Accuracy and efficiency are keys to effective investigations of a companies’ financial condition. Maintaining in-house specialists to conduct these investigations can prove costly and in today’s competitive environment, keeping costs in line is imperative. Internal staffing also relies heavily on adequate quality controls.
Sherwood Partners, Inc. has the experience and understands lenders or investors needs/requirements for efficient service and effective reporting. Sherwood prepares extensive reports identifying problem areas on financial statements and related accounting systems to ensure proper reporting of collateral values. Our priority is on the need to respond quickly and efficiently, even in highly complex situations.
Two of our key focus areas in our reports are; the Executive Summary and Recommendations. The Executive Summary distills key issues for you. The Recommendations contain suggestions to strengthen the borrower's reporting, accounting systems and monitoring procedures.
Sherwood’s experience and understanding of troubled debt restructurings enhances our ability to perform pre-loan or pre-investment inspections. We look at more than a companies’ financial statements; the ability to evaluate the financial condition of a current/prospective borrower including the quality of assets, earnings potential, the condition of liabilities and particular attention to management and its emphasis on internal controls and reporting systems. Regardless of whether the companies’ financial statements are routinely audited, reviewed or compiled, a pre-loan inspection is essential to confident lending decisions.
Once a loan or investment is approved, timely information regarding the companies’ changing financial condition and results of operations is imperative. We look at the controls over collateral and the internal reporting systems to determine if the eligible collateral is sufficient to support established line(s) of credit.
Every report is designed to detect early warning signals that may not be apparent in the financial statements. The evaluation of internal controls will assist in assessing the quality of financial information received from a borrower. During our inspection, Sherwood can also evaluate the ability of the borrower's management to manage the business, grow revenues and control expenses.
Sherwood also assists in understanding a borrower's cash requirements so that both lender and borrower can better plan for the future.
Sherwood analyzes the companies’ business plans to obtain additional levels of understanding of the borrower's future financial health barometer. We interview company personnel, compare historical results, understand accompanying assumptions to business plans as well as researching industry standards and financial trends. Our report also provides insight on management’s ability to implement a restructuring plan.
Sherwood understands that timing is crucial in any workout environment. Stale information has little or no value. The company may already be using cash collateral to build an insolvency ‘war chest.’ Accordingly, Sherwood is prepared to move quickly, usually within 24 hours and provide the lender with an accurate financial snapshot. We also provide analysis to help the bank or investor with alternative strategies and their consequences; bankruptcy, out of court restructure or the sale of the business.
Inventory is one of the most misunderstood aspects of a collateral borrowing base. We evaluate not just historical cost, but identify the company's excess/obsolete inventory and can evaluate standard costing systems when appropriate. This is often an area of misstated costs in middle market companies.
In a workout situation, it may be appropriate to place the company on a daily collateral reporting regime. We can assist the borrower in setting up the appropriate reporting systems.
Unfortunately, some companies will use any means to achieve their goals, even if it involves fraud activity. Sherwood has conducted numerous fraud investigations and is thoroughly familiar with the many schemes and red flags associated with fraud.
In any restructuring a lender or investor needs to know that they are dealing with honorable businesspeople and our monitoring can provide that comfort level. It has been said, “who better than Sherwood knows what can go wrong?”
Contact Sherwood Partners, Inc. and discover how we can assist you in your Forensic and Investigative Accounting requirements.