So, you’re a medium size business that is currently negotiating growth. You know where you want to be, but it’s the getting there that can be difficult. Perhaps you’ve got a great bookkeeper who keeps things running smoothly, but when it comes to financial planning and strategic advice, well, that’s a different story.
You’re probably realising that to grow, your business needs to be underscored by good financial resources. Though, as the ambitions of a business grow, their needs typically outgrow what their accountant or bookkeeper is capable of and it becomes necessary to implement strategic financial management. So appointing a Chief Financial Officer would be the ideal solution. For most medium size businesses however, the luxury of having a CFO – and all the infrastructure they entail – is often beyond the company budget. But there is a way to get the financial advice you need…without the huge overheads.
Shani Ford, Director of Business Solutions at Hill Rogers, explains how a Virtual CFO (VCFO) could be the answer to your business’s financial issues.
“Businesses of all sizes need to have the guidance and leadership that a CFO can deliver if they want to drive profitability and growth. A VCFO is a great way to do that without a big financial commitment.” Says Ms Ford.
She goes on to explain, ‘Often, medium size enterprises may be interested in growing, but they realise that they need the right advice to achieve this successfully. So we’re starting to see a huge level of interest in how a VCFO becomes an integral part of your business and help with the information necessary to make the right decisions to foster your growth.”
Ask yourself, do you want:
· Freedom from being involved in the bookkeeping or the underlying group management side of business?
· To overcome the obstacles that are preventing growth and strategic development?
· Scalable offerings designed to meet both your present and future needs?
· Deeper insights from timely, accurate and meaningful reporting?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these, then the engagement of a VCFO would be extremely beneficial to your business. But how do you go about deciding which VCFO is the right partner for you? A good VCFO partner is one who will ask you:
· What are your ambitions for the business?
· Where do you want to go?
· How much time do you want to spend in the business?
· What capabilities do you have, how can we complement those capabilities?
It’s only by asking these questions that it’s possible to match the best partnership resources for your company – and help you achieve your desired outcomes.
Ms. Ford explains, “It’s important to take time upfront to understand how a client operates, what their needs are and what capabilities they already have. Often we can end up serving a range of back-office accounting and compliance needs, delivering services from weekly bookkeeping to quarterly strategic advice and annual compliance requirements. In such cases, clients can utilise experts in accounting, payroll, corporate secretarial and tax compliance across the finance function.”
Ms Ford believes the right VCFO partnership will:
Deliver expertise and knowledge in accounting, tax and regulatory requirements. Check whether your accounting firm has staff who are experts in their field, and will be able to assist your business with holistic support in an environment that is constantly becoming more complex and demanding for business owners.
Eliminate resource constraints and cost inefficiencies. Rather than forfeit quality for cost, look for a partner who can package a bookkeeper, financial controller and CFO into one offering. Which means senior management or other internal employees, are freed up from non-value adding tasks.
Allow you to see the big picture. Receiving accurate, reliable financial data and advice will allow management to make informed decisions and focus on business strategy and growth.
So how does this all translate to what a VCFO can do for a company? Ms Ford explains how Hill Rogers helped one particular business get to where they wanted to be. “An overseas franchisor chain called on us when they needed access to local expertise and knowledge of their taxation and accounting requirements. We became their one-stop shop – overseeing their weekly bookkeeping, management of their receivable and payable accounts, as well as fulfilling their monthly, quarterly and annual compliance requirements.
“From management’s perspective, this meant that their time and resources were free to focus on what was most important to them – developing a successful franchise, growing their market presence and driving their business to the next stage of their life cycle. Our partnership provided them with the confidence to execute their growth plans, whilst having peace of mind knowing that their accounting and compliance requirements were being taken care of by someone they could trust.”
So, while the decision to outsource your company’s financial management to a VCFO may seem a little scary to make (after all, you are opening your books to someone outside your business), it’s one that could result in huge gains for your business. Just keep in mind the importance of choosing a partner that will complement both your business’s – as well as your personal – capabilities. One who will create a true partnership with you and help take your business in the direction you want it to go.