Can a CFO make a difference in your firm? Without hesitation, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Finance is at the heart of an organization, but it’s an area that doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. This is especially true when a firm experiences growth, but the finance department stays the same. As your firm’s needs progress, the staffing and skillsets of your firm are required to evolve as well. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at how outsourcing a CFO is a cost-effective decision that can have a significant positive impact on your organization.
Do I Really Need a CFO?
Every firm can benefit from high-level financial insight regardless of its size, revenue, or whether it operates in-person or remotely. Unfortunately, many businesses simply don’t have the resources to hire a full-time CFO. In our decades of experience working with AE and professional services firms, we often see situations where the financial responsibility falls on the shoulders of an owner who is too busy or a bookkeeper/accountant who is excellent with day-to-day but isn’t equipped to help drive the vision, goals, and growth of the organization. A CFO brings skills to the table that are strategic and geared explicitly towards leading your firm towards enhanced growth and greater profitability. Ask yourself, is your current accounting staff positioned to strategize your future, or are they bogged down by their daily responsibilities? While those daily tasks are critical and necessary, they aren’t focused on your financial future.
1. Big Results at a Small Cost
Utilizing an outsourced CFO provides your firm with direct access to high-level analytics and support at a fraction of the cost of paying a full-time CFO salary. You gain immediate results that can bump you ahead of the competition for a small, but powerful investment. While all firms can benefit from a CFO, a majority don’t require one full-time. By outsourcing, you reap the rewards without being locked into the long list of costs associated with a full-time employee. That also means no stress over time off or sick days; your firm gets what it needs when it’s needed.
2. Scalable Options that Pay
An outsourced CFO will meet you right where you are and not only help you grow but also grow with you. They hit the ground running to help you accelerate success by increasing profitability and optimizing processes and procedures. You gain confidence in knowing that you have the expertise you need to be future-ready. A CFO can work with you to overcome current challenges that seem impossible, applying expertise and insight from their years of experience. Plus, they can immediately identify issues before they become problems, an essential skill set for your future growth. In fact, a partnership with an outsourced CFO allows you to consider options you may not have thought about before. Working with you, an outsourced CFO will help align your goals with customized strategies, fine-tuning your systems and processes to help forecast success.
3. Mentoring and Training Current Staff
Utilizing an outsourced CFO doesn’t mean you are replacing your current staff. On the contrary, bringing in a CFO often results in existing staff operating in a much more efficient and effective way. They can focus more clearly on their responsibilities, knowing that strategy is in the capable hands of the CFO. Part of the CFO’s role may include training your internal staff to support your financial strategy and future growth, elevating your current employees’ skills. They can also assist in identifying whether you have the right roles in your accounting department and if you have the right people in those roles. This valuable insight is often best seen by an outside expert.
4. A Third Party Set of Eyes
A CFO can fill a critical gap by bringing deep industry, finance, and technology experience to the table. They are well versed on how to maximize your accounting software, as well as how to leverage that data with the latest industry trends. This highly beneficial outside perspective can conduct an in-depth assessment of your internal processes, ensuring you’re set-up to help you reach your goals. Additionally, a CFO can work with you to break down your overall goals into more manageable, measurable, and attainable pieces, including tracking progress through metrics and KPI’s. When that progress is stalled or going off course, a CFO can quickly respond with a non-biased view on the root causes and how to overcome any roadblocks.
The benefits of an outsourced CFO are significant. They can fill a critical gap by bringing deep industry, finance, and technology experience to the table. Your firm benefits from real-time financial visibility that allows you to make the best business decisions with the most accurate information. Plus, working with your Ajera system, an experienced CFO can leverage their industry knowledge and insight with custom reporting and metrics that give you robust, accurate data. They understand the global impact of all things financial on your business and create a financial roadmap for the future, your future. If you want to explore how an Ajera Outsourced CFO could help your firm, reach out to us today for a complimentary consultation.
Valerie Higgins | Managing Director, Project Management & Ajera Consulting
Val’s 25+ years working in and with the AE industry has provided her with a wealth of “boots on the ground” experience that she brings to the table with each of her client engagements. Val specializes in assisting clients with an assessment of their business processes, ERP systems efficiencies, and a passion point – Best Practices for Project Management.