March 8, 2023

What is a CFO? 

What Is A Cfo

A CFO is someone who helps you understand your numbers. While bookkeepers and accountants generate financial reports to present you with your numbers, CFOs are experts in helping make sure you actually understand what these reports mean and how they impact your business.

CFOs dig deep into your business operation as a whole to help you see the big picture and connect the dots between how your day-to-day business decisions impact your financial success.

What does a CFO do V. an accountant? 

The word “accountant” is a broad term. If you think about it, anyone who deals with financials for a living (bookkeepers, tax preparers, etc.) can be considered an accountant. Here’s what sets CFOs apart – they focus on more than just the financials.

  • Bookkeepers focus on helping you understand where your money went
  • Tax preparers focus on helping you file your taxes at the end of the year
  • CFOs focus on taking that information to tell help you understand the financial health of your business now, make projections about the future, and present you with ideas and opportunities to improve your business operations as a whole.

Many small business owners aren’t numbers people and understandably so! Most of us want to focus on what we do best and need a bit of hand-holding and guidance with areas of running a business that we don’t specialize in. That’s where a CFO steps in!

Benefits of hiring a CFO for your small business 

You might be reading this and wondering, “can I afford to hire a CFO?” I believe a better question to ask is whether you can afford not to hire a CFO because oftentimes, the people who feel they can’t afford support are the ones who need it the most.

CFOs help you reach your full potential by going above and beyond the financials with a proactive approach to help you grow your business.

When you hire a CFO, you’ll have a financial expert in your back pocket giving you insight on… 

  • What’s working in your business so you can focus on investing your time, money, and resources in things that increase your revenue,
  • What’s not working in your business so you can find ways to save time, money, and resources by automating processes, delegating tasks, or even eliminating products and services that aren’t giving you a return on your investment,
  • What’s happening in your industry so you can keep up with new trends, implement tools to increase your efficiency, avoid common pitfalls, and take advantage of new opportunities.

Who wouldn’t want to jumpstart their success and avoid making costly mistakes with this personalized level of support and guidance?

Hiring the right CFO

Many people hear the term CFO and think of an expensive full-time employee. Did you know that some CFOs work on an as-needed basis? They are called fractional CFOs and instead of being full-time employees on salary, they are on retainer.

Don’t worry, they don’t just sit back and bill you every month without providing value. A fractional CFO can help you with all the things mentioned earlier and will check in regularly and provide ongoing accountability, support, and guidance month after month.

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