Reporting under pressure
CFO Stuart Whitney has been part of Invivo’s head office team for over seven years. Despite the amount of planning, forecasting and reporting required by the rapidly growing business and its stakeholders, he primarily works alone. The company uses Xero for its financials, Vinsight, a wine industry-specific system, for invoicing and costing, and previously used Xero apps for reporting and modelling.
“Because we're a small but fast-growing company,” says Whitney, “our board required more and more information, but we didn't have big system budgets. While the Xero apps I was using were great value for money, they were becoming unsuitable as our business became increasingly sophisticated.”
“I advised our board that given we are highly likely to be in capital raising mode again in future, modelling is critical, and we need a far more advanced tool to make it manageable. Furthermore, such a tool would help me provide the detailed information and reporting the board and our bank require.”Stuart Whitney | Chief Finance Officer, Invivo Wines
But it wasn’t until Whitney worked on a potential private equity financed acquisition deal that the system issue became really apparent.
“I spent much of the year working on these potential acquisitions, which included very complex financial modelling, which was a very stressful process. While I managed to get through the due diligence, it was extremely challenging given the timeframes and the workload. Unfortunately, after all our work, the acquisitions fell through at the last minute – so, many months of work with nothing but the learnings out of it. However, I came away with the absolute certainty that the company and I both needed a far more powerful tool,” says Whitney.