Last modified January 9, 2014 by Adrian

‘Financial Who?’

Eight things you need to know about Financial Progression, what we do and the way we work.
  1. Financial Progression is a firm of Chartered Accountants, founded in 2008, specialising in contract compliance audits of advertising and media agencies and risk management associated with marketing activitiesRead about our founder and key team members →
  2. For our clients, our end products are one or all of the following: increased clarity, certainty and control over marketing spend; reduced business risk (both visible and hidden) associated with your marketing activities; and cost reduction through reconciliation and rebate clawbacks, fairer agency financial practice and correction of your marketing agencies’ accounting errors.
  3. We typically work with big, international consumer brands — businesses with significant UK or global marketing spends, where even small financial ’slippages’ or contractual oversights can mean quite large sums of the brand’s budget ending up in the wrong hands.
  4. Our discoveries are significant. We found for one client that all of its agencies owed money back on third-party costs to the tune of £500,000. For a global brand, we uncovered that its creative agency was holding, at any given time, £250,000 of its money despite a contractual commitment to cash neutrality on the account. For yet another global client, we found that its agency’s fees had been inflated by 13%, translating into nearly €1 million that the brand had been over-charged. More horror stories case studies →
  5. We don’t nickel-and-dime and we won’t nit-pick at the expense of valuable relationships simply to justify our fee. We absolutely ‘get it’ that client-agency collaborations can be special, close, sparky and dynamic, and that the output can be creative, highly visible and hugely influential. In fact, a big part of our skillset is earning the trust and the respect of your agencies. So if you’re concerned that by sending in the beanies, the picky pocket-protector brigade, you’d be automatically running the risk of upsetting valuable partnerships, please think again: some of our warmest recommendations come from creative agencies we’ve audited. (BTW, we swapped our pens and pocket protectors for Macs and iPads a good while ago… it’s just the hair we need to work on.)
  6. Our Chartered Accountancy status really does matter to you, and sets us apart from other players out there offering to do financial audits of your creative and media agencies. Why? Because, as a firm of Chartered Accountants, our activities are regularly monitored by the ICAEW for competence and ethics. We have to be boringly thorough, independent of any agency, and completely transparent in our work — or else. We don’t work for agencies and our only paymasters are you, the brand. If we have a conflict of interest we simply decline the work. And for example, if we were ever offered a commission or introduction fee, we’d simply have to declare this to you, in line with ICAEW guidelines. Some of our competitors are not obliged to operate to these standards of professional independence, transparency and business propriety. Compare us with our competitors →
  7. In addition to knowing our stuff, we know an incredible amount about your stuff and the issues you grapple with. Between us, our team has over 85 years of experience working within companies such as Mars Confectionery, Deutsche Bank, Rank Hovis McDougall, Hewlett-Packard, Condé Nast, Avis, Premier Foods, John Lewis, PwC, and Robson Rhodes. This means that we can, if asked, point you in the right direction and give you pragmatic, actionable advice.
  8. When it comes to results, we’re very focused on specifics rather than generalities. Our aim is to leave you with actionable summaries rather than a lot of dry statistics, cash in the bank — where due to you — rather than dizzying spreadsheets, and realistic, achievable ways of working with your agencies going forward rather than a bullet-list of ‘what went wrong’. Read more about results you can expect from working with us →