We often get queries from small- and medium-sized business owners, startups, and non-profit organizations who want to know more about what a Virtual CFO is, whether it’s in their budget, and if they need one. Here’s what you need to know about a Virtual Chief Financial Officer:
What is a Virtual CFO?
A Virtual CFO is a senior level accounting professional, this person is usually — but not always — a designated accountant. In Canada that’s a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). A Virtual CFO typically works for an organization on a less than full-time basis or for a particular project or timeframe. Thanks to all of the wonderful technology and cloud-based accounting software available now, this can be done remotely.
Instead of hiring a full-time Chief Financial Officer, companies across Canada are able to hire a Virtual Chief Financial Officer when needed to offer guidance as they grow their business. This is a benefit to businesses with limited capital and tight operating margins who otherwise might not be able to afford the salary, benefits, and bonus expected to hire an experienced full-time CFO.
The services offered by a Virtual CFO
Working with one of our Virtual Chief Financial Officers, solutions can be tailored to the unique needs of any business. A Virtual Chief Financial Officer can help with:
- Financial planning and reporting
- Streamlining accounting processes
- Forecasting cash flow
- Assessing financial risk
- Cost management and debt reduction
- Inventory control
- Debt reduction
- Implementing new accounting and payroll software
- Maintaining the comptrollership function
- Leading projects
- Presenting accounting education seminars
The benefits of working with a Virtual CFO
Working with a Virtual Chief Financial Officer offers myriad benefits, including:
- Assurance that you’re working with a Designated Accountant: Accounting is a highly regulated profession and when you work with a Designated Accountant, you can trust that this person has studied, successfully written exams, and is competent. Additionally, someone with a CPA designation is continuously learning through Professional Development and will offer current knowledge and expertise to the organizations that they work with. A CPA can handle more complex accounting treatments and assist with analyzing organizations.
- Customized help when you need it: A Virtual Chief Financial Officer can be hired when you need expertise, whether that’s part-time for specific functions or to assist with a particular project in the short-term.
- Flexibility: As your business grows, your financial needs will change. With Finatics, you can scale up the time you need with one of our Virtual Chief Financial Officers so they can help you navigate new phases of your business.
- Breadth of experience: At Finatics, our Virtual CFOs have worked with businesses from a number of industries and can customize their skills to the scope of work you require. The businesses we work with benefit from our broad knowledge and years of financial and accounting expertise.
How do I know if it’s time to hire a Virtual CFO?
There are times when your business grows and becomes more complex that it is fiscally responsible and financially prudent to hire a Virtual Chief Financial Officer. Generally, your company is ready for the expertise of a Virtual Chief Financial Officer when:
- Your business has gotten more complex and you don’t feel you understand the financial side of things enough to inform your decisions
- Your business is starting to require more complex reporting (internally and with external stakeholders), like creating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and measuring and reporting on non-financial metrics
- Your business grows to the point that you require someone to manage the financial aspects of your business and to provide reliable and accurate reporting to outside stakeholders
- Your business is growing rapidly and you’re not sure whether your cash flow is keeping up (let alone if you can meet all the required reporting requirements!)
- Things were going really well but now you’re worrying about your financial records and reporting — and you need help to figure out how to stay profitable
- You’re not receiving financial reports on a regular basis or you really need someone to interpret and analyze the financial results for you
- You struggle to understand what your actual gross margin percentage is or how to assess the profitability by job/project (which is also called “job costing”)
Is it time for you to hire a Virtual Chief Financial Officer to help your business succeed? Please contact Finatics and tell us about your business goals.