5 Problems and How a Part-time CFO Solves Them 

Part-time CFO

We know that running a business comes with a variety of challenges and obstacles such as managing workflows and daily operations while also turning a profit. While business owners may be perfectly capable of handling most if not all of these hurdles, as their organization continues to grow and scale, they could find themselves requiring outside assistance to get it all done. Enter a part-time CFO, who can provide financial expertise to help improve cash flow and grow businesses.

If you’re currently grappling with any of these problems, we’re here to help:

1. Lack of Clean, Current, and Helpful Financials

Our first step is always to make sure that you have financials and that they are organized in a way that is useful to your business. If you’ve been keeping track of all your transactions in a single Excel spreadsheet, or even if you haven’t been keeping track of them at all, our part-time CFO’s get your financials in order and ensure that everything is correct. Once we know that your accounting is accurate, we’ll pull key insights and date so that your financials are actually providing value and insights for you.

We do this by ensuring that:

  • Every item on your balance sheet ties out to a source document
  • Your financials provide a clear summary of the company’s performance
  • You have an online dashboard with financial metrics that are easy to view and understand

2. Poor Cash Flow

Every day, we meet with business owners who are bringing cash into their organization, but have no idea where it all goes. They’re successful and are doing good business, but their bank account does not seem to reflect that.

It is absolutely key for business owners to understand and have a handle on their cash flow – the movement of money in and out of their organization. Keeping that inbound money in the door is like an infusion of cash into your business, and leveraging it as you would an investment can be extremely impactful. As part-time CFO’s, we say cash flow is oxygen for your company, and that if accounting is just a means to an end, that ideal “end” is having positive cash flow.

We’ll take a look at your updated financial reports and business strategy to find ways to improve your cash flow and prevent all of your profits from going right back out the door.

This starts with:

  • Getting a full understanding of your monthly cash flow
  • Creating a plan to increase that monthly cash flow
  • Developing a strategy to put that excess monthly cash flow to good use, as it can act like an investment into your business

3. Inefficient Accounting Processes

Perhaps the reason that you haven’t had reliable financials in the past is rooted in your accounting practices. If your numbers aren’t organized, or even correct, that can really start you off on the wrong foot. So, our part-time CFO’s will make sure that you’re setting the right foundation for your accounting, which leads to stronger financials, which leads to better insights and a more reliable strategy.

We’ll make sure your business is set up to:

  • Leverage the latest accounting technology. If you’re entering things manually or doing it on paper, there’s room for improvement.
  • Close your monthly books on time. As a business owner, you should have access to last month’s financials around the 15th of each month.
  • Optimize and automate your accounts payable/receivable processes. This means that you’re reliably paying contractors, vendors, etc. (which improves your reputation and relationships) and you’re being paid on time (which is good for your cash flow.)
  • Cement and document your overall accounting processes so all parties are on the same page. This also ensures that if someone were to leave the company or simply go on vacation, others can step in and keep things current. Too often, we hear that the processes aren’t written down because “so and so knows how to do it.”
  • Utilize automating reporting. We regularly see monthly managerial reports being generated by manually entering into excel, which means there’s a risk for inaccuracy due to human error.
  • Generate monthly expense reimbursements. We use Bill.Com’s spend and expense to track employee expenses automatically.

We also always recommend that you have people on your staff who have in-depth experience or education specifically in accounting. You may be able to teach someone without this expertise your unique accounting processes, but we’ve found that this is less than ideal. We liken it to someone learning the individual notes to one song; it doesn’t mean they know how to plan an instrument. You want someone who has the understanding required for you to get the most out of your financials, so that deeper knowledge is invaluable. Simply put, the people who do your accounting should know accounting.

4. No Roadmap

Sometimes, running a business can give you tunnel vision. Often, your time can be occupied completely by the tasks directly in front of you. While it’s important to prioritize the here and now, it’s also essential to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. If you don’t have a strategy to propel your business forward, you’ll find yourself always treading water.

That’s why talking things out with someone who is at your level and has the understanding of what it means to run a business can be so valuable. We find that business owners usually have the tools and knowledge to answer their own questions, they just need to talk things through for clarity. It also helps them to remember the point of their efforts and what they’re working towards.

We’ll help you get on the right track by:

  • Helping you to set goals for the next few quarters, or even the year
  • Ensuring that all of your goals are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound)
  • Reminding you regularly to take a step back and reassess the bigger picture

5. Stress Caused by the Above

All of the above challenges (as well as many others) can weigh heavily on a business owner, as they add to the everyday stresses of running an organization. This is not only negative for your own health, but it can also lead to mistakes or missteps that have an impact on your bottom line, causing even more stress as a result!

We can help you put a stop to that cycle.If your lack of clear financials is frustrating to you, or the very idea of tax season has you sweating, we can take those things off of your plate. Our aim is to both make your business run more smoothly and grant you more peace of mind at the same time. That way, you can continue to do what you do best while we handle the rest.

Even if your stressors aren’t necessarily financial, we’re here to support you. If you need to vent, or you just want to get your thoughts on paper to see things more clearly, we’ll happily put things into perspective. We’ll remind you of the progress you’ve made and provide positive encouragement to reassure you. Sometimes having someone tell you, “you’re doing a great job,” or, “you’re going about it the right way,” can make a big difference.

We often hear our clients say, “I feel more calm and positive after talking to you,” which is always one of our main goals.

This is just scratching the surface of what Fox & Partners can do for your organization. If you’d like to talk about these challenges, or any others your business may be facing, please set up a call with us today.

Let’s Work Together

With a wide range of knowledge, including finance, marketing and vision building and an ability to bring-in and communicate with various specialists to ensure optimal care, Fox and Partners is uniquely suited to bring to the business world what the medical world has had for decades – a warm first point of contact, a professional with a breadth of knowledge and coordination for all of your business and financial needs.