… it wasn’t until the audit reports were received that we realised how much money was still on the table. We have recovered a substantial six-figure sum from our agencies and their suppliers…
“We have had an effective procurement team in Marketing Services for some years – it has delivered cost savings running into millions of pounds. Nevertheless it wasn’t until the audit reports were received that we realised how much money was still on the table. We have recovered a substantial six-figure sum from our agencies and their suppliers and, with regular auditing, we believe that our marketing budget in future will be going where we intend it to go: behind our brands. The recommendations from the reports have acted as a catalyst for: implementing new contracts with all of our agencies which are much more explicit in certain areas; a deeper understanding of fixed fee and over redemption insurance as well as how to manage promotional and counterparty risk; and increasing resource in the Marketing Procurement team in order to manage our agencies effectively. I trust that many others will come to appreciate what Financial Progression brings to the table.” Head of Category – Sales and Marketing Services, Major UK FMCG
Sales & Marketing Consultancy
On every occasion I found that the money spent on audits gave an excellent return on the fees paid…
“Any company spending £500,000 or more on marketing services that is not auditing is overlooking a significant opportunity to maximise the profit it gets from its marketing expenditure. The contracts negotiated with the marketing agencies plus the audits by Financial Progression created an openness and transparency that I’ve never been able to achieve before. The key benefits for the marketing teams were: 1. an absolute, agreed fairness for both client and agency; 2. an environment with no fear of spending because there is no risk of being overcharged; 3. a saving of management time and guaranteed value for money; 4. reciprocal trust and respect between client and service supplier. On every occasion I found that the money spent on audits gave an excellent return on the fees paid and I thoroughly recommend Financial Progression to any prospective marketer wishing to intelligently reduce or eliminate wasted marketing expenditure.” Director, Sales & Marketing Consultancy, UK
Full Service Advertising Agency
The outcome is the relationship with our client is now stronger than it was previously.
“We have been audited by other clients in the past and found the auditors’ approach to be very direct in seeking to find errors in our accounting systems to both budgeted and actual costs. We did not find these experiences constructive. Our experience with Financial Progression has been very different. You came in without any preconceptions and were open in your approach: you sought to understand how we run the financial side of the account as well as asking in detail about the positive aspects of working with our client and the things we wish were different. Only afterwards did you seek to put forward opinions or make any judgements. The ensuing discussion highlighted the fact that there were creative differences between us and our client, which we had been unable to resolve satisfactorily with the brand manager. Not only did Financial Progression’s report faithfully record our viewpoint, it also raised the issue with the brand manager and recorded her perspective in the report. As a result both parties have been able to discuss the issues more openly and, with the Marketing Director now more engaged, address them. The outcome is the relationship with our client is now stronger than it was previously.
As well as strengthening the client relationship, your independent perspective on our internal processes and systems has provided an additional impetus to accelerate some of the changes we were planning. I am confident that other agencies whose contracts with clients are audited by Financial Progression will have similarly positive experiences.” Director, Full Service Advertising Agency, London
… since the audit we have improved the contractual, financial and operational processes in place with our agency and taken the learnings to use with others as well.
“I would definitely work with Financial Progression again. They took the time to understand the client/agency relationship and ensured that whilst they were working for the client they were sensitive to and open to taking on board agency thoughts and inputs. The relationship review definitely gave us some clear areas to work on for the future and since the audit we have improved the contractual, financial and operational processes in place with our agency and taken the learnings to use with others as well. Thorough and well handled.” Marketing Procurement Manager, Major Clothing and Food Retailer, UK
The ROI from the audits was excellent — we recovered royalties to around twice the value of your fees, which has been particularly well received by our Finance team.
“I just wanted to put down in writing to you a few words of appreciation for the compliance audits of our licensing agreements which Financial Progression carried out for us in the second half of 2011.
My appointment as Head of Licensing in early 2011 provided, for the first time, the opportunity for us to focus on our licensing business. There were a number of agreements in place, many of which came about as a result of acquisitions, and it was very important for me that we should understand not only the current state of the commercial relationship, but also how effectively the terms of the agreements have been implemented in practice.
Financial Progression carried out 7 audits. We were delighted with the quality of the work and the results. You went through the contracts in great detail and got the nub of certain commercial and financial issues, which means that we are now well placed to maximise the mutual opportunity with all of our licensees. The ROI from the audits was excellent — we recovered royalties to around twice the value of your fees, which has been particularly well received by our Finance team.
The recommendations from the audit reports have been insightful and enabled us to develop a robust licensing strategy, understand holistically the historical variations in our agreements, manage risks more effectively and improved ways of working with our partners.
We are delighted with the service received and can recommend Financial Progression’s audits to any organisation wishing to gain confidence that their licensing agreements are working as intended.” Marketing Controller and Head of Licensing, Major UK FMCG
Post audit, for the Agency to thank us for the audit process and how much they have learnt about themselves and their processes was a revelation for all parties.
“We have varying levels of Supplier Relationship Management and a number of ways to audit suppliers as part of that process. Audit options range from Internal Audits, to labour standards audits, from NGO auditing, to manufacturing audits that feed into Sedex, but this is the first time we have ever used forensic/contract compliance auditing.
When applying the audit process to services, especially creative provision of services (e.g. Media, PR, Sales Promotion, Digital creative etc), it is very difficult to get the balance right between quality of services and costs incurred. Financial Progression ‘got that balance 100% right’. Post audit, for the Agency to thank us for the audit process and how much they have learnt about themselves and their processes was a revelation for all parties.
For smaller Media agencies (less than £10 million turnover) I see this process as invaluable to open up the relationship, to build the levels of trust and facilitate a move to a level of transparency we all talk of, but rarely achieve.
I need to see how the audit output reflects in the changes to process, ways of working and the overall value delivered by the Agency. For Marketing Services, looking at spend alone is merely scratching the surface: I believe to get true value from an Agency, Financial Progression’s audit process is ‘a must’.” Purchasing Manager – Supporter Marketing, Corporate Comms & Trading Division, Big 3 UK Charity
Digital Media Agency
The open and transparent way of working was very refreshing.
“We were extremely happy with our dealings with Financial Progression during a recent audit.
Audits can be tough and arduous, but Financial Progression made it an engaging and transparent process. We were clear at every step of the way as to what was going to be required, how the information would be used and given an opportunity to review in detail any findings before they became conclusions.
The information gathered was done so in a collaborative manner, with Financial Progression engaging with different parts of the organisation in one-to-one sessions, and yet sharing any insights with the senior management to both enhance the overall business operation as well as that of the client’s account.
The open and transparent way of working was very refreshing.” CEO, Leading UK Digital Agency
… your experience, business relevance, intelligence and independence of mind were highly valued…
“Thank for your help and support during this audit process. Although it was not an easy environment to navigate, your experience, business relevance, intelligence and independence of mind were highly valued by myself and other agency members.
I wish you the best of luck and look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.” CFO, Award Winning Global Creative Agency