20 Jun 2023

Focus on: Engineering and Manufacturing

Companies operating within the engineering and manufacturing space face a set of unique challenges relating to the nature of their work – such as the impact of fluctuating material, component, and energy costs. The team at Monahans, understand the pressures facing business leaders today, and are on hand to help organisations navigate the shifting landscape, which includes signposting to the correct support. Partner Iain Black explains about the services that Monahan’s offers in this space.

What kind of clients do you work with?
We have a broad range of clients, from the small family run firms to large corporate entities where they will be making use of our auditing, corporate tax and statutory accounts services – which are three services often made use of simultaneously.

What kind of advice do you tend to give?
The type of guidance that we offer depends on the size and complexity of the client. Looking first at the top end of the scale, once an organisation reaches a certain size, the business model tends to become quite sophisticated, and the support we provide often sits around specific areas where they might be looking to, for example, expansion by acquisition where we can assist with identifying strategic targets and negotiating potential partnerships. We also help with accessing available reliefs such as R&D tax credits, an area currently subject to significant tightening, but one where if the circumstances are right there is still benefit to be obtained.

Engineering and manufacturing is a tough sector for many to stay afloat now with basic things like rising input, material, and labour costs. Depending on the area that they are operating in, some businesses are being more strongly impacted. Some organisations in the engineering sector for example, use a huge amount of electricity and are therefore at greater risk of being affected by rising energy costs that have already come though and when current supply contacts finish further down the line.

For these clients, we can help them to prepare and protect against potential future impact, by for example, helping with cash flow planning to ensure that they have taken pre-emptive action that will lessen the blow. Looking forward is essential for all size of business and taking having the right support as a business can help identify and navigate around some of the bumps in the road.

The larger a business is, the more they tend to need support on bigger project-based work, for example, tax advice around purchasing a building. The support we provide is not just limited to financial guidance either, we often call on other departments to help with areas such as workplace focused issues.

For example, Sophie Austin one of our Partners, provides tailored support with a range of topics such as mentoring, and strategy. Juliet Mellues, Senior HR Consultant, can become an essential extension to a business’ team when it comes to HR and recruitment. Payroll is another integral service that our clients tend to use – Neil Manuel provides an invaluable service that takes a massive amount of stress and anxiety off people’s shoulders. Having cross-department collaboration really bolsters the service and broadens the depth of resource and expertise we can offer.

Then when we drop down in terms of size, our involvement with engineering and manufacturing companies varies from bookkeeping and management accounts production to aid understanding of performance to reviewing systems related to the running of their business, such as integrated sale and expenditure or stock control systems. These are areas which have exploded in recent years – where there used to be only three or four products in the marketplace there are now hundreds of different offerings out there. So much so that it has warranted Monahans to have a whole team dedicated to digital solutions.

How important is the consultative part of your work?
In my experience most business owners will have an inkling of there is a change coming down the line, so it is crucial to build a relationship where they feel comfortable in calling us up and discussing it. Having those open lines of communication are invaluable, and we can provide a sounding board at multiple levels – whether that be on a day-to-day basis with a manager or sitting down with a partner or director about a specific issue.

That is certainly something a lot of our clients have found valuable – they are not just coming to us for compliance services - we provide a personal integrated approach that gives them more value for money.

With this in mind, why should clients choose Monahans?
For us there is a definite focus on the cultural fit – we genuinely have the clients' best interest at heart and that is the foundation on which the relationship begins. This approach lends itself to a certain level of behaviour where, for example, we will always signpost clients to the most appropriate person to speak to in our organisation to ensure that they are having right conversation– we have the size of team and depth of experience to offer this.

It is not the easiest time for clients in the manufacturing and engineering sector. There are concerns around both raw material and component costs which have both been on a steady upward trend for the last eighteen months and show little sign of abating. Many businesses also have wage inflation circling around everything, combined with a shortage of skilled staff.

Our services aim to ease some of the pressures faced by business owners, providing them with guidance on different elements of their business’ operations and finances and acting as that extra pair of hands. The advantage of our breadth of services, is that we can take every spinning plate into consideration and incorporate it into the holistic advice that we offer.

If you need support with the running of your business or would like to discuss your specific needs, please contact Iain Black or Martin Longmore who would be more than happy to discuss your options.

Iain Black