16th December 2015

Group Financial Controller for HRS Heat Exchangers, an international manufacturing / engineering company in Watford

About HRS Heat Exchangers

HRS Group was founded in 1981. Their core business is heat transfer and its application in thousands of processes, spanning industries from Food to Pharmaceutical, from Chemical to HVAC, from Energy to Water and many innovative Green applications.

Products and process innovation supports their customers in the things that matter such as energy efficiency and competitively priced products. Through patented innovations and proven heat exchanger products they can apply knowledge and experience to position their customers at the front of their industry. Less waste, less energy and less product damage means more productivity, more cost reduction and more quality.

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HRS has production capacity in Europe and Asia and plus technical design and sales offices around the world (Spain, UK, Germany, USA, Peru, Emirates, India) enabling it to support a broad geographical base of customers.

Following an introduction by the auditors, a meeting was set up with the owner. We were told the group finances were managed by 2 bookkeepers with senior matters handled by a part-time finance director. Following 2 years of rapid growth, the group now needed to recruit a group financial controller to work with the management team as the company continued to grow. They would also be required to tighten financial controls and review and improve managerial and year-end reporting.

From an accounting view, this would be a challenging role, because of the complexity of the group structure, the manufacturing focus, large sales and distribution network, non-UK aspects and the hands-on nature. A requirement for a qualified person with relevant experience and good up to date knowledge of UK GAAP and IFRS was also essential. Accounting skills and knowledge were essential, however this was by nature a family business yet, one which had a global reach requiring gravitas, personality and excellent communication for success.


Having visited the business and spent time with the owner/MD to agree the job description and person specification, we had a clear brief and a good understanding of the sort of the person required and responsibilities. We also received a copy of the current business plan which we were permitted to share with applicants providing they signed a non-disclosure agreement. This proved to be extremely helpful, as it demonstrated the professionalism and strategic focus of our client whilst enabling applicants to identify whether their career plans and values aligned with those of the client.

Following our initial screening and interview process, we put forward 6 candidates all of whom we had met and considered possessed the necessary experience and ability to deliver what the client required. After reviewing the cvs and our notes, the client identified 4 preferred candidates to interview. The result was that an offer was made to the favoured candidate which was accepted.

The successful candidate, a chartered accountant, whose early career had been in practice, had a stable yet progressive background having experience of international operations within several diverse businesses. They were commercially minded and had worked with family businesses.

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