Virtual CFO

Does your business require hiring a Virtual CFO?

It is the dream of almost every entrepreneur to take his/her business to the next level and overcome competition, while increasing revenue. Achieving financial objectives is one of the most crucial aspects that every ambitious entrepreneur looks forwards to. But the truth is that very few tend to achieve this goal, since there are pains experienced along the way. In case, you have reached this point, then you are likely to be faced a major question, which is, what exactly ‘Virtual CFO’ is all about and do I have to hire one for my business! It is essential to know about the different types of services offered by the professional and to determine if the services are worth the try or not.

About Virtual CFO

The virtual CFO as the designation suggests, is a professional who performs services of the Chief Financial Officer or CFO. Instead of offering such services as full-time employee in person, the virtual CFO might provide these services remotely and with less than full time schedule.

The last few years have witnessed rapid increase in startup numbers and technology paving towards enhanced entrepreneurial activity than before. Startups during the last decade are stated to have grown up by approximately 50%.

Few defining characteristics pertaining to startups are lean operation and limited capital, hence, creating the need to work along with niche professionals such as accountants, strategists and marketers at an affordable rate.

Enter the outsourcing world

Young companies through outsourcing can harness the expertise and experience of highly talented and skilled professionals without actually spending a fortune to attract and retain full time employee. The professional on being outsourced is in a position to offer his/her expertise and knowledge to diverse clients, thereby splitting precious time and cost amongst them. For both the sides, it can be termed to be a win-win situation.

Few services that can be offered by the virtual CFO:

  • Financial reporting
  • Financial planning such as cash flow forecasting
  • Cost management
  • Financial risk management
  • Debt reduction

Scope of work of the virtual CFO for the organization depends typically upon its unique financial needs and size. Usually, the professional is paid flat monthly rate or by the hour as deemed fit by the company management.

Benefits derived by hiring the virtual CFO

Several benefits can be derived by hiring the professional to manage the growing financial posture of the company.

  • Manage costs: The biggest benefit to hire the virtual CFO probably is the capability to manage expenditure. The Chief Financial Officer’s average salary is quite high, thereby not allowing many small organizations to be in a position to hire them. It can be paired with other essentials, such as bonuses and benefits and a big price tag will be expected if the CFO is to be hired full time. But by virtual CFO, costs can be curtailed and controlled by a huge extent. They will provide only those services that is desired and hence, charge accordingly, which is quite low and when desried. You, as an entrepreneur do not have to worry about the roll benefits to be provided or to fulfill other employment terms.
  • Develop with you: Hiring the virtual CFO does come with a benefit of growing with the business. It is quite natural for the Rs.1 million revenue targets to be different from that of the Rs10 million mark requirements. The professional with the right kind of expertise and experience can help navigate through varying growth phases, thereby forming a financial perspective. The well known virtual CFO will be able to recognize that his/her services offered are just a temporary solution. The professional doing the job perfectly is likely to become redundant as the organization develops into a better position to hire full time CFO as an employee. Till then, the virtual CFO does help the company to transition to in-house CFO from outsourced position as the time comes.
  • Personalize based upon specific organizational budget and needs: The e-commerce apparel company is likely to have varying financial needs when compared to a divorce attorney. The forecasting, processes and reports which both the businesses require are quite unique. The virtual CFO professional can help personalize the scope of work and skills that are essential to fit perfectly the company, without actually making payments for anything not needed. It is possible to shift such services as necessary as the business changes and grows.
  • Diverse expertise: Since virtual CFOs are known to work with several clients at a time, they can offer affordable rates to everyone. You can benefit from the diverse pool of expertise and experience as a client. The professional also views unlimited varying financial situations to resolve numerous diverse financial conundrums. Whatever be the unique situation your business is facing, chances are very high of your virtual CFO having taken care of the same with other similar types of clients, thus providing you with proper advice.

Does my organization require Virtual CFO?

It is essential to understand that the virtual CFO is actually not the perfect solution for every type of business. For some businesses, outsourced arrangement may not be the right fit, while for others it might not be just necessary as of now. If financial house is found to be not in order, it needs to be taken care of first.

Few scenarios where hiring virtual CFO will be necessary for the business

  • Experiencing rapid growth: Sudden growth may cause financial troubles, especially if not prepared for the same. The virtual CFO can help navigate accelerated growth periods and place systems in proper place.
  • Business becoming more complex: Adding more employees, contracts, vendors, suppliers and other components to business can get more complex.
  • Unfavorable financials: At some point of time, almost all organizations experience unfavorable periods, which is part of any business. Knowing why, can help take appropriate steps to get financially secure. The professional can help overcome issues faced with profitability and maintenance.
  • Lack of detailed financial understanding to make proper decisions.

The above are few of the scenarios where the virtual CFO can prove to be of great help.

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