CFO

Outsourced CFO and FD Services for Startups & SMEs

Outsourcing a CFO or FD can be a very cost-effective practice for startups and early-stage companies and provides an invaluable resource for your business, allowing you to access the strategic financial skills and expertise that your company may not as have as a newly formed company or startup.

Hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Financial Director (FD) is often not economically possible and allows you to gain expertise without adding to your permanent headcount.

As a business develops and expands, a start-up or early-stage company will need CFO or FD to help navigate growth. An outsourced CFO service can be highly effective and outsourced CFO service costs can be very appealing to start ups and small businesses.

 

An outsourced CFO or FD can provide your company with:

  • Experience – being able to tap into financial expertise
  • Forward planning – working with your business to provide monthly forecasts, yearly budgets, source funding and capital and give you a clear view of your company’s likely landscape down the line
  • Oversight – help you to see, understand and enhance the numbers
  • Insight – review and challenge financial strategy and information

 

Chief Financial Officer v Financial Director

The roles of CFO and FD are interchangeable. Both roles play a vital part in managing, controlling, and analysing the financial climate of a business.

In larger companies, where there are teams of people working on financial matters, the CFO is the most senior person within the finance operations.  The FD will be the most senior accountant in charge of day-to-day operations.

The key responsibilities of both roles are outlined below.

The Chief Financial Officer will oversee the company’s financial operations, managing the financial intricacies and working together with senior company executives and the senior management team to develop and manage financial and tax strategies and set up financial IT systems.  Their primary goal is to drive the company’s financial planning to support its growth and secure new business and are responsible for strategic direction.

The Financial Director has similar responsibilities, creating a solid foundation upon which a company can grow, providing financial advice and support to senior executives and directing the company’s financial operations.  They are generally responsible for focusing on all financial aspects of the company and overseeing systems and controls on a day-to-day basis.

In start-ups and small to medium sized businesses, the distinction can be academic with the job descriptions being comparable.  The key point is to focus on the tasks to be performed and to ensure the business has the right financial leaders to build financial models, source investment, raise capital and explore funding options.

In organisations where there is a CFO the FD will have similar responsibilities, but the key difference is that the CFO will be part of the senior executive team and sit on the board, whereas the FD are not part of the senior team but have a key role in overseeing and directing the company’s financial operations and report to the CFO.

The level of financial leadership required will depend on business requirements.  Each have different skill sets and the stage of a business will establish when such skill sets are needed. A startup or early-stage company will need advice and support when raising funds and capital and to explore tax relief schemes such as EIS/SEIS.

Hiring is not always the right option, at AccountsPro we can provide your business with FD and CFO Support which are designed to help your business grow and succeed. We will provide an experienced and commercially astute finance professional without adding to employee count and resource costs and will work with your startup or early-stage company to ensure you have the right level of support that will add vast support to your team.

We understand how businesses work and how to make them grow. By combining financial support and business acumen, we will build the right financial foundations for your company and give you the support and advice when you need it – identifying opportunities and providing a cost-effective resource to support your company’s growth.

AccountsPro can find the best talent for your startup, helping you hire interim or permanent FD or CFO support as we become an extension to your business.

For a trusted finance partner that will support and guide your business contact us for a free consultation.

CFO

CFO Insights for 2021: Growth still matters

CFO Insights For more than a decade now, we have operated in a growth economy.

A good CFO is a controlling force for organisational behaviour. In times of growth, CFOs want that bottom line to increase at least as fast as the top line. Revenue is good; profit is better; cash is king. As such, a CFO provides a negative feedback loop on spending and thus brings stability to the company.

CFOs of all people know that you can’t cut your way to growth, and sadly there has been a lot of that this past year. If a CFO perceives that the business is on the upswing side of the recession curve regardless of the economy as a whole then he/she will be more eager to return to spending in key areas.

On the topic of spending. a recent CFO report on spending has shown that both marketing and sales have seen a recovery as companies re-align the efforts towards acquiring customers. We are seeing more of an emphasis towards a ‘self-discovery’ approach to customer acquisition with less of an emphasis on acquiring customer through ‘direct selling‘; which as a channel has been impacted by the pandemic.

Businesses in both the B2B and B2C segments are using online self-discovery processes that guide customers to finding the products their need. If they were doing this already then these processes have been significantly improved and are more prominent in their focus.

Spend across product support has also seen an increase where companies are now expanding their digital reach to support customers on platforms that have seen little utilisation as a support channel such as WhatsApp and Instagram We have also seen growth in companies providing on-site services. From ‘home’ car servicing from Ford (which would normally be done at one of their franchise garages) to ‘home’ computer repairs from Dell – which was a fabulous service that I used this week.

We will be sharing more insights in future posts.

Stay tuned for more…

 

CFO

Why hire an Outsourced CFO Consultant 2021 ?

Outsourced CFO Consultant: In this article, I would like to briefly explain what a CFO does, as well as what they shouldn’t be doing. We will also look at the advantages and benefits that a CFO consultant brings over hiring a permanent CFO.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position entails more than just ‘score keeping’ on how a company has done. For that function, you would be better off hiring an Accountant. However, I have sadly witnessed numerous instances where Start-ups have hired a permanent CFO (not at market rate) with this initial remit; which under utilizes both talent and company resources that could have been better spent elsewhere.

‘Score keeping’ is where the role starts. The CFO takes financial reporting and fuses it with operational data and metrics which allows them to analyse areas in which the business could make changes to positively affect efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Outsourced CFO Consultant – Why You Need One?

Financial matters are not the only places where an outsourced CFO consultant is able to lend advice. CFOs are able to help in many critical areas, such as:

  • Advice on choosing cloud software to automate finance, legal, HR and administration workflows.
  • Leading or exploring the opportunity of a potential merger or acquisition
  • Uncovering opportunities and threats to your business presented by other players in the space.
  • The ability to unlock scalable growth through new business models, channels, verticals, or customer segments.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve margins through analysis of channels, service lines and products.
  • Building a finance team from scratch or coaching and mentoring an existing team.

However, the costs associated with hiring a full time CFO role typically puts it out of the reach of many SMEs and start-ups. The average permanent CFO salary in London is £203,800 and can go up to £260,000 (Robert Half 2021 Salary Guide).

The second biggest downside when hiring a permanent CFO is the risk of loss of continuity when the CFO or another senior member of the finance is let go. Whereas hiring an outsourced CFO can mitigate this risk by allowing the consultant to step in when needed to keep a business’s finances running smoothly.

Most start-ups and SMEs do well to find a CFO consultant that can come on-board for short term or medium-term assignments for example, to see through a merger, acquisition, turnaround or to build a finance team. A CFO could also help on a part-time basis to enable continuity, directional leadership or to support transition of staff members.

A CFO consultant has the advantage of starting immediately which saves valuable time and allows the consultant to get to work on a remit straight away. It is also advantageous for companies that are looking to hire a full time CFO where they can hire a part-time consultant to ease their staff into the change. Additionally, bringing in a consultant at the inception can help to flesh out the needs of the permanent CFO role. The result is a better-defined position that is more likely to attract and retain good calibre talent, as well as lead to sustained success for the business.   

In summary, for many SMEs and Start-ups, it makes more sense to hire an ad-hoc or part-time CFO consultant than hire a full-time permanent CFO. Using an outsource firm to ‘lend’ an outsourced CFO consultant is a cost-effective way to carry out important functions like automating workflows, approaching lenders, expanding business operations, and executing time-sensitive financial decisions.

Whether you have a successful business, an under performing one, or are planning for a business transition you may have needs that require a CFO consultant. If you would like to explore the options of hiring a consultant, you can contact us here or call us on 0207 193 8798.