When to Consider CFO Services

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While accounting skills are certainly helpful, they aren’t typically a requirement to start a business. To start a small business, entrepreneurs need:

  • A great idea
  • Self-reliance
  • Lack of fear
  • Fortitude
  • Energy and commitment

As businesses begin to make money, accounting becomes a bit more of a priority. Many entrepreneurs hire a part-time bookkeeper or outsource the work for a firm like ours. As companies get larger, they may hire an accounting manager to oversee things. The thought of hiring a CFO frequently doesn’t enter the mind of CEOs for most small- to mid-size businesses.

What do CFOs do anyway, that an accounting manager or controller doesn’t do? Essentially, CFOs help organizations navigate between their long-range goals and cash-flow reality. They take ownership of the company’s profitability, ensuring the financial reality is considered before each strategic decision is made. CFOs lead the finance and accounting functions, act as a steward of the company’s finances, develop key performance indicators, liaison with bankers and other financial professionals, develop financial forecasts and models, and provide tax-saving strategies. CFO’s share in the long term company vision and help on the path to get there.

While these activities aren’t absolutely necessary to run a business, having a CFO’s services, even part time, can make a big difference in a company’s success. Here are the top deciding factors for when to consult with a CFO:

  • Revenue. When you have a revenue goal and need help getting there, a CFO may be helpful.
  • Headcount. When you hit 50+ employees, legal and compliance rules start to kick in. You need to make decisions, such as when to hire a contractor versus an employee, whether your administrative staff ratio is in line with your direct cost count, and more. A CFO’s perspective can be a big asset.
  • Growth. If your business is growing between 20-25% a year, you may want a CFO on hand to keep spending in line with growth.
  • Complexity. The more locations, the more products or services you offer, and the higher the cost of your product, the more complex your business is. A financial expert, such as a CFO, can help ensure you are on track.
  • Rapid decline. If your steady-to-growing business suddenly tanks without notice, a CFO can help determine the cause and ways to respond.

CFOs bring a unique perspective that can help really impact the bottom line. Yet, only the most forward-thinking firms hire a CFO, even part time.

If you are need of professional financial advice but aren’t ready to pay the full-time salary of a CFO, Fourlane offers monthly and quarterly CFO services. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-800-931-2120.


About Marjorie Adams

Our head QuickBooks trainer and guru, Marjorie Adams, is Founder and CEO of Fourlane, Inc., an award-winning consulting firm and Intuit’s #1 QuickBooks Reseller Partner. Fourlane’s team of experts offers several QuickBooks oriented services including consulting, training, programming, integration, and more. Over the years, Fourlane has helped over 10,000 customers across many different industries with their QuickBooks accounting software. Marjorie Adams is considered one of the top QuickBooks trainers in the country. She was listed on CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 & 2015, and has been recognized as Intuitive Accountant’s 2015 QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor of the Year. Marjorie sits on Intuit’s VIP Program, is a frequent contributor to Inuit Accountants News Central, and has developed Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise Certification training. She has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, American Express Open, the Huffington Post, and Inc. Magazine.

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