As workplaces transform – from hot desking to the prevalence of cloud-based technologies – smart companies are fast recognising the benefits of outsourcing their chief financial officer (CFO) function.
And, while the need for virtual CFOs (VCFOs) is increasing, it remains all too common for finance to take a back seat. Yes, you might get someone on board to keep the books in the black, but what about the strategic management of your business’ growth?
1. More flexibility
As we know, many small and medium-sized enterprises don’t require the services of a CFO on a full-time basis. VCFOs give companies access to experienced professionals at the top of their game without the burden of hiring a fulltime employee at the same level. VCFOs work on a fixed-scope basis and offer budgeting, management reporting, high-level strategic advice and corporate advisory services. Having access to a VCFO – as required by your business – greatly enhances flexibility, as you only pay for what you need.
2. Greater productivity
Utilising a VCFO means that senior staff can focus energy on their key responsibilities, rather than areas outside their specialisation. By streamlining and managing relationships with banks, human resources, financial planning, leasing, insurance, legal consultants and other advisers, employee productivity and efficiency is heightened.
3. Diverse experience
VCFOs work across varied industries and business types, from small start-ups to established multi-national organisations. This broad acumen means a VCFO has likely come across a larger pool of issues. A good VCFO has the nous to identify a problem before it becomes one, based on their experience across many sectors. At CharterNet, you’ll be working directly with partners and senior managers with experience from ‘the big four.’
4. Cash flow management
We often hear of clients who say that their business is prospering, but can’t seem to find the money to pay for every day expenses. Cash flow concerns are common for small to medium enterprises as they seek to find a balance between pleasing existing clients, finding new ones… and just paying the bills. There’s often complex problems below the surface that clients aren’t even aware of. Combine that with rapid growth and legislative changes and suddenly cash flow becomes a big problem. VCFOs help identify issues by drilling into the numbers and implementing a cash flow management strategy.
5. Access to accurate and informed software and reporting
Do you dread writing financial reports? You’re not alone. If you’re not a natural number cruncher or doubt the accuracy of your figures, then you’d benefit from a VCFO service. Having a developed understanding of data and its implications is essential in making informed decisions to drive business growth. CharterNet use powerful cloud-based accounting software, Xero, to provide their clients with real-time analysis of a company’s financial position. Xero allows teams to collaborate by making data accessible any time and from any location.
6. Fact-based decision making
A CFO or anyone else who’s an employee of a business is susceptible to internal influences of an organisation and its machinations. Removing the CFO function from staff increases the objective quality of the insights they offer. Only an independent VCFO can provide unbiased analysis of finances, which is a key benefit of outsourcing the function.
Does a VCFO service really work?
In 2015, the CharterNet VCFO team, led by Saeed Mirzakhani, started working with Avonlea Labels – a leading Sydney manufacturer of high-quality adhesive labels. At the time, the business owners at the label company knew their company was prospering, but couldn’t understand why they couldn’t find the budget to pay for necessities. They had very little insight into their company’s financial position, which meant that decisions were made on a whim.
Fast-forward two years and the owners at Avonlea Labels say that the decision to hire a CharterNet VCFO has paid off handsomely: the company has recently shifted from a small to medium-sized enterprise and has experienced 25% growth in this financial year to date. How did this happen?
Let us be your sounding board
We often hear business owners say, “no one knows my business better than me.” We agree. Our VCFO service is not about telling you how to run business. The key purpose of a VCFO service is to give you timely and accurate financial information and meet with you regularly as a sounding board to help you to make good financial decisions. This is all with a view to helping you to do what you do best and focus on the growth and success of your business.
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