Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know I need a part-time CFO?
If you are having difficulty understanding your financial statements or where your cash flow comes from and goes to, you are ready for assistance. If you feel that you are flying blind, you are ready for assistance. Often times it is a concerned third-party such as a banker or a CPA that will point out the need.
How do part-time CFO’s Work?
We begin our work together with an initial consultation, asking many detailed questions, and listening carefully. Then a scope of our engagement is then established in a detailed engagement letter which outlines proposed services. We work by project or on an on-going basis, depending on the situation and your needs.
Once the engagement begins, we typically will begin with analysis and planning. We analyze the company and ultimately establish short and long-term goals that will guide you and your company to success. We will continue to review operations and advise regarding your progress.
In the end, you go into business to make money. We will help you define what these goals are and how to accomplish them.
What Makes Us Different?
Accountants and CPAs typically have a narrow, historical focus. We have a broader and long-term focus designed to help you fulfill your specific small business goals. Our broad approach encompasses virtually all aspects of your business, includes an analysis of the market, management, and value creation. We develop an integrated approach based upon your vision for the company. This integration includes integrating rapidly and seamlessly among your management and staff personnel.
We have seen over the past three decades that with careful planning and advice, companies can be more successful in every aspect of their business, from marketing to management to finances. We start by analyzing your current situation, then plan toward the future, combining your industry and market knowledge with our financial management expertise to create a lucrative, profitable relationship.
The simplest explanation is a metaphor: the distinction between a fitness coach and a doctor. You see a doctor for an annual checkup and when symptoms of illness appear. In the meantime the fitness coach is there every day, every week, and every month keeping you fit, helping to achieve your goals. A CFO is your financial fitness coach.
How Can We Help?
Here are a few of the things that we can do for you:
- Improve Profit: A CFO plays an important role in establishing and maintain policies, procedures, and most importantly the company’s long-term plan. Since a company’s cash flow begins with profitability, it is imperative that the company be as profitable as possible.
- Add a management partner: Someone you can bounce ideas off – someone to provide sound financial management advise in decision making – provide business counsel – and create value.
- Provide a third party perspective: independent review – fresh perspective – will tell you like it is.
- Strategic Focus: 85% of all businesses fail. The most cited reason for failure: failure to plan. A long-term strategic plan is a roadmap that guides your business to success based upon the opportunities and constraints of the marketplace and management. A well implemented strategic plan creates long-term value and ensures your success.
- Accountability: Regular meetings keeps you accountable and on task with agreed upon milestones and objectives.
- Communication: We can communicate the numbers to any audience and in a manner that people of diverse backgrounds can understand.
- Restructure: We can help you identify ways to restructure existing debt, agreements with suppliers, or distribution partners to save money.
- Reduce Costs: We are skilled at helping to identify ways to save money with the least impact on your business.
- Enhance Revenue: We are also skilled at enhancing revenue streams with minimal impact on the businesses cost structure.
- We pay for ourselves: As a management component, we create short-and long-term value the well exceeds our underlying cost.
- Planning for Sale or Succession: Every business needs to know its exit strategy and timeline. Often times, the exit strategy goes hand-in-hand with retirement and estate planning. We can develop a very long-term plan to ensure that your business creates the long-term value that fulfills your exit strategy and time-line, and fulfills your retirement needs.
- Assistance during challenging times: With close to three decades experience working with distressed businesses, we can provide vital assistance to maximize value, develop strategic options, perform crisis management, negotiate with lenders and creditors, and lead turnarounds/workouts as is necessary.
- Working on the business rather than in the business: To succeed you need to work more on the business than in the business. You create value working on the business. You accrue wages working in the business. A CFO create value by working almost exclusively on the business.
Is the part-time CFO an employee?
No. We are an independent contractor. The terms of the engagement are set forth in a detailed engagement letter. The agreement can be expanded and end with relative ease.
Parting tips with regard to financial management?
Business owners can make decisions thoughtfully, with the numbers; arbitrarily, by the numbers; or blindly, without the numbers. Make sure that you have good information as the basis for good decisions, presented within the context of your long-term plan.