Outsourced CFO Services Firms – What Do They Do?
Often people think of a Chief Financial Officer [CFO] as someone working at an executive level in a large corporate or government entity. But outsourced CFO Services Firms can offer a lot to small and medium size businesses. The outsourced CFO Services industry is a broad market with a range of different types of services.
Different Types of Outsourced CFOs
There are three different business needs that can be met by an outsourced CFO Services Firm. These are temporary support, permanent part-time and/or remote support or special projects. These are known as:
Interim CFOs: Short-term (3-9 months) to fill a temporary CFO vacancy due to the departure or unavailability of a permanent CFO. Medium to large businesses who already have a well-established CFO role.
Virtual / Part-time CFOs: Medium-term (12+ months) to provide CFO executive level leadership either on part-time hours (but in the office) or remotely (virtually). Suitable for companies with $2m-50m turnover who need senior support less than full time.
Special Project CFOs: Short-term (3-12 months) to support a business through a period of transition. Suitable for companies with $2m-50m turnover who need senior support due to a ‘change’ event such as periods of growth or sudden decline.
What Sets CFO Services Firms Apart?
The benefits your organisation obtains from an Outsourced CFO Services firm are different from those you receive from your accountancy firm or in-house accountant. The services you get are all equally valuable but there are differences.
In small and medium size businesses the in-house accountants or accountancy firm will be supporting you with forecasting, budgeting, resolving cash flow issues, running finance processes and ensuring year end accounting and tax/compliance obligations are completed. These are important tasks and for smaller entities a virtual or part-time CFO can also undertake these services contracting through a CFO Services Firm. But the true focus of a CFO is more broadly about your overall business performance.
A CFO is focused on short, medium and long-term financial strategy. For example, revenue optimisation and finding new growth engines. Helping you with business transformation around cost models. Providing you with actionable insights that give you a forward-looking view of the business. Being your financial business partner and providing you with commercial and strategic insight.
An expert CFO will also have broad commercial and operational experience beyond just finance. They will be able to improve the way your business operations run and thereby make your organisation more efficient. Working alongside your business leaders they will help develop business strategies as well as financial strategies and ensure these are supported with good funding options. They will support you and your team to implement these plans.
A CFO Services firm will help you understand what the numbers are telling you, set the right targets and put in place the right systems for growth and increased profitability. If you are seeking a business course correction or one is thrust upon you, an outsourced CFO Services firm can help you successfully navigate the new course.
the new course