Small businesses are faced with many questions and uncertainties on a daily basis, just as larger corporations are. The difference is that large companies can afford to hire CFOs, accountants, financial advisors, or industry specialists to help guide decisions and best practices. While a small company may not be able to afford the larger salaries of these trusted individuals, it is still vital to have someone with financial experience helping you.
A part-time CFO is the right choice for a business that needs guidance or advising without a huge cost. It could be an ongoing need if the business owner is not experienced with certain financial aspects, or it may be needed for a specified period of time while a business undergoes a change and needs advice on a particular issue. Part-time CFOs can share past success stories to help you get the answers you need and can afford.
Benefits of part-time CFOs include…
- They can see beyond the numbers.
Great CFOs not only see numbers on financial statements but also interpret those numbers and provide analysis. Based on this, a CFO can help you develop a strategy that is smart and financially responsible, while still aligning with your overarching goals. Over the years the role of the CFO has changed drastically. They are consistently being asked to serve in roles outside of the Finance realm.
- They communicate their analysis in a way everyone can understand.
Many times CFOs are needed for small companies when trying to make changes to their business model. Being able to communicate with owners, as well as other investors or stakeholders, is an invaluable attribute of a CFO. CFOs can explain their financial analysis to all types of people with all skill levels, from a basic understanding to expert.
- They save you money.
A part-time or contract CFO is perfect for businesses that do not have the need or resources for full-time work. You pay for exactly what you need, by the hour. This is helpful because your need likely will not be the same each week or month. All companies have busy times, or weeks when advice is needed more than others. A pay-as-you-go CFO helps save money, only use exactly what is needed, and budget as you go.
- They have experience with many different companies and industries.
A part-time CFO is likely working with other companies on their projects at the same time they are working with you. They have experience with companies in different industries and with different problems, strategies, and goals. This is a huge benefit for your company: by working with and learning from a variety of companies, a CFO sees what works and what does not, and then can share that knowledge and experience with you. For most small businesses the industry expertise is not as important. They need an individual with a well-rounded background that can see blind spots.
- They are a trusted advisor for your business decisions.
A CFO has a business background, and while they are experts in the financial aspect, they can also make sound judgments on other business decisions. By taking what they know about your finances and company goals, a part-time CFO can help you adjust your strategy as needed.
If your company is not at a point where a full-time CFO is feasible or necessary, consider hiring a part-time CFO. You will receive all of the benefits – analysis that is understandable at a much lower cost. A CFO is the trusted advisor that will help your business be the best it can be.