Wednesday November 25, 2020

Serving up financial help for the hospitality industry

Big Red Cloud Partner of the month: Fitzgibbon Financial Services

1st April, 2019
Left to right: Paul Fitzgibbon, Partner; Colm Fitzgibbon, Partner and Norita Ramjug, Associate at Fitzgibbon, Financial Services

Located on Trinity Street in Dublin, Fitzgibbon Financial Services works mainly with businesses in the hospitality sector, mostly cafés, restaurants and pubs. While there are other types of companies on its books, the main reason for this focus is down to its founders’ background.

A long-time pub owner, Colm Fitzgibbon combined that with his accounting business, running the two concurrently. When the recession hit, he moved away from the pub industry to focus on offering financial services full-time.

Along with his brother Paul and one other staff member they help small businesses deal with the financial side of things without eating into their money or more importantly, their time.

Considering that there’s no such thing as an off-day for cafes and pubs, it can be difficult for owners to make the time for financial services until they’re required to calculate and pay tax to Revenue.

“It’s for small businesses who have a need or cannot afford to take on part-time or full-time financial staff,” he said. “And in many cases, their work is seven days a week so time is limited for them.”

The main goal for Fitzgibbon Financial Services is to offer accessible financial services for small businesses at an affordable price. Many cafes, restaurants and pubs are small entities, not related to bigger chains or companies, so offering a way to use their services without breaking the bank was a crucial component.

To help them with their work, Fitzgibbon Financial Services uses Big Red Cloud. The partnership brings with it a number of benefits that has aided Fitzgibbon Financial Services and its clients.

Initially brought in by a client who had bought Big Red Cloud, he was immediately won over by the service thanks to its simplicity and ease of use,

“I quickly liked what I saw and taught myself pretty much how it works,” he said. “I found it to be very user-friendly and very forgiving.

“When my brother Paul and I got together, we said ‘look this is the thing to do, we bring everybody we have to Big Red Cloud’. If someone comes along today and says can you look after my figures… we encourage them to buy a Big Red Cloud subscription and then we’ll manage it for them.”

One of the big benefits, as hinted by Big Red Cloud’s name, is that it’s accessible anywhere. This means that they can access it remotely, useful for when they visit a client at their establishment, or their clients can access the system.

The important part for Fitzgibbon was to make sure that its clients never face a moment where they’re either unable to access their records or the company’s expertise. The aim is to act like an in-house financial department without taking up office space.

“We positioned ourselves as being accessible and available,” said Fitzgibbon. “We don’t want people to think it’s going to cost them €150 if they make a phone call. We operate on a fixed fee basis and that includes everything.

“Essentially we’re a finance department except we’re not sitting next door, we’re sitting in our office.”

A major component of their work is ensuring that they see their clients frequently. While they can manage financial and payroll elements remotely, they make sure to meet their clients month-to-month with a summary of their activity gone by.

This fits into the philosophy of offering what is as close to a real-time service as they can get. Doing so helps meet the needs of clients better, says Fitzgibbon, and keeps them in the loop. Both to provide a bigger picture and to ensure they’re not in for a surprise when new or unforeseen expenses emerge.

“One of the things that people would always question when you give them a P&L is ‘what is a consumable?’ All sort of things go into consumables… [and] you get an excellent understanding with Big Red Cloud as to what is included in that category."

“We believe that by providing our services using Big Red Cloud we give an excellent all in package for the many cafes, pubs and restaurants we look after.”

To find out what Fitzgibbon Financial Services can do for you, visit www.fitzfine.ie or call (01) 516 2323

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