Director Of Finance And Operations at CDG
“Providing Financial Clarity”
Rebeka Polgar is a Finance Director specializing in helping companies and start-ups effectively use their resources most efficiently. This includes gaining financial control and visibility for the company and helping with new funding and finance options. She assists companies in broadly three categories: young start-ups with a limited budget who need help maximizing every last penny, this includes tax breaks, grants, and preparing for a funding round; start-ups who have received funding and have no effective processes and as a result, start to lose control of money; organizations that have existed for a while and would like to sell, but the books and finances are in a mess.
“Specialising in taking companies with a need for change and giving back control to directors and the board, as well as providing clear visibility on the true view of the company. My experience in finance and commercials, next to owning a start-up, gave me the ability to see the wider picture in every situation and provide advice on appropriate action to drive the business forward.”
Her expertise is in helping organizations such as these gain financial control, maximize the use of funds (including tax breaks and grants), and provide complete financial visibility to allow for proper decision-making. “I have developed my own software tool that integrates with the most common financial solutions to help executives really understand what’s happening in their organization,” says Rebeka. “I typically manage about 3 - 5 customers at any given time with the objective of providing them clear tools, processes and solutions to help them achieve their objectives.”
Rebeka has been inspiring women in her industry and points out that women tend to be more diligent and thorough in achieving what’s needed. Being an immigrant (Hungarian), she put herself through university in the UK, started her financial practice with a specific tech focus, and developed her software tool. “I’m immensely proud of my achievements so far and I’m grateful to the UK for being a place where, through a mix of hard work, vision and a bit of luck, I can enjoy the journey I am on. I am passionate about my work and confident in my ability,” she says. Armed with such an ideology, she has been leading the company to new heights.
“I am currently the finance director for Group CDG. They provide development services to retail, finance and government organisations. I am a financial advisor for Kapital (kapital.global), a startup looking at trade and supply chain data. I am also a financial advisor for 8Cats (8-cats.com) who provide kanban/agile software. They focus particularly in transition management and support.” says Rebeka.
Rebeka realized early on that there is a disconnect between accounts/accounting and the visibility companies need to make clear decisions. She created her software called roots accounting, which helps executives understand what is happening in their business. It extracts data from the accounting tools and industry. It presents it clearly, allowing executives to see where money is being spent and lost within the business every month, without the need for an accountant to tell them. “Currently I have only released it to my current customer base but I plan on making this more generally available in the future,” she says. “I seem to have become specialized in the tech field. I’m not sure how it happened -it certainly wasn’t the plan. I have significant experience working with development and software companies. I understand the challenges and the opportunities, as well as where to look for the problems. Once I even offered my services for free -just on a commission basis based on the money I would save the organization. It was my most profitable engagement to date. The CEO loved my engagement for helping him save money, be more profitable and prepare his company for sale, but regretted not moving towards a fixed price model with myself.”
My role in each of the companies I work with varies a little. In CDG the focus is more on providing clear, functioning guidelines, providing financial visibility and helping the organisation manage its cash. The company had very weak processes which in the past meant that it was haemorrhaging cash, despite providing great services to its customers. My role initially focused on putting in processes, ensuring R&D was properly claimed and making sure we maximised all our tax benefits particularly around VAT. The next phase I am busy with now is how to use the surplus cash and determining which store of value to use to make the best use of resources. In Kapital, my main function is around managing its limited resources and helping them prepare for their first funding round. 8Cats is also slightly different in that we are reviewing our pricing of the software and doing a lot of financial modelling to help the business clearly understand what the burn rate and break-even point is. Each of my roles is very interesting and fulfilling and I couldn’t do them without my small crack team around me.
Rebeka’s next big plan is a common one many organizations face: How do you break the chain of value linked to people? “I have a great team around me but currently the company is a financial consulting service that is based on our learnt personal knowledge. The next upcoming change for us will be when we can effectively distil a part of what we do into a tool which can be used by more organizations then we could physically meet,” says the steadfast leader.IEWL
Director Of Finance And Operations
at Computing Distribution Group
CDG, established 2010, is a leading software house and innovation hub specializing in developing and implementing robust, scalable and flexible software solutions for the enterprise market. Among our customers are some of the UK’s largest organisations, including Aviva, Specsavers, Fujitsu, HMRC, DVLA, The Post Office, Telefonica, Sainsbury and more.