White Paper: CFO-As-A-Service
Solution to Middle Market Business Problems
Andrew M. Barker MBA
Middle Market Advisory LLC
Introduction – The Problem Business Owners and CEOs Face
Middle market businesses and their shareholders, Boards and CEOs face the most turbulent times ever as well as the greatest opportunities in economic history. High caliber professional resources are required in order to take the most advantage of these opportunities, however, and all too often this places leaders in a catch 22 position of not having sufficient capital, time, and energy to hire this talent on a full time basis along with the other competing needs of the business.
CEOs are under greater pressure than ever to serve several different groups of demanding stakeholders, who often have differing and competing incentives; so they must be able to rely on a C suite team that is capable, experienced, resourceful and trustworthy.
The role of the CFO has evolved to become the “right hand” of the CEO and in many middle market organizations who are constrained by resource limitations, they have become, whether explicitly or implicitly, the CFO/COO allowing the CEO to truly focus on strategy, opportunity, growth and leading the business.
Many times for private companies the CFO must play the primary role in being the vigilant sentinel acting as both Chief Risk Officer and de-facto Audit Committee. In this regard a CFO who is also an actively licensed CPA is a requirement, not a luxury. Communicating clearly and pro-actively with the external auditors, tax advisors and legal counsel requires much more than a Controller; although a strong Controller does provide a solid foundation for the Accounting function.
An experienced, high caliber CFO who saves you and your organization money; much more affordable than an employee serving as full-time CFO. A CFO-As-A-Service brings immediate savings to an organization based on sheer cost of their part-time compensation, intermediate savings by controlling and reducing inefficiencies and costs, and strategic savings by reducing risks.
This CFO-As-A-Service is also much more affordable than having a Big 4 partner or team or top tier management consulting firm and is more available, hands-on, and flexible for middle market and mid-sized companies.
Auditors are not managers nor executives. Although their advice is invaluable they cannot take a management role, not even temporarily. Likewise Accountants are valuable experts in accounting & GAAP, not in business management.
A seasoned CFO who has been tempered by multiple real world challenges in multiple industries is able to quickly step in as a needed as financial leader; whether for hours, days, or weeks per month or quarter. Additionally the CFO-As-A-Service is available virtually if physical space is a limitation, which is often the case for high growth companies and for start-ups.
This CFO is often as affordable to an organization as a full time Controller yet provides strategic value that even a very strong Controller cannot.
The CFO-As-A-Service is a practical solution to the problems and risk posed by an incomplete, young, small, new, or otherwise challenged finance and accounting team. This CFO is able to provide the financial stewardship needed in so many organizations today especially start-ups that have received funding.
The CFO-As-A-Service also serves as an independent and objective member of senior management with no hidden nor old agendas and so provides a fresh clean perspective focused on results. This financial leader is a team player and demonstrates the highest level of professionalism to set the standard for the function. While aiding the CEO in providing clarity and practicality in the evaluation of existing plans as well as the evolution or development of needed policies, procedures & processes.
Conclusion: CFO-As-A-Service: Affordable Competitive Advantage for your CEO
All too often many organizations are periodically forced to run lean and mean for far too long with the resultant burn-out of their skeleton crew as the limits and risks of an incomplete management team become painfully obvious. The CFO-As-A-Service provides the affordable resource and is available quickly to reinforce or rebuild the functionality and strategic view required by rapidly growing organizations.
Let’s talk about your biggest opportunity and your greatest challenge, please email MiddleMarketAdvisory@outlook.com
We can help you with planning & preparation and are happy to have an initial conversation and perform and initial assessment.
Original publication: January 18, 2018
Most recent publication: February 1, 2019
© 2018 Middle Market Advisory LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2019 Middle Market Advisory LLC. All rights reserved.
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