Our Favorite Outsourced CFO Resources
Written by Amanda Bower | Published: April 5, 2023
Sign up for our newsletter to receive everything from accounting advice to notifications on new tax laws.
If you’re a business owner, it’s likely that you wear many hats – if not all the hats. As a business owner looking to grow and scale, however, you may be starting to realize that wearing all those hats just isn’t sustainable.
Outsourcing certain tasks can help remove some of these hats and also provide access to specialized expertise and resources that may not be available in-house. Outsourcing CFO and accounting services can be a great step for a business owner on the path to growth.
However, outsourcing CFO and accounting services is a major decision for a business because it can significantly impact the company’s financial health, culture, and internal processes. The decision should be made after careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits, and ensuring that the chosen provider is a good fit for the company’s goals and values.
There are many things to consider when weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing your financial management, including cost savings, expertise, and increased efficiency. But where do you even start?
That’s where hiline comes in. We understand the importance of making an informed decision when it comes to your business’s finances, which is why we’ve put together a list of our favorite educational resources and their key takeaways on outsourced CFO services.
So if you’re ready to explore your options and make an informed decision, read on!
If you’re relatively new to the concept of an outsourced CFO (Chief Financial Officer), then this is a good place to start. This article explains that, on the most basic level, an outsourced CFO performs the same functions as an in-house CFO. The big difference is that an outsourced CFO works with your company on a contract basis rather than as a full-time employee.
When should you consider working with an outsourced CFO? The short answer is: right from the start of your business. However, many companies wait until they experience substantial growth and the complex financial processes and requirements that come with that growth.
In general, you should consider using outsourced CFO services when:
- You want to ensure that your books are in order before approaching investors and lenders
- You’re uncertain about the right time for a capital raise
- You’re part of a merger or acquisition
- You’re feeling overwhelmed by the level of financial accounting, reporting, and analysis your business now requires
Other frequently asked questions that this article addresses include the following:
- How does an outsourced CFO provide value?
- What are some common tasks/activities handled by an outsourced CFO?
- What questions should you ask when choosing an outsourced CFO provider?
The Big Picture
You may be wondering, “Why would a company outsource their accounting and how can it help my business?”
This article is great at explaining what exactly falls under the umbrella of “outsourced accounting.” Is it just payroll and taxes? The answer: not necessarily.
Outsourced accounting can include a wide array of services, such as:
- Basic and advanced bookkeeping services (bank account and credit card reconciliations, fixed asset accounting, monthly financial reporting, etc.)
- Cash management services (processing vendor payments, 13-week cash flow analysis, cash collections support)
- Financial reporting and analysis (annual budgeting process management, KPI reporting, written financial statement analysis)
The article also discusses when you should outsource some of your accounting services and six key benefits you’ll receive from doing so — including accuracy, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
The Part-Time Option
An outsourced CFO is one thing, but what’s a fractional CFO? This article explores the answer to that question in great detail.
For instance, it explains:
- What a fractional CFO is. This is a special type of outsourced CFO in that the role is part-time. In other words, the fractional CFO sometimes works with your company and other clients the rest of the time. This can be a great, cost-effective solution for your business if you don’t need a full-time CFO at the helm but want to ensure that your finances remain accurate and consistent across the board.
- What a fractional CFO does. A fractional CFO will manage your company’s finances from end to end by conducting regular cash flow analyses, setting budgets, and even implementing new recording and reporting systems within your business. The fractional CFO can also help you raise capital, attract investors, and boost credibility.
- How a fractional CFO helps. Several benefits come from hiring a fractional CFO, including significant cost savings, access to a wealth of experience, and the ability to cover your company’s “blind spots.”
Be sure to check out this article for an in-depth examination of fractional CFOs, especially in the context of new startups.
The Bean Counter
Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to bring a CFO or an in-house hire on to your team just yet, but you could use an extra hand to manage your company’s financials. That’s where a certified professional accountant comes in. This article explains several key benefits your business can gain by working with a remote CPA.
It also addresses some key questions that you may have about this option, such as:
- What does a remote CPA do? Perhaps a better question would be: what doesn’t a remote CPA do? Remote CPAs can handle a wide range of accounting services for your business, including bookkeeping, reporting, cash management, budgeting, tax preparation, and consulting, to name a few.
- Why choose a remote CPA over an in-house specialist or team? Cost plays a key role in this decision, as remote CPAs are often less expensive to bring on board than in-house personnel. However, cost is not the only reason to go remote. A remote CPA solution also allows for greater scalability as your business grows and access to expertise that may not be available in-house.
- What are some characteristics of an excellent remote CPA? A remote CPA needs to be a good communicator, have a consistent weekly schedule, and stay on top of assigned duties, among many other important characteristics.
Read the article in full to learn more about how a remote CPAn may be able to meet your business’s accounting needs.
If you’re running a startup, you may want to understand what CFO services would look like for your company. This article offers a detailed primer on how a CFO can positively impact your startup and contribute to rapid growth of your business.
The article’s key point is that a CFO’s job is not just about crunching numbers. For instance, a CFO can provide the short-term and long-term forecasting needed to ensure that a startup’s growth plan stays on track. The CFO can also help reduce risk through comprehensive planning, support negotiations with vendors, and use their influence and experience to keep the company agile.
You may wonder: what are some signs that indicate my startup may need the services of a CFO? And what questions should I ask my prospective CFO? Be sure to read this article in full for the answers to these and other important questions.
It’s been said that “timing is everything.” That’s certainly true when it comes to hiring a CFO. After all, even though bringing a CFO on board will yield many benefits, it is also a major investment (especially for a new startup).
How do you know when the time is right for your business? This comprehensive guide can help answer that question.
For example, it discusses three common signs that indicate it’s time for you to partner with a CFO:
- Your company is growing rapidly and/or is at a crossroads. Rapid growth brings with it the responsibility to make major decisions. A CFO can help you make the best decisions for your company.
- You want a better understanding of your finances. It’s not just about bookkeeping. You may need to know how to leverage financial data into an actionable growth plan. Here again, a CFO’s assistance can be invaluable.
- You need a leader to communicate with others. Whether dealing with investors, partners, or shareholders, it’s always helpful to have someone represent your company (and its financial status) clearly, transparently, and forward-looking. A CFO can do precisely that.
The Helping Hand
If you’re a small business owner, odds are you’re not an accountant by trade. Granted, you may have picked up some accounting knowledge along the way — but managing finances is not one of your core competencies, and it may actually be distracting you from other key aspects of your business.
Outsourced CFO services may be just what you need to refocus on the important things having to do with business growth. This solution can also help you avoid all kinds of “sticky” situations, such as poor cash management, tax penalties, and failure to attract suitable investors.
This article discusses what an outsourced CFO can do for a small business, when it may be the right time for a business to bring a CFO on board, and how big your business should be before making such an investment.
Outsourced CFO Resources Set Your Team Up for Success
Every business has different needs. The right time to invest in CFO or CPA services for one company may not be right for another. However, our hope here at hiline is that the above resources will help you make a well-informed decision.
Over the years, our team of financial experts has helped growing teams across a variety of industries reach their business goals. We just may be the right fit for your business, too. Reach out to us today to begin the conversation; we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!
Share this article