Big Ideas

Small Business CFO Services

Small Business CFO: Why Do You Need One?

20 June 2018

Small and medium sized business can access expert accounting and strategic financial advice through an outsourced CFO or Virtual CFO (VCFO) service. The use of cloud accounting and innovative communication tools allow this service to be provided at a cost the makes sense.


What is a CFO and what is their role in a small or medium business (SME)?

A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the member of the executive that is responsible for the efficient and effective financial operations of a business. Their role is to ensure accurate financial reporting, provide forward looking cash flow management, instil a business mindset across all aspects of a business, and assist the business owner or CEO to shape overall strategy and direction. 

The CFO of a small or medium sized business will align finance and overall business strategy. They understand the various relationships between the different parts of the organisation and will influence and improve how sales, operations, marketing, HR, finance, and strategy all interact to achieve success. As a leader a CFO brings diverse knowledge and experience to guide and upskill the finance team, and propels the business forward by providing the business intelligence and performance reporting required to support quality decisions. 


The value of hiring or outsourcing a CFO


Hiring a CFO is a big step and depending on the size of your business may not make financial sense. Businesses with turnover of less than $10M often outsource the CFO role, hire a part-time CFO, or use a virtual CFO (VCFO) to gain the required financial nous and leadership at a much lower cost. The outsourced CFO role can be tailored to the needs of your business and as an on call service that utilises modern cloud based technology; it is an affordable option.


As an owner of a small business you’ll likely wear many hats. Time is valuable. Appointing a CFO to oversee the financial operation of your business will reduce pressure by providing support for your key decisions and by allowing you the time to focus on the areas where you can drive the best outcomes. 


Typically, the services provided by a VCFO are:

  • Business planning & strategic advice

  • Contribution to board meetings

  • Cash flow management

  • Business intelligence

  • Performance (KPI) reporting

  • Business case analysis

  • Process and policy review and implementation

  • Risk management

  • Financial leadership 

At Engeneo, we support these tasks through the use of the cloud based technology like Spotlight Reporting, Fathom, Xero, MYOB and Receiptbank. These tools are widely used, secure and reliable. Our focus is to ensure that the information presented to you is insightful, relevant, timely and in your language. Nothing generic here!   



Four scenarios where we can help as an outsourced CFO:


 1. You are planning or experiencing fast growth

 Among other things, quality growth requires robust policies, processes and systems to be in place. It also places a greater demand on cash flow. If implementing and managing these are not your speciality then it is likely that you will benefit from engaging Engeneo to assist.


 2. You wish to consolidate after a period of growth 

The feeling that you need to regain control of your business is a sure sign that you need some assistance. Or possibly you have seen performance dip after a period of success and need a fresh perspective to help you understand the reasons why.  We have a lot of experience to assist with planning and executing a path forwards. 


 3. Added complexity or size to your business

Likely your finance team are under a lot of pressure. As your outsourced CFO we offer leadership and focus for your team, as well as added resource to muck in and get the job done.


 4. You need more strategic advice

We are on call and available as your sounding board to support both the day-to-day and the key choices that you need to make. If you seek quality performance reporting, cash flow management, and a person that can contribute to your business at a strategic level, call us today


See more on our CFO and business advisory services here
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