Could Your Small Business Benefit from Part-Time CFO Services?

“Today’s small businesses face an ever-changing and increasingly difficult and competitive business environment. A results-oriented financial strategy, properly implemented and managed, is essential to business success…”

To succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace, it is important for a company to both gain and sustain its competitive advantage. An important ingredient in achieving this edge is an effective CFO function. The role of the CFO has evolved from being a backward-looking financial policeman to a forward-thinking strategist whose main job is to provide advice on a wide range of issues. The required skill set includes an ability to set strategy, lead change initiatives, and prepare value-added analyses to enhance the Company’s value. Yet most small businesses are often stuck in a quandary — they often need the help of financial professionals to take their business to the next level, yet they cannot afford nor do they need, a full time executive.

One excellent solution? Engage a part-time chief financial officer (CFO). This relationship offers many benefits and very little downside to the small company. A part-time CFO offers companies the opportunity to have a top-level CFO and Controller with experience in a large company, experience in a global setting, and an entrepreneurial spirit, all for a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire. Small businesses gain valuable insight and organizational control by partnering with an experienced finance professional on a part-time basis. These professionals have real hands-on experience solving problems.

A part-time CFO will provide expertise in strategic, financial, accounting, and operations management. Your company will benefit from the in-depth experience of a part-time CFO professional without having to incur the unnecessary expenses of a full-time position. A part-time CFO will work with your company to develop and support effective and efficient financial operations that encompass both detail current operational issues and strategic planning concerns of the CEO and Executive Management.

Serving as the “watchdog” of finance and business operations, the CFO will provide:

Strategic Growth & Management Advisory Services:

■      Assist in creating well-defined and measurable goals

■      Develop strategic and operating plans

■      Identify growth barriers & develop strategies to overcome them

■      Develop and implement financial strategies that compliment your business objectives

■      Identify and assess business drivers

■      Establish appropriate benchmarks to measure performance

■      Forecast cash flow

■      Assist with obtaining outside financing

■      Analyze profitability of products, markets, and marketing strategies

■      Evaluate pricing structures and market positioning

Financial Management, Controller, Treasury and Banking Services:

■      Manage cash flow

■      Create budgets, forecasts, and projections used to monitor progress towards goals

■      Prepare and/or review reporting to external parties

■      Design and implement accounting systems, procedures, and controls

■      Design and implement financial reporting systems

■      Prepare meaningful financial statements that managers use to assess progress

■      Reconcile detail records of accounts to general ledger

■      Monthly or periodic close of general ledger

■      Analyze financial trends and ratios

■      Evaluate and improve cost management systems and controls

■      Enhance internal controls

■      Manage and assist with audits by various companies or agencies

■      Review, manage banking relationships

■      Prepare bank reconciliations and resolve discrepancies

■      Negotiate and secure loans and lines of credit

■      Manage relationships with External Accountants, Attorneys and Investors

■      Manage the functional areas of IT, HR, Legal, Customer Service

■      Supervise, train and recruit finance & administration staff

■      Merger, Acquisition, Sale and Due Diligence Services

Exit Planning for the Future Transfer of Business Interests to:

■      Family, Employees, Partners, Outside Purchasers

■      Acquisitions, Mergers & Sales of Business

■      Working with Investment Bankers & Venture Capitalists

Services For New and Emerging Businesses:

■      Develop a business plan that you will use as a “road map” to guide your activities towards your goals

■      Analyze competitive advantages and market positioning

■      Determine your company’s optimal legal structure which balances the trade-offs between control, liability exposure, taxation, and ease of operations

■      Project start-up capital requirements and identify possible funding sources

■      Evaluate new product and services to determine their profit contribution

■      Create financial projections that translate your business plan into benchmarks which you will use to evaluate actual performance

Part-time CFO and/or Controller solutions offer the right skills at the right time, and may be a lower-cost solution for a growing company.  For a relatively small monthly financial commitment, the part-time CFO will provide invaluable financial advice on a wide variety of issues. Finally, the advantages to hiring a part-time CFO can be summed up as the following: (1) accurate and timely in-house financial statements, (2) financial and goal clarity, (3) a sounding board and advisor for the owner’s key decisions, and (4) you can now focus more time to spend in entrepreneurial activities.