I came across a post on the website of OpenView Venture Partners from October 2009 about the Role of the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) today. It so closely reflects our philosophy that I wish I had found it sooner. I’ve been saying it for a long time and OpenView agrees: the real value comes with a highly experienced CFO who can function in the role of a strategic financial advisor to the CEO, executive team and board of directors. It is in providing actionable information, not just financial statements. They outline seven facets of the CFO’s role that are important to understand and consider:
- Transition the company from basic cash financials to GAAP based (or equivalent outside the US) including the completion of audited financials on an annual basis;
- Implement scalable financial processes and systems to support the growth of the company;
- Ensure that the company is compliant with various government and legal requirements;
- Facilitate the deployment of key operational processes and systems to support the growth of the company (such as, a robust budgeting process or an HR system);
- Develop the board, CEO, senior team level operational dashboards;
- Facilitate the operational reviews across all functions of the company to help the senior team in setting strategies and goals;
- Support the company exit strategy by representing the company externally to media, government agencies, funding agencies, and the public.
While the OpenView post focuses on the value of having a CFO in an early stage company, indicating that those who bring the CFO on earlier tend to be more successful than those who forgo the hiring of a CFO due to cost constraints, the value proposition also applies to established companies.
In reality, companies do not have to pay the cost of another highly-compensated executive in order to receive the value of a highly experienced CFO for their business because CFO Solutions can provide all of the CFO’s value that small to midsized companies need on a part time basis and at a fraction of the cost of a full time employee. We have been doing it for more than fourteen years for over 450 companies. If your business needs a CFO but you can’t afford (or don’t want to pay for) a full time employee, call or e-mail us for a no obligation consultation and assessment.
—Kent Thomas, Founder