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Full suite of accounting services for a container leasing company

Engagement: The client is a Bermuda- and London-based company in the container leasing business. It has containers on lease with some of the biggest shipping companies in the world. The deals are financed back-to-back with funding from banks. The corporate structure comprises a web of companies, designed to take advantage of the tax structures of Bermuda and the UK.

Being in Central London, the company was unable to have stable accounting staff at the peak of the financial services boom. Consequently, it had to manage with temporary staff who performed only basic day-to-day functions. Without stable staff that had an understanding of the business and the nuances of lease accounting and the web of inter-company transactions, its book-keeping and accounting work slipped into arrears. With the year-end approaching and audited financial statements due to be submitted to its lenders, the company looked to outsourcing its entire accounting and reporting function to SKP.

SKP deputed a two-people team to migrate the work from London to its delivery centre in India. This required us to:

  • understand the corporate structure, the lease structures and the flow of transactions;
  • understand the chart of accounts and the scheme of entries ;
  • familiarise ourselves with the set-up of accounts in the Great Plains;
  • set up the mode of data exchange and communication protocol between the client and SKP.

Once back in India, within three months, we caught up with the work and prepared the draft financial statements, ready for audit. We also provided audit support, answering all fact-based queries raised by the auditors. The audit was completed and the financial statements delivered to the lenders as per commitment.

The Ongoing Scope of Work
With the backlog out of the way, we set up all the necessary accounting processes. The scope of work includes:

Book-keeping and accounting

  • updating the lease transaction tables and loan schedules
  • accounting for lease receipts and loan payments
  • accounting supplier invoices
  • accounting for other bank transactions
  • booking accrual, prepayment and amortisation journals
  • bank reconciliations
  • reconciling accounts receivable and payable
  • reconciling all balance sheet accounts and updating balance sheet schedules
  • inter-company reconciliations
  • year-end financial statement preparation (in accordance with US GAAP and UK GAAP)
  • audit support
  • Quarterly management accounts
  • Compiling quarterly VAT returns
  • Monthly cash flow plans for submission to lenders

Value Delivered

  • Timely and reliable reporting
  • Client’s CFO free to focus on core business
  • Staffing hassles were eliminated
  • Painless audits