When you first begin your small business, you may be fine with handling all the upkeep of your finances. In those early days, bookkeeping and expense management can be handled personally with a fair amount of ease. As your business grows, however, and your attention is pulled elsewhere, you'll want someone with a more sophisticated set of skills and knowledge to handle your finance needs.
Bringing someone with experience on board to help manage your business's finances is key to allowing your business to flourish. Outsourcing CFO services allows your budget more flexibility, too. Of course, it's important to find the right CFO service.
WHEN CHOOSING AN OUTSOURCED CFO:
Ask for referrals. Tap into the network for your business. Ask service providers, fellow business founders, your advisors, and incubators/accelerators/co-working spaces. Anyone you know who has opted for outsourced CFO services is someone whose advice is worth asking.
Look for a fit for your business. Remember that the first person or firm you meet isn’t your only choice, nor necessarily the best one. Make sure that the CFO service you hire is right for your business. What works for another business may not work for you, or there may be better options to consider. Check credentials, background experience, and skill sets against your business needs.
Ask to see a client list. Ask candidates for a list of clients that display the range of services they provide. Look for clients that are your business in terms of industry, stage, etc. If the firm works with someone similar to your business, that's a good sign they have the expertise your business needs.
QUESTIONS TO ASK IN THE INTERVIEW:
In your interview with potential outsourced CFOs, you'll also want to make sure you're asking the right questions. CFOs offer many services – some of which you'll be familiar with and expect. They can assist with financial forecasts, budgets, business modeling, financial plans, and so on. CFOs can also help with things you may not think of – things like investor relations and strategic planning. To find the right fit, be upfront with your needs. Listen to the CFO's suggestions and find a CFO that can grow with your company. Consider asking the following questions as you interview potential CFO's.
What specific experience do you have working with startup businesses?
You'll want someone with experience with startups. Accounting credentials and expertise with financial projections is important, but a startup CFO also needs to be good at negotiating and strategic planning.
What's your domain of expertise?
Different CFOs will have different specialties and strengths. Pick a CFO service that complements the needs of your business.
How do you typically work with clients?
You need to figure out if your candidates have the desire and capability to help you develop your financial infrastructure. Look for flexibility and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances in your CFO.
Ultimately, you want a CFO you can trust. They are your business partner. You'll need to keep a continued open dialog with them while developing your business.
Still looking for an outsourced CFO service that fits your business's needs? Consider Business & Accounting Solutions, LLC. Founder Don Lewis has over 37 years of accounting and business experience. By hiring outsourced CFO services through Business & Accounting Solutions, those years of expertise become available to you whenever you have need of them. Evolve with the ever-changing market with the help of Business & Accounting Solutions today.
Business & Accounting Solutions offers many services, including bookkeeping, cash flow, finance consulting and more. Contact us or call at (503) 710-6213. Know someone in need of CFO services? Consider out referral program.