Once a turnaround plan is finalized and adopted,
the weekly review meeting sets expectations.
The review contains information on the timing of
completion of the various implementation steps and
reports on the results achieved.
The advantages to this communication protocol are:
• Establishes a process to assist client management
in monitoring and controlling consultant’s fees and
expenses, and to enforce confidentiality agreements
• Sets reasonable expectations for deliverables with
all key stakeholders
• Reduces surprises and identifies roadblocks as they
arise to facilitate steering in a different direction,
if required, with the knowledge and support of
• Efficiently uses resources of all stakeholders
by providing a regularly scheduled forum for
discussion, inquiry, decision-making and reporting
• Provides a documented trail of decisions made
and actions taken throughout the turnaround
The dominant theme for any turnaround consultant
should be to identify strategies and tactics that optimize
financial performance and returns to all stakeholders.
Overall, putting a solid communication protocol
in place will meet the needs of management, owners,
senior creditors and other stakeholders in many, if not
most, turnaround situations. Communication with
other constituents (customers, employees, suppliers,
unions or government bodies) is also critical, but the
appropriate protocol must be specifically tailored to
All stakeholders will condition themselves to this
protocol and will appreciate the forum to hear and
be heard. abfj
PATRICK WALSH, CPA, CA, CTP is the president and
managing director of Cedar Croft Consulting. He has
provided clients across a variety of industries with turnaround and crisis management, financial advisory, cash
flow management and profit improvement services for
more than 20 years.
Draft Weekly Report
Each week the turnaround consultant prepares a draft
report, which discusses the turnaround’s key business
elements in brief bullet points. The report includes
an update of the 13-week cash flow forecast, a variance analysis of actual cash flows versus forecast and
a dashboard report on key operating metrics. This
report identifies the status of active business initiatives
underway and sets expectations for results and completion dates. The report should be prepared at the same
time each week.
Review Report with Management
The turnaround consultant reviews the draft weekly
report with management and ownership to get their
input and agreement. This review also includes a
discussion and confirmation of the consultant’s going-forward work plan, deliverables and associated fees
and expenses. The consultant must also confirm with
management that sufficient resources are available
to complete the deliverables as planned. This review
meeting is scheduled in advance and held at the same
time every week.
Weekly Review with Key Stakeholders
The turnaround consultant finalizes and circulates
the weekly report to senior lenders and schedules a
review meeting by teleconference, although a face-to-face meeting may be required from time to time to more
effectively address certain critical issues. The report is
circulated at the same time each week, and the teleconferences are scheduled in advance and held at the same
time each week. The length of each teleconference call is
not as important as establishing a schedule for the calls
and strictly adhering to it.
The weekly report serves as the agenda for review
meetings and the turnaround consultant is the host.
Participants include management, owner and senior
lender(s). In the development stages of the turnaround
plan, the meetings are used to identify key issues and
discuss corrective actions. All participating stakeholders have an opportunity to understand contemplated actions, voice objections, concerns or support
and request additional information. In this way, a
turnaround plan is developed that gains the necessary
support of the key stakeholders before it is finalized.
Informing Other Stakeholders
The turnaround consultant modifies and circulates
similar weekly reports to the other stakeholders
(customers, employees, key suppliers, unions and
government bodies), as required, which are designed
to keep the stakeholders informed about the business
turnaround. Conference calls are also scheduled, as
required, for each group to review the modified reports.
Overall, putting a solid communication protocol in
place will meet the needs of management, owners,
senior creditors and other stakeholders in many,
if not most, turnaround situations. Communication
with other constituents is also critical, but the
appropriate protocol must be specifically tailored
to each engagement.