Why do I need an FD,  why can't I just use my external accountants / auditors?

And of course you can. Your external accountants can offer many of the same services as D5 Management and in fact can offer additional services that D5 Management would need to refer to specialist advisers. And that is the point. In this complex world, the need for specialist advice is greater than ever. The chances are that your external accountant will also need to refer to specialist advisers - corporation tax specialists, personal tax specialists, VAT specialists etc. And an experienced Finance Director is a specialist in his own right. His knowledge and experience is built upon hands on management running real companies on a day to day basis. That is why every company above a certain size will always appoint their own Financial Director. The advantage of using D5 Management is that we allow companies below that certain size to take advantage of all those benefits offered by an experienced Finance Director, but on a part time basis and at a fraction of the cost.

What is the difference between a bookkeeper, an accountant and an FD?

Again, it is all about specialisation. A good bookkeeper is an invaluable asset, demonstrating accuracy and good attention to detail. A typical accountant takes a bookkeeper's skills and applies those same skills to a wider range of tasks; year end accounts, budgets, cash flow forecasts. A Finance Director takes an accountant's skills and adds experience, judgement, commercial thinking supported by best in class processes and procedures. Additionally, rather than working on historic figures, an effective Finance Director will plan for the longer term taking a strategic view to assist the company and it's shareholders achieve their longer term ambitions. And the nature of the smaller business is that an effective Finance Director will often take responsibility for all those back office functions that are increasingly important and increasingly difficult to manage, including IT, HR, property management, fleet management, logistics & warehousing, inventory management, product pricing, health & safety, legal & compliance.