Running a small or midsize business is demanding. Trying to keep up with the finances of a fast-growing enterprise can quickly spiral out of control. Some businesses bring on an in-house CFO, but that comes with a major uptick in expenses. Savvy entrepreneurs know there’s a better way.
Increasingly, they are hiring virtual CFOs to kick their finances into high gear.
Not familiar with the concept? Understandable, since the role hasn’t existed for very long. Bringing on a virtual CFO is an innovative solution that nimble organizations-- from startups to medium enterprises-- are taking advantage of in this digital era.
US Accountants is proud to offer a virtual CFO who can cover a full spectrum of financial services with expertise and precision. While the existence of virtual CFOs is relatively new, we are seasoned professionals with twenty years of experience maximizing profits for businesses of all sizes.
What Exactly Is a Virtual CFO?
We’re glad you asked! A virtual CFO is an experienced financial professional who can handle the traditional responsibilities of an in-house CFO, while working remotely and as-needed. The combination of financial know-how and cost savings results in a win-win for small and midsize businesses alike.
A virtual CFO is a particularly great fit for startups that may have previously found the expense of a traditional CFO out of reach. In our digital world, financial insight and guidance is no longer cost prohibitive, even for the scrappiest of enterprises. Shaving off the salary of a full-time, in house CFO allows young businesses to allocate their funds into other areas of the company and see faster growth in the long haul.
The particular services a virtual CFO offers vary from firm to firm. We’ll dig further into those details later, but first...
Who Can Benefit from Hiring One?
In general, small and midsize organizations can see the most impact from bringing on a virtual CFO. Apart from size, these organizations often differ greatly in terms of industry.
You can find virtual CFOs managing finances for restaurants, non-profits, construction, and real estate enterprises. Industries ranging from hospitality to healthcare are excellent candidates for the services these professionals offer. SMEs in just about any market will find a virtual CFO gives them an edge against competitors.
In deciding whether your business can benefit from bringing on a virtual CFO, it can be helpful to take stock of your own financial knowledge and capabilities. A realistic sense of your own limitations and blind spots can guide you toward areas of need, especially when considering the future.
For example, do you have experience handling finances? Are you struggling to keep track of cash flow and transactions? An honest assessment of these realms and a comparison of in-house versus virtual CFO costs often make the decision a clear one.
What Services Does a Virtual CFO Offer?
Virtual CFO responsibilities encompass a vast array of tasks all centered around your organization's financial wellbeing. The beauty of outsourcing these responsibilities is that you can pick and choose from the offerings depending on what you need. By bringing on a CFO for selected tasks on an as-needed basis, you can drastically reduce costs.
Using cloud technology, a virtual CFO will monitor the big picture status of your company’s financial health, offering insight and guidance on decisions drawing from this perspective. They can offer that extra piece of validation (or discouragement) your leadership needs before taking major leaps, helping you weigh the risks and benefits. Virtual CFOS can also pinpoint spending problems and highlight trends in the market.
A virtual CFO is adept at identifying patterns.
They will deliver insight on key metrics and interpret a company’s financial results, bringing years of expertise that a budding startup can leverage. Whether zooming in or out of the financial picture, they can create and manage annual budgets and strategic plans, and manage cash flow. Working behind-the-scenes, your virtual CFO can also handle account ledgers if needed.
Beyond bookkeeping, you can count on your virtual CFO to take on some other selective duties within the financial realm. Need help with fundraising? A virtual CFO can develop the financial narrative and participate in some light pitching. They can prep and coach the CEO before board meetings, and if requested, attend.
When companies navigate the complexity of a merger or acquisition, a virtual CFO can step in to offer light advisory and analysis. And if those finance-related IT systems are giving you a headache, your virtual CFO can offer support.
All told, virtual CFOs are equipped to support companies with financial challenges big and small, in a flexible and cost-effective way.
What Qualities Should You Seek in Your Virtual CFO?
It’s evident your company needs a virtual CFO. Just as you carefully select each member of your team, you want to be sure the candidate you ultimately hire for this position is the right fit for the job. Not all virtual CFOs deliver the same caliber results.
Your virtual CFO should be a seasoned finance professional with industry-specific experience and a large network. At US Accountants, more than two decades in finance sets us apart from the rest. Additionally, you should seek out someone who is certified in accountancy (a CPA). We pride ourselves in checking off these boxes.
Your company needs someone it can count on, plain and simple. A virtual CFO should be dependable. They make promises they can keep, and they deliver results on time, every time. Obstacles are inevitable, and a reliable virtual CFO is a support you can lean on to see you through to greener pastures.
Avoid growing pains by hiring a virtual CFO who can scale up with you. Your candidate should be equipped to handle the business as it is today and the way you envision it tomorrow. Avoid the hassle of switching CFOs when you’ve outgrown your original by hiring the right one from the start -- the one whose ambitions are as lofty as your own.
Friendly & Communicative
Just like any member of your organization, you want your virtual CFO to be a strong communicator and a team player. Polite, personable, easy to talk to: these are must-haves when it comes to your virtual CFO. After all, you’ll be collaborating on a regular basis, and it’s important to establish a supportive working rapport.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect?
Minimal cost, maximal impact: virtual CFOs really do offer the best of both worlds. You can expect tangible results that propel your company forward while maintaining a solid financial foundation.
Imagine accurate and error-free financial statements. Avoiding fines and penalties on taxes, and optimizing revenue. Increased cash flow. Complete control over accounting operations. Exclusive insights and strategic solutions.
A virtual CFO from US Accountants can offer all that and more. We offer our clients a menu of financial services to fit their organization’s needs and budget.
Make the next right move for your company by reaching out to schedule a consultation today.