There’s no doubt that the historical tasks of the finance function such as books and records, financial reporting, and statutory compliance are still of fundamental importance. These tasks continue to be mission-critical and fall squarely under the responsibility of the finance team, and consequently, the CFO that leads the team. But while they continue to be relevant, these tasks are now taken for granted by CEOs. This does not mean they are any less important, it’s just that they are now seen as minimum requirements for finance.
What has significantly changed, however, is that the CFO of today and of the future must be able to take financial data and use it to influence operational decision-making and strategy. CFOs must possess many more skills than just the technical accounting background of the past. Today’s part-time CFOs are also effectively Chief Operating Officers in addition to their finance role. They help guide and influence decision making using the financial context as an integral driver of such choices.
What to Expect From Part-Time CFO Services
You can expect the following from a top-notch CFO provider:
1. A Sound Financial Team: A part-time CFO can identify and manage a bookkeeper and controller to produce reliable data and interpret the results, providing insight to help steer the ship toward your stated goals. The result is that you know exactly where, when, and how to focus your team and inform your stakeholders.
2. A Trusted Small Business Advisor: A part-time CFO can be a much-needed sounding board, coach, or guide. Look for a seasoned veteran who you can trust, not simply someone to fill a role. In the end, you’ll have a team member who knows your business and can help hold you accountable.
3. Get To Know Your Business: A part-time CFO can position the finance function as a competitive advantage. If you’re financially frustrated, chances are your competitors are too, but they’re probably not reading this post and actively seeking a solution. An experienced CFO can help you cut waste, deploy cash efficiently, and find opportunities for maximized production or expansion. With their help, you can be in a position to step ahead of the other organizations in your niche.
4. Understand your break-even point: The number of units — products or hours of service — you have to sell to cover your expenses is your break-even point. Although break-even points are central to a business plan, not many company owners pay attention to it. They don’t understand the formula to calculate at what point they have enough sales to cover their expenses, after which their sales become profit. This is best if easily tracked on a shorter-term basis, ie. weekly. If a company is not operating at break-even, every day that goes by is losing money. This will be one of the first places an interim CFO will want to target.
5. Improve your margins: Understanding the implications of your profit margins is grossly underestimated in companies. Only an experienced “financial guy” can calculate and help you understand the significance of the numbers. For example, assume that you have $10 million in annual sales and you can improve your margin by 1 percent. That one percent is worth $100,000. So by improving the margin by as little as 1 percent, you can add $100,000 to your bottom-line income.
How Much Does a Part-Time CFO Cost in 2020?
Most providers will create a custom quote based on your specific needs. The spending can range from $2500-$6000 per month. Contrast that with hiring a full-time CFO at >$225,000 per year (salary + benefits), and you can easily save more than 60% by outsourcing to a part-time CFO.
As you begin your search, keep in mind some that some firms bundle bookkeeper, controller, and CFO services. In this instance, the firm essentially provides you with an entire finance department. If the consistency and accuracy of your current reports are lacking, you may want to consider these additional small business accounting services.
- Accurate, timely, and useful financial reporting delivered consistently each month.
- Oversight of the day-to-day finance function including process, technology, and internal controls.
- Your eyes and ears on the ground who are intimate with the financial rhythms of your company and can spot trends early and often.
The Value of A Part-Time CFO Goes Beyond The Obvious
- A part-time CFO in Arizona will create great intangible benefits for your small business as well. You’ll gain the confidence of your board of directors, investors, or co-founders who may be apprehensive about the current state of your finances. These stakeholders may have occasionally posed questions you weren’t able to answer or point out areas where your finance department is lacking. Filling the part-time CFO role gives your team the confidence that you are working diligently to get accurate numbers and insights from your financial statements and reports.
- You’ll eliminate opportunity cost because of wasted resources in the form of cash bleed, such as debt. You’ll see increased efficiencies because when you hire part-time CFO professional services, you get that team’s systems as well as their time and expertise. Your finance team may be struggling to overcome bottlenecks in their processes or shortcomings in the technology stack they are working on. A part-time CFO service provider has likely helped other small businesses overcome these pain points and navigate their way to more efficient processes and a better tech stack.
Limitless Investment & Capital Part-Time CFO Services in Arizona
Entrepreneurs and emerging companies don’t want to think like small companies, especially when it comes to financial matters. Having an interim or part-time CFO focus on the money, allows the rest of your team to focus on growing the business and taking care of your customers. Contact our small business CFO experts in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Gilbert today!