International Consumer Research and Testing (ICRT)

Price Bailey’s Outsourcing team supports a not-for-profit consumer testing business in fully outsourcing its accounting function.

ICRT is a global consortium of consumer organisations that work together on the research and testing of consumer products. Founded in 1990, ICRT is a not-for-profit organisation wholly owned by its members. ICRT operates as two independent entities, ICRT Ltd and ICRT GmbH. ICRT Ltd is based in the UK and 100% owned by our members. ICRT GmbH is an independent subsidiary based in Germany 100% owned by ICRT Ltd.

With over 37 member organisations in 34 countries, ICRT facilitates collaborative testing, establishes guidelines for efficient cooperation, and empowers consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. Their mission is to increase the financial sustainability and increase the impact of consumer organisations; to ensure that their members are able to have an increasingly positive effect on outcomes for consumers by influencing the marketplace, including manufacturers, retailers, lawmakers, regulators, authorities, and consumers themselves. ICRT tests a vast range of popular consumer products in sectors including domestic appliances, cars and mobility, electronics, personal care, gardening, DIY, energy, leisure, and child products.

Price Bailey’s Outsourcing team was first introduced to ICRT in 2021. The introduction came as a result of an enquiry through the website, as ICRT was looking to outsource its finance function and were conducting a tender process. ICRT had recently automated some of its processes, implemented cloud-based software, and had come to realise the cost savings available to its business through outsourcing its finance function. Following a process of interviews and references, Price Bailey was appointed to provide a full outsourced accounting function in November 2021.

Price Bailey actively supports ICRT’s management team by overseeing a range of crucial financial processes. This includes handling accounts payable processing, streamlining purchase invoice compilation, performing meticulous data entry and processing, coordinating supplier payment runs, and expertly managing a complex purchase approval process. We manage the issuance of sales invoices on behalf of ICRT, offering comprehensive support for sales invoice generation, conducting meticulous sales ledger maintenance, and effectively managing credit control operations.

Notably, a virtual finance controller was also assigned to fulfil a role akin to that of an in-house finance controller. This role encompasses essential aspects such as management reporting, forecasting, diligent cash flow management, and support to the management team.

In 2022, Price Bailey was able to offer further support to ICRT by way of assisting with the cost share calculations. Previously, this role had been handled entirely in-house, but due to staff movements, a short-term solution was needed. Price Bailey was able to offer the personnel and skills to fulfil these additional requirements, which turned into an additional full-time assignment for one year.

The comprehensive support provided by the dedicated team is equivalent to the productivity of two full-time equivalent (FTE) in-house staff members while also delivering substantial savings to the business. Beyond the financial advantages, outsourcing to Price Bailey offers ICRT access to ad-hoc advice provided by seasoned professionals, addressing diverse aspects of business and financial management and the breadth of expertise that an established accountancy firm with over 85 years of experience can offer. In doing so, ensure they receive tailored advice that is distinct to their evolving business needs when required.

Michael Grant, ICRT Director, commented: 

“We are very happy with the service provided by the Price Bailey team. They are very dependable and have made a positive contribution to the success of our business. As well as performing the important finance tasks, we now have much better insight on our finances than previously, and the financial controller support we receive from the outsourcing manager is excellent.”

Lee Sharman, Price Bailey Outsourcing team Director, added:

Collaborating with Mike and the team at ICRT has been a truly enjoyable experience. We’ve had the privilege of assisting them in a diverse range of crucial functions. With the guidance of a dedicated virtual finance controller, we aim to replicate the efficiency of an in-house finance department, providing accurate management reporting, insightful forecasting, and vigilant cash flow management without imposing the same financial strain. As ICRT continues to navigate the intricate landscape of consumer testing, we look forward to supporting them in their future endeavours.”

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