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We tailor our CFO services to ensure that the way we work together is right for you. Here are some steps we take to help small to medium businesses and startups grow.
We look at your business’ current state and what needs to be done to make it a star.
A robust plan is your key to success. Here we clarify your goals and create an achievable plan to reach them.
We help you stay focused on financial & operational performance to achieve success.
Ongoing strategic and commercial advice to improve your decision making and supercharge growth.
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Here’s how our CFO services can help you in 5 ways.
- Forming a clear strategy and plan leads to increased focus and success
You struggle to find the time or don’t have the skills to effectively plan for the future, right?
Accountants focus mainly on the past, they report on what has happened, not what is potentially going to happen. Understanding the past and learning from it is critical to improve and grow, but it will only help so much.
Big corporates have dedicated teams focusing on planning and strategy. They know that setting goals and formulating plans with targets that cascade downwards throughout teams, gives them a higher chance of success. These techniques can be applied in a simpler way to SMEs and startups.
Planning for the future is powerful as it provides clarity and a sense of purpose. Strategic planning is where CFOs add most value to an organisation. A well thought out plan provides focus, aligns goals across departments and gives teams a sense of purpose beyond the day to day. CFOs are skilled at strategising, analysing options and implementing plans that drive value.
A good CFO spends the majority of their time thinking about the future and how you will get there. CFOs are skilled at strategising, analysing options and implementing plans that drive value.
- A CFO forces you to focus on performance
Many business owners can’t make sense of their accounts they are often too detailed and read like a shopping list with number after number. How do you know if the financial results are good, bad or indifferent? A strong CFO will analyse and summarise the financial position of the company in terms of the past, present, and future. Through this process they will identify key numbers which teams need to live and breathe. These are critical to success and should form part of your plan and have targets assigned to accountable employees. High performing businesses look at performance in a disciplined and consistent way.
- Sleep easy at night knowing your business is in good hands
Many business owners are plagued by doubt, anxiety and stress. A lot of this is driven by the feeling of not knowing. It’s often likened to a roller coaster ride of elation and despair. No magic pill exists to eliminate these feelings, they are natural, particularly in the early stages of a business. But things can be done to reduce the worry associated with not knowing what the future holds. No magic pill exists to eliminate these feelings, they are natural, particularly in the early stages of a business. But things can be done to reduce the worry associated with not knowing what the future holds.
Cash flow is a common problem. Forecasting cash and implementing smart tactics such as factoring and proactive collections can eliminate some of these risks and bring a sense of control. A strong CFO forces you to plan and think about the future. There may be periods where business will be weak say over December and January – having a plan to prepare for this lean sales period will minimise stress. This could be stockpiling cash or looking to get an overdraft.
- We help you use data to your advantage
Most businesses use a multitude of software, eDM tools, CRMs, accounting systems, project mgmt systems and analytics tools collecting a large amount of sales, customer, operational and financial data. The problem with these point solution pieces of software is that they rarely talk to each other and the data is usually structured differently making it hard to aggregate and connect the dots. Building up an overall picture of how processes, workflows, metrics, sales and marketing channels drive value is critical to sound decision making.
Much of the data business owners have at their fingertips doesn’t help decision making. A good CFO, will have modelling skills and be able to bring disparate sources of info together to draw out insights and aid decision making that will drive growth. Much of the data business owners receive doesn’t help owners make sound decisions.
Data is the new oil, are you unleashing it to make decisions and grow?
- Helps you grow and make critical decisions
Owners without a finance or accounting background plugging away in excel and doing technical things they are not qualified for is inefficient and ultimately hampers growth. An opportunity cost arises as the owner could be selling, motivating staff, talking to customers, designing that next product or any number of activities which will drive growth. A CFO will give an owner the headspace and time to concentrate on impactful things.
When making critical decisions, bouncing ideas off an independent sounding board with commercial and strategic nous can be of huge benefit. Blind spots and subconscious biases impact all human decisions, the worst part about these is that we don’t even know they are skewing a seemingly logical thought process when making a decision. Having someone external look at a situation through a different lens can often uncover different considerations and issues relevant to making the decision.
Ultimately, a CFO helps you make better, well-rounded commercial decisions.
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When you don’t have a CFO, it means you will need to rely on a number of specialists. Typically, there are 3 parties needed – a tax specialist, a bookkeeper/accountant for the day-to-day activity and a CFO for commercial and strategic matters. Managing these different parties can take up a lot of your time.
Most CFOs are strong on the planning, commercial and accounting side but won’t usually be experts in tax. Bookkeeping can be done using lower cost resources. We provide ownership of your finance function as part of our service offering (though not mandatory). Effectively, we align all the resources and manage the information flow between these parties, so that you don’t have to think about it. We ensure all tax and compliance work is done on time and can review these before submission if necessary. We can mentor junior members of staff and even look to hire resources such as finance managers and bookkeepers. In some cases these resources report to us directly. As part of this you get monthly management reporting and oversight of your accounting system to make sure the data is correct and you can rely on it to give you an accurate view of your businesses financial position.
Typically, a minimum of $1 million in turnover. Although, this can change if a business has a board and has planning and reporting requirements exceeding that of a business owned by one or a few people.
We have a network of professionals and junior resources, which may help your business or startup grow. The time may not be right to get a CFO, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. We’re always happy to have a chat to see how we can help you grow and scale.
We don’t charge like lawyers and accountants in six-minute increments. Our sole purpose is to give you access to high-level CFO skills at a reasonable cost, instead of having to wait until your business is big enough to employ someone full-time.
For clients who require ongoing monthly support, we typically charge a retainer. Usually it’s equivalent to about 2 days’ work per month, circa $2,000 to $2,500 + GST per month.
We also offer one-off projects for clients including a reporting enhancement or a budget. This may be charged at an hourly or fixed rate, depending on the project’s complexity. For project work, we usually charge $150 + GST per hour.
Some clients require more support because they are entering a growth phase or their business is complex. They may need a CFO to work onsite once or twice per week. In these cases we could give a discount, depending on the situation.
We work with a mixture of both face-to-face and digital contact. For those who sign up for an ongoing/retainer model, we aim to be in your office at least one day per month.
Most virtual CFOs provide a purely digital relationship, we prefer a 50/50 split. Context is lost when dealing with people via email and phone, face-to-face interactions are more effective and likely to generate those little nuggets of gold that will drive growth. Some tasks like building models, reviewing month end and reporting is better done in a quiet space, so we typically do this in our offices.
In some cases clients need more support and would like someone in their office the entire time. Some may be undergoing significant growth or have an intense piece of work like raising capital and need a high level of support.In these cases we are flexible and if it makes sense we can be in the office 100% of the agreed time.
Consultants are great and devising plans and creating a shiny document for you, but very few help you to execute. We work at a deeper level than your typical strategy consultant or coach, who often only scratch the surface of your business. CFOs by nature are detailed people but can also operate at a higher strategic level.
What this means is that you have someone who can think big and small, meaning they can actually help you execute. We aim to be your business partner or right hand man. We get really excited about helping you kick goals, that’s why we left the corporate world. We are driven to do impactful and meaningful work that will set people up for success.
Most businesses and startups who choose to work with us are usually experience one or more of the following scenarios:
- Rapid growth or setting up for high growth
- Greater governance & reporting requirements
- Seeking investment or looking to IPO
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