Q: What is the difference between a Controller and a CFO (Chief Financial Officer)?
A: The controller is an experienced accountant that manages the accounting staff. The controller is responsible for making sure that the company’s transactions are properly recorded and that financial statements are generated every month. The controller books the past.
Finance takes accounting results to the next level. While a Controller fully understands accounting and accounting systems, a CFO will take a more forward look at business by projecting, forecasting, managing cash flow, and planning for future growth.
The CFO manages the controller and is also responsible for the overall financial health of the company. In addition to supervising the controller the CFO is responsible for Treasury functions (cash), financing (debt), Information Technology, Legal, External Accountants, and provides the answers to the CEO and the shareholders. The CFO also provides the CEO and shareholders a picture of the future. He/She acts as the visionary for growth and provides critical financial guidance. At CFO, Enterprise you get the benefits of both, the controller and the CFO working as a team for your business.
Q: Is my company too small to benefit from CFO services?
A: The need for good financial management is not a function of size. Small companies as well as large ones benefit from the services of a CFO. But small companies usually don’t need these services on a regular day-to-day basis. That’s one of the reasons CFO Enterprise was founded: to provide a way for companies of all sizes to get the financial management they need, as they need it, without the cost of a full-time executive officer.
Q. Can’t my CPA Firm do what you are doing?
A. No. There are several reasons why your independent CPA can not perform our services:
They are ethically required to remain independent from certain functions in your business. This became abundantly clear during the late 1990’s, when several of the “Big 5” were eager to make millions of dollars in consulting and auditing fees, then looked the other way as clients such as Waste Management, Global Crossing, WorldCom and Enron cooked their books. Starting with Waste Management in 1998, the accounting irregularities started coming to light. In 2002, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act governing corporate responsibilities of public companies. One major component of the legislation is the requirement for independence.
They are CPAs who have not had the responsibility, accountability and experience as a Corporate CFO.
Being a CFO, whether on a full-time or part-time basis is much more than being able to crunch numbers or to fill out a tax form. A CFO is multi-faceted. A good one has lots of first-hand experience wearing many hats including administration, management accounting, production, purchasing, human resources, facilities, contracting, and negotiations in addition to having strong finance skills. Above all, a good small business CFO must be business savvy.
Q: My Company is running just fine. I have a good accounting staff. Why do you think CFO Enterprise, LLC can help my company?
A: More than 85% of private start-up companies fail within their first five years of operations. Every year thousands of small businesses fail. Virtually all of these companies had an accountant. Often these businesses fail, not due to a fundamental weakness in the business itself or even the changing economics of their industry, but due to a lack of even the most basic financial management. Without sound financial management, companies are simply not able to realize their potential or manage risk. Having an experienced financial executive as part of management can only be a positive. A CFO provides the big financial picture and a clear vision for optimal growth. Even if your company is running fine, nothing is perfect. Efficiencies and margins can always be improved providing the shareholders with a greater bottom line. A CFO can work with your accounting staff to improve financial reporting, so that you can make better decisions about your future. Maybe you have a good accounting staff, but they may not be adequately supporting your operations functions by providing a link between the two areas of the company? CFO Enterprise, LLC will act as the missing link between your accounting department and the operating side of the business.
Q. Will CFO Enterprise Help Us Find A Banker, Attorney or CPA Firm Should We Need Those Services?
A. Absolutely- We have a wide network of qualified professionals who provide CPA, legal, and banking services.
Q. How can I receive an estimate for CFO services?
A. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you. Here’s how it works: We will meet with you at no charge to determine your initial needs and discuss how we can be of service. Then, we will be able to recommend a strategy for going forward.