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MEDIA RELEASE 11 July 2008

Innovative CFO service helps law firm soar
Growth has been on the agenda for CMC Lawyers in recent years and this has been aided greatly by a unique outsourced chief financial officer (CFO) service provided by Sydney accountancy firm Azure Group.

CMC Lawyers has nine offices throughout New South Wales and Queensland, with the most recent addition being an office in Brisbane. The practice offers an array of general law services and specialises in civil litigation.

In 2004, CMC Lawyers hired Azure Group to help them achieve the company's key objectives of promoting growth, increasing efficiency and managing costs.

"We recognised the growth potential of CMC but we also knew there were some obstacles we had to tackle to grow from a small firm to a medium sized organisation with a number of offices," said Brendan Moran, a solicitor and one of the principals of CMC Lawyers.

"At that stage we had plans of opening more offices and we were conscious of costs. CMC couldn't afford an effective full time CFO, one that would offer the strategic advice and financial knowhow we needed for the future growth of the business," he added.

Azure Group offers a unique service of an outsourced, highly experienced CFO, particularly to SME clients. This type of service is greatly beneficial as it provides a source of objectivity and strategic advice.

"What we were able to do for CMC was change the structure of the business which in turn enabled them to grow," said Michael Derin, CFO for CMC Lawyers and managing director of Azure Group.

"Through monthly board meetings, Azure not only reviewed CMC's financials but we also looked at how we could streamline their accounting systems, provide a structure that would support growth and put in place long term planning," Derin added.

Azure Group implemented a number of initiatives for CMC Lawyers, including improved financial reporting systems, action plans to achieve objectives and streamlined divisional structuring in line with new services added by CMC.

"Michael helped us to think long range in terms of planning," said Moran.

"Prior to this we only dealt with things as they happened. Now, even though we are still only a medium sized business, we have the structure of a large organisation, with HR and marketing departments. In the last four years we have opened three new offices, introduced new services, almost doubled the number of employees and still managed to grow our profit about 15 to 20 per cent each year. We have plans to open further offices in the future," said Moran.

"Not only has Azure Group helped the business, they have also helped the directors individually set up their own financial structures and advise on how to make the most from our money," Moran added.

Azure Group is a Sydney-based chartered accounting and financial services firm which was established in 2002 by Michael Derin. Since its foundation Azure has grown exponentially from a turnover of just $250,000 in the first year to $1.5 million in 2007. It is anticipated Azure Group's turnover in 2008 will reach almost $2 Million.

Derin started Azure Group with the idea of offering strategic level commercial advice to SME clients. The fundamental thing that he identified was that SMEs rarely get that level of assistance because they can't afford or attract an experienced full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO) normally only afforded by a large corporate and they can't find it in the consulting world.

As well as the CFO outsourced service, Azure Group is an experienced chartered accounting firm that provides ongoing service and handles one-off projects for clients. It provides its clients with proactive compliance advice to ensure that a client's tax position is considered throughout the year, not just at tax time.

For more information on Azure Group, visit www.azuregroup.com.au or call (02) 9238 1188.

Released for Azure Group by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Joanna Gitsham or Nicola Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.

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