As an entrepreneur, you probably feel like you have to be the chief cook and bottle washer in your growing business. But can you also be the chief financial officer (CFO)? It may be possible to do it all yourself when you are just starting out. But as your business expands you will soon need someone that can do more than just “take care of the books”.
What does a CFO do?
The chief financial officer or CFO of a business is responsible for managing and overseeing the long-term financial health of the company. This role includes tasks such as tracking your cash flow, analysing your company’s financial strengths and weaknesses, and suggesting steps to remedy any problems. A qualified and experienced CFO can play a pivotal role in helping you to make the right strategic and financial decisions. A good CFO is not only responsible for your company’s current finances but can also help you to predict and drive its future growth.
Why hire an outsourced CFO?
A qualified CFO can provide valuable insights to help entrepreneurs when making the many critical decisions needed to scale a business. However, even if they could afford one, very few small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can really need the amount of advice and oversight that a full-time CFO provides. SMEs don’t need 2,000 hours of a CFO’s time – they just need the right advice at the right times during the year. Outsourced CFO solutions solve this problem by giving smaller businesses access to the same high-calibre professional CFOs that big businesses rely on.
A virtual CFO or outsourced CFO fulfils all the tasks a regular CFO does, but without being permanently employed in-house at your company. While most highly experienced CFOs would not be willing to take up a permanent position at an SME, they may be able to devote 25 hours a month to high-level oversight and assistance when you need it most. A part-time CFO can help you free up your time as a business owner to focus on what you do best. However, choosing the right part-time CFO or outsourced CFO firm requires just as much care as any full-time hire. Here are five CFO hiring tips to help you pick the best Outsourced CFO for your business.
5 Tips for hiring the best outsourced or part-time CFO for your company:
Education and training
The right CFO does not only understand financials and accounting – they should understand your business, industry, and operating environment. If you are an SME operating in a niche environment, a CFO with industry-specific experience is a must. Industry knowledge can be helpful in competitive benchmarking, knowing which systems are most effective in your industry, understanding laws and regulations, and having access to valuable networking contacts.
Value for money
Hiring a part-time CFO can seem intimidating, but if done right, it can help your company soar. A good Outsourced CFO can focus on advanced financial reporting, detailed cash flow forecasting, other higher-order finance functions that might place too much strain on your in-house resources. They can round out your finance department and lend a hand when you need it most.
Outsourcing the CFO function of your business can significantly contribute to the financial and strategic success of your start-up, without adding to your payroll burden. As an expert in providing outsourced CFO services, OCFO is ready to help you achieve your growth goals, while you concentrate on running your business.