Learning Center

04 JAN

3 Big Benefits of Hiring an Independent CFO

If you’ve been paying attention to business trends lately (and who hasn’t), you’ve noticed that flexibility is a recurring theme. Everyone is looking for ways to trim expenses, downsize, consolidate, and make things operate more efficiently. The old ways of doing things are constantly being challenged, and new models for running an effective business are constantly being unveiled.

Accounting and bookkeeping is one area that remains vital to any business, despite all the changes in other areas. In fact, keeping your numbers straight is more important than ever.

The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) or controller has traditionally been the way to keep your ducks in a row in terms of numbers, and many companies still pay a dedicated, full-time CFO to handle this side of things. Obviously there are situations where this full-time role is justified — but in other cases, keeping a full-time CFO on staff is more expensive than it needs to be. For many small-to-medium-sized business, it’s just not necessary.

The modern, “slimmed down” alternative is to hire an independent accounting specialist to perform the duties of the CFO on a part-time basis. But is it really worth it? Let’s look at 3 big benefits of going this route.

1. You get all the same accounting functions

The first concern business managers have when they consider hiring independent help with accounting is: Will I get the same value? Will all of my key accounting functions be taken care of with the same level of professionalism and skill? The answer is yes — provided you hire someone with the requisite training and experience. All of the major functions of a CFO (Business and Financial Planning, Financial Statement Preparation, Projections & Forecasting, Cash Flow Management, and Budgeting) can be performed at the highest professional level with the right contractor.

2. It’s more economical

Keeping a full-time CFO is expensive, as many businesses have already found out. It’s not that you wouldn’t like to pay someone to watch over your accounting full-time, but that accountant will be highly trained, and will command a decent salary. For many businesses, outsourcing the main accounting functions simply makes the most financial sense.

3. It’s easy to commission services as/when you need them

Nobody likes a business commitment that ends up being cumbersome and difficult to get out of. Handing your CFO function to a trustworthy consultant is a supremely flesible way to go. Your specialize will get to know your finances with the same degree of intimacy and familiarity, but if you ever need to adjust the services you require, it’s as simple as saying the word.

Finding an independent CFO you can really trust

The role of CFO, and all of the functions performed by this role, are a very serious matter for your business, no matter how small or large it may be. If the accounting is solid, you have a clear financial picture of your business and can be much more effective in strategizing for the future. Take care in selecting a professional to handle your sensitive bookkeeping and accounting tasks, and pay particular attention to experience, education, and review scores from existing and past clients.