level assumptions with the leadership team and building the coming financial year’s forecast;

  • Providing cashflow analysis of a new Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) customer’s proposed payment terms;

  • Completing the external auditor’s recommended actions and addressing the impact of new accounting standards (e.g. NZ IFRS 9 and NZ IFRS 15), going concern and deferred tax assessments prior to the end of the financial year.