As technology develops in leaps and bounds, businesses must keep up or be left behind. Sometimes, this means changing the structures that we thought were previously set in stone, including the roles of the C-suite execs.
We are in a time of huge attitudinal shifts towards work globally. The increasing popularity of remote working, the movement towards valuing creativity and fulfilment above stability and more flexible working opportunities are transforming our working lives.
In particular, the global start-up boom post-recession means that there is an emerging trend of business founders questioning everything about the traditionalist one size fits all approach to company structure and hierarchy.
CFOs are usually highly trained accountants with many years of experience who command salaries to match. This expense is inaccessible for many small businesses who don’t yet have the turnover or size team to necessitate a full finance department yet still need the advice of a seasoned professional, perhaps because they’re experiencing rapid growth or undergoing complex funding bids.
These businesses need someone with the ability to validate or discourage their decisions with careful consideration to their financial well-being, someone experienced who is aware of market trends and their implications. Most business owners don’t have this knowledge.
This is where a virtual CFO comes in. Outsourcing the finance function makes expert advice accessible for everyone, allowing small businesses to gain support they would not previously have been able to afford by taking them on on a part-time basis. Often virtual CFOs will work with their clients a few days a month in the beginning, after which they can reduce the on-site visits and take advantage of the conveniences of modern technology to telecommute.
Benefits for virtual CFOs include a much more flexible schedule than is generally associated with their profession. It can also be an opportunity to make more money by taking on more clients or even to work less hours but make the same as before. It often means involvement in exciting projects with enormous potential and the chance to leave endless internal meetings and corporate politics behind.
We spoke earlier about technology making hands-on remote working possible. With clever application, the same can also be responsible for significantly reducing the business’ finance and accounting related workload by automating many time and labour-intensive processes. This is a huge factor in making part-time CFO work possible as a lot of the more menial work can be taken off their hands.
That’s where we come in. It is in no small part due to the rise of cloud technology that all this has all become possible, giving virtual CFOs the tools they need to succeed. For example, our product Cloud CFO lends itself perfectly here. We designed it for group companies specifically but in truth, it can revolutionise any business environment where spreadsheets are shared. It allows multi-user functionality so that CFOs can see the same up-to-date data as the staff in the main office, without any pesky versioning issues or emailing copies. We include one-click real-time reporting so it’s easy to update clients at a moment’s notice.
Most companies using a virtual CFO will be start-ups or SMEs. As it’s a cost-effective per user per month solution, persuading clients to use our product Cloud CFO is a much easier sell than investing in expensive and unwieldly enterprise software. It’s likely that clients will be familiar with – if not already using – Excel for their finances therefore there’s very little transition in the way of onboarding as we simply supercharge their existing spreadsheets. You’ll find more information on Cloud CFO here or you can get in touch here for more information.