A CFO as a service is a financial management tool that allows companies to outsource their financial needs.
The idea behind CFO as a service is that you don’t have to hire an in-house CFO to build robust financial systems and make data-driven decisions. It can be used by small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups to reap the benefits of having a CFO before the company is large enough to warrant hiring an in-house CFO.
This is the perfect solution if you’re running a business and need help with:
- Cash management
- And more
What is a CFO as a Service?
The CFO as a service is a new service model that provides finance departments access to the financial resources and expertise necessary to run their business. The goal is to help companies:
- Improve productivity
- Reduce costs
- Gain a competitive advantage
The CFO as a service model is emerging as firms increasingly look for ways to keep costs low in response to increased competition and market volatility. It also offers flexibility regarding where work takes place, either at your company’s location or the provider’s office, which is especially essential for businesses operating in multiple locations worldwide.
The CFO as a service model is based on the premise that many organizations have limited internal resources for finance-related functions ranging from capital planning and budgeting and forecasting to cash flow management, accounting, and reporting.
Outsourcing these essential activities to experts at an outside firm will also gain access to specialized expertise at a lower cost than hiring full-time employees.
How Do You Know If You Need a CFO as a Service?
An established business might already have a CFO, while in newer, smaller companies, the founder or CEO is likely playing the role of CFO.
But do you need a CFO as a service? If you’re uncertain, here are three questions that can help clarify if your company might benefit from hiring a professional to handle your finances:
Who’s keeping track of the numbers?
Sure, you know roughly how much money comes in and how much goes out. But do you know if those numbers are correct? If your books aren’t balanced, or your financial statements aren’t accurate, it could be time to bring in an outside expert.
What’s your tax strategy?
Even if you file your taxes annually, it’s essential to understand which forms are due, when, and why. A professional can help with that. Not only by preparing tax returns but also by teaching you about tax laws so that you know what to expect.
Where is your cash flow?
Knowing where your money goes (or comes from) is difficult. This one may seem obvious at first glance: if there’s no money coming in, then there can’t be any going out! Solving cash flow issues is a powerful lever for staying in business.
What’s the Difference Between CFO Services and an In-House CFO?
The CFO is the chief financial officer of your company. The duties of an in-house CFO can vary, but they typically include managing accounting and reporting, budgeting and forecasting, defining financial systems, and leading the company’s financial strategy.
In short, an in-house CFO is hired as a full-time employee and ensures that all financial matters run smoothly within an organization.
A CFO service firm is a third party that provides financial services to businesses without internal finance teams.
Rather than hiring a full-time employee or contracting with another company, many businesses choose to outsource their finances to a trusted CFO service provider. It’s often more cost-effective and efficient.
An external CFO brings experience from various industries and business models and can provide high-quality advice while likely working for multiple companies at once.
What Can You Expect Working with a CFO as a Service?
You may be wondering what to expect if you’re in the market for a CFO as a service.
You’ll gain access to an experienced CFO who has worked with many companies in your industry. This person knows what it takes to operate a successful business and will help you get there.
Your CFO will also have industry-specific expertise and understand what other companies in your industry are doing now. It allows them to provide insight into new trends and opportunities within your industry.
When you work with a CFO as a service, they will provide transparency into what’s happening in your business and how their services can help. This is important because it helps build trust between the two parties.
Accounting and Financial Analysis:
Accountants who work with startups focus on keeping the books in order. They ensure taxes are paid on time and provide other basic services. A CFO as a service will take this one step further by helping you figure out how much money you have and where it’s going.
They’ll also analyze your business’s financial performance over time. That way, you can predict future trends and make better decisions about how to spend money on advertising or marketing campaigns.
In addition to basic accounting services, tax experts can help save money by identifying tax deductions and credits that might not be obvious to you. They also know how new laws affect businesses like yours — for example, changes in tax rates.
Ready to Reap the Benefits of a CFO as a Service?
The CFO as a service model is an excellent solution for companies that need clarity with their business’s financial performance. The model is incredibly constructive when those companies don’t have the internal resources to hire and train an in-house CFO.