Latest News

1 08, 2014

Platform for Growth

August 1st, 2014|Uncategorized|

Is your business growth faltering, are you struggling to maintain stable growth?

The Platform for Growth is a powerful development programme that enables and supports your business growth plans.

The platform is designed for entrepreneurs to help your company’s performance. It is also a methodology for working and empowering your organization to make changes.

The Platform for Growth covers those areas of the business essential for business success:

The core model covers the key financial areas a business requires in order to survive.
The business evaluation examines the strategy of the business.
Combined methodology that highly successful businesses use.
Key products and tools to support the programme and implementation.
IP knowledge and understanding of the business.

At a personal level you will have clearer goals of what you want to achieve and of the opportunities and risks facing the business.
If you would like to know more about the programme, or how it might help your business please contact or

1 04, 2014

Working Smarter for Growth

April 1st, 2014|Uncategorized|

On Thursday 27 March we co-hosted an SME event in Guildford: ‘Working Smarter for Growth’

Facilitated by Lance Walker of Ministry of Innovation and Alastair Manson of Ascent FD,  the group spent the first part of the meeting finding out about each other’s businesses before exploring the key challenges of 2014. We then moved on to the presentations:

>  How Barclays Help SME’s Grow – Ben Earls of Barclays

>  SME’s Tendering for Public Sector Contracts – Jason Duncombe of Surrey CC procurement

>  Preparing for Growth – Alastair Manson of Ascent FD

>  Growing Sales – Lance Walker of Ministry of Innovation

>  GrowthAcceleerator – Roya Croudace of GrowthAccelerator

Over the course of 3 hours we had a wide-ranging discussion with everyone getting the chance to share experiences and ask questions not only of the presenters but also their fellow attendees.

It was a thoroughly engaging evening. We will be hosting more events in the future – please watch this space for announcements, and feel free to contact us should you have any questions in the meantime.

You can download the Ascent FD presentation here:

AscentFD Preparing for Growth 27032014


7 03, 2014

New joiners

March 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|

We are pleased to announce that we are welcoming another 2 Finance Directors to join our team. Robin Halliday is an experienced FD in both public and private companies. Catie Harley uses her vast corporate experience to help drive SME’s forward. Click here for more detail.

18 02, 2014

Upcoming Event – Working Smarter for Growth

February 18th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Ascent FD is pleased to be teaming up with Barclays Bank, Surrey County Council and the Ministry for Growth to run the upcoming event, ‘Working Smarter for Growth’.

The event is at the Barclays Corporate office in Guildford, on Thursday 27 March.

Our keynote speaker is Ross Duguid from Surrey County Council (‘SCC’) Procurement, who will provide tips on what SMEs need to do when tendering for SCC contracts.

We will also be presenting fresh ideas on how to prepare your company for growth and how to generate double-digit sales growth.

To register your place, please visit:

We’re looking forward to seeing you there….


11 02, 2014

Auto enrolment pitfalls and practicalities

February 11th, 2014|Uncategorized|

The majority of companies who have not yet already been captured under the umbrella of pension auto enrolment will do so in 2014. Even companies whose staging dates may be later this year or during 2015 may also be subsidiaries of larger groups and this is when implementation of auto enrolment could prove a significant disruption to the business.

The parent company may decide that as its staging date is earlier than its subsidiaries, all the group companies will need to auto enrol earlier than expected and this presents a number of logistical issues to the HR and finance departments of each business. A review of all employee payroll and financial IT systems, frequency of employee payments, payment dates, administrative procedures and transactional reporting is essential. As a consequence there may need to be changes to standardise systems and record keeping, as well as setting up a pension scheme with a third party plus the communication of the implementation. Adopting a scheme that will suit all employees, covering their age and attitude to risk with a degree of flexibility, is also something many smaller businesses under estimate.

The time scale for implementation in the above scenario is likely to be lengthy and it should be treated as a project sponsored by the owners and/or directors of the business.

Is your company ready?

29 10, 2013

New client targets international expansion

October 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Ascent FD has recently taken on instruction from a client that is looking to expand its operations into East Africa, an area that is offering great opportunities for international growth.

Our client is capitalising on this by offering local services to multinationals looking to expand in the area. Ascent FD’s brief is to provide guidance on corporate governance and risk, as well as setting up the financial systems and infrastructure required by a rapid growth, multi-location business.

Our involvement will grow over time, as the business will likely require further assistance on raising funding and all aspects of financial direction and management.

To find out how we can assist your business’s growth, contact Alastair on 07775 658 835.

11 10, 2013

Where is your business going?

October 11th, 2013|Uncategorized|

You know where the business has been, and maybe where it is now, but do you know where it is going ?

For many SME’s the only way owner managers and directors become formally aware of the state of the company is when the annual accounts are produced, and also periodic management accounts give some guidance but it is all historic information. Forecasting is a technique not often carried out except on an annual basis to produce a budget.

Unfortunately, with the failure of the banking system and the subsequent recession it meant that cash flow forecasting and funding in general became critical path issues, and continue to be so for all businesses.  In some instances the attention of senior management is diverted away from the commercial and operational activities that drive sales and margin with finance staff becoming more transactionally focused. In some instances this can lead to a resource gap with companies not having the time or staff with the skill set to assist in re-evaluating strategy, updating business plans or implementing restructuring of the business for the future.

A part-time or interim finance resource could be the solution in the short-term to benchmark the business and assist senior management in re-focusing forward looking strategy.

For more information on how Ascent FD could assist your business please contact Alastair on 07775 658 835

26 07, 2013

Business Confidence Improving

July 26th, 2013|Newsletter|

New personnel
Ascent FD is pleased to welcome Stephen Carter and Martin Walby to our growing team of expert FDs. The addition of Stephen and Martin to the team will strengthen the group’s experience and resources, particularly in the FMCG and Engineering sectors.

New website
Our revamped website is now live at We’d be pleased to hear any feedback from you on the new look.

Client news
We have recently helped Blott to secure another round of funding. This has resulted in three new stores being opened (Lakeside, Manchester and Leeds) and at least one more will be added later this year. The brand continues to gain excellent momentum in the market.

Business confidence
UK business confidence recently reached a 13-month high but ‘cautious optimism’ seem to be the watchwords. Read about the report here. Recent British sporting successes and some prolonged fine weather must surely push it even higher.

Risk management
Despite improving performance most companies are too busy to consider controlling or reducing their risk exposure. Make sure it is on your agenda.

Auto enrolment is very much on the horizon for small businesses. Even if you don’t think your business is large enough, it’s worth checking on when you’re required to implement a workplace pension scheme.

Get in touch
Ascent FD can help your business. Contact one of our directors below to find out how:

Alastair Manson
07775 658835

Philip Poyner
07736 236200

20 04, 2013

Business Growth

April 20th, 2013|Newsletter|

News round
Ascent FD has seen continued growth over the past few months with two new clients coming on board and existing clients expanding their requirements.

Ascent FD specialise in outsourced finance director services, which are provided on a part time, interim or project basis.

New partnership – Abco payroll
Ascent FD are delighted to announce a new partnership with Abco payroll. Abco are a specialist payroll bureau who are both HMRC and BACS approved and have been established for over 35 years.

With the introductions of Real Time Information (RTI) and the phased roll out of Auto Enrolment (pensions), now is a key time to consider outsourcing. For further information or a no obligation quotation visit or call 01279 504 550.

Profit drivers and KPI’s
Make sure your profit drivers and key performance indicators both financial and non financial, are clearly understood. This should help lead conversation, management thinking and strategy when planning ahead and making decisions.

Ascent FD’s core aim is to provide business owners with expert financial management, freeing up the owners’ time to focus on business development and growth.

Pricing strategy
Pricing strategy and a good understanding of costs is key for the survival of many businesses.

Working capital
Many businesses would benefit from support with their business planning and funding requirements.

Cloud computing
Most companies are adopting elements of cloud computing but don’t have a clear strategy and development plan yet.

Tax incentives
Don’t forget those tax incentives, there is some administration work to do but well worth it in the end.

Get in touch
Ascent FD can help your business. Contact one of our directors below to find out how:

Alastair Manson
07775 658835

Philip Poyner
07736 236200

10 01, 2013

Plan ahead for business success

January 10th, 2013|Newsletter|

Ascent FD has seen steady growth over the past few years and is now pleased to welcome Philip Poyner on board to help look after existing clients and expand services provided to start ups and SMEs.

Ascent FD specialise in outsourced finance director services, which are provided on a part time, interim or project basis, covering London and the South East of England. (more…)