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Small Business Finance Blog

Want to gain full control over your firm’s finances but aren’t sure where to start? You’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place. Read on and reach out if we can lend a hand.

Sep 04, 2018

CFO Services For Startups Under Financial Stress

Much has been written (and spoken) about navigating the winding road to startup success. So much so that it’s hard to know which resources to trust and when each should be tapped. It’s also not trivial to find resources that truly align with your...

Aug 16, 2018

When Temporary CFO Services Might Not Be Right For You

Sooner or later, circumstances lead many small business owners to consider engaging a temporary CFO. When you find yourself in that mode, you might wonder, is now the right time to engage a CFO? What is the opportunity cost of waiting to hire...

Jul 13, 2018

7 Steps to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your SaaS Metrics Software

SaaS metrics software - also known as subscription billing management software or recurring billing software - should be one of the most powerful weapons in a SaaS CEO's arsenal. The complexities of managing subscriptions are real and the costs...

Jun 29, 2018

What To Expect From Shared CFO Services

Your small business has reached the point where you're considering shared CFO services - otherwise known as fractional, part-time or contract CFO services. The decision to bring in the right financial leadership is a milestone unto itself as many...

Jun 26, 2018

How Integrated Bookkeeper, CFO and Controller Services Deliver Critical Financial Insights

Have you ever stopped to wonder if the staff you have running your firm's finance function is helping or hurting? You might be surprised to learn that the model used to manage accounting in most small businesses is flawed. It’s important to...

Jun 19, 2018

The Average CFO Salary (2018) + 27 Key CFO Interview Questions

What's the average Chief Financial Officer (CFO) salary in the United States in 2018? Well, that depends on the size of your business and whether your business is located in Keya Paha, Nebraska (lowest salary) or San Francisco, California...

Jun 13, 2018

7 Ways to Use Fractional CFO Services to Your Advantage

Is cash tight? Are you frustrated with the state of your organization's finances? Do you need confidence that you're tracking the right metrics?

Jun 08, 2018

3 Ways to Use Financial Reporting Services to Create a More Profitable Business

How long has it been since you last went on a road trip, or even to a new destination, and didn’t have an app on your phone (eg: Google Maps)  to guide you, step-by-step, towards your goal? Five years? A decade? Maybe even longer. GPS and map...

Jun 07, 2018

Why Excel SaaS Financial Models Stink and What to do About it

Spreadsheet SaaS financial models stink, whether built in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. There, we've said it.

That doesn't mean that spreadsheet models don't provide some value in the very beginning stages of a SaaS company or that the...

Jun 02, 2018

Controller vs CFO: Which Does My Business Need?

What is the difference between a controller and a CFO? Which does my business need? Do we need both?

May 31, 2018

How CFO Services Solve Financial Challenges For Nonprofit Organizations

Raise your hand if you're a nonprofit executive director (or you serve on a nonprofit board) and have a long list of mission-advancing ideas but scarce resources to make them a reality. Keep it in the air if your board has limited financial...

May 25, 2018

5 Most Popular CFO Advisory Service Insights & Deliverables

Let's face it, the vast majority of small business CEOs and nonprofit executive directors are flying blind when it comes to having sound, data driven insights upon which they can base their decisions. For a variety of reasons, the finance...

May 18, 2018

5 Greatest Benefits of Outsourced CFO Business Advisory Services

Sometimes pushing your business into growth mode feels like being stuck in the mud. You think you're gaining traction but suddenly you find yourself sliding right back into the muck.

May 17, 2018

Financial Metrics for SaaS Companies During the Product/Market Fit Phase

Why do startups flop? In 2011, the team at Startup Genome found a common thread. A survey of 3,200 startups showed that, of the companies which crumbled, 70% of them tried to scale too quickly.

May 10, 2018

What Is A CFO Service? How To Know if You Need One

One of the top issues keeping your business from growing the way you would like is its financial management. That is, you just can't get the numbers together to tell you where your biggest risks and opportunities are going forward, let alone the...

May 08, 2018

How Big Does My Company Need To Be To Contract CFO Services?

Before selecting an outsourced CFO service, companies must weigh the pros and cons. How long does it take for the business to get a positive ROI? How big does the company need to be to experience all the great benefits that a contract CFO service...

May 04, 2018

Do I Need Interim CFO Services or Should I Tough it Out?

Small businesses and non-profits may benefit from interim CFO services in a variety of circumstances. Your current CFO may be absent for what is expected to be a few weeks to a few months due to illness or maternity leave. Or you may need someone...

Apr 24, 2018

How Much Do Part-Time CFO Services Cost In 2018?

Are you frustrated with the state of your firm's finances? You're not alone. That happens to a lot of small business and nonprofit leaders.

Apr 17, 2018

CFO Consulting Services Breakdown: Top 10 Pros & Cons

Most CFO consulting services include a one-time engagement. The consultant comes in and looks at a snapshot of your business in its current state.

Apr 10, 2018

What's included in Virtual CFO Services? Why is it a growing trend?

Now more than ever, startups and corporates are looking for ways to run lean. There is pressure to make cuts to staff and outsource when possible, and this has led to a trend of hiring virtual CFO services over the more traditional in-house...

Apr 05, 2018

5 Crucial Questions To Ask About CFO Professional Services

Are you considering CFO professional services? It's a fantastic option for some small businesses and nonprofits, but don't make the mistake of thinking every CFO services company is a good match for you.

Mar 01, 2018

Stop Managing Your Books for Uncle Sam

 

Most small business owners keep bookkeeping records because they have to, not because they want to. Said another way, they manage their firm's finances primarily for tax compliance purposes. But in so doing, they miss out on critical insights...

Feb 21, 2018

7-Step Accounting System Migration Checklist

Changing accounting systems can cause a serious disruption in your business operations. Therefore, it is crucial to have a plan in place before you get started. Follow our 7-step accounting system migration checklist to help get your new system...

Feb 12, 2018

5 Ways to Keep Personal and Business Finance Separate

When was the last time you checked your financial reports for accuracy? Making key decisions based upon inaccurate reporting can be costly - even fatal - for an organization. Central to ensuring accuracy and tax law compliance, are the controls...

Jan 29, 2018

A Successful Capital Raise Starts with Your Financial Story

So your organization has reached the point where you need to initiate a capital raise. Maybe you've dialed in your business model and it's time to scale. Or perhaps you've quantified your nonprofit's operating deficit and need to bridge the gap. ...

Jan 22, 2018

9 Ways Your Current Priorities are Pouring Money Down the Drain

You're in good company if you're being pulled in countless directions as you work to grow your firm. Keeping all those balls in the air is tricky and tiring. Prioritization is a constant battle.

Jan 18, 2018

Outsourced Bookkeeping: Why Your Bookkeeper's Exit is an Opportunity

Have you ever thought you need more informative financial reporting from your bookkeeper but competing priorities stood in the way of making a change? Have you ever used the departure of an employee as an opportunity to upgrade to a better...

Jan 03, 2018

Managing Your Cash Flow: 101

Managing your cash flow may be the single most important business planning activity you perform, in good times or bad. Whether you are wondering if you can afford that next hire, take a dividend or simply make the upcoming payroll, an...

Dec 20, 2017

4 Ways Yearend Financial Statement Preparation Shortcuts Can Hurt You

The end of year financial statement preparation is not a favorite task of most business owners. Under the stress and pressure of yearend, these important reports are often created quickly with a few clicks of the mouse and handed off to the CPA....

Dec 07, 2017

5 Steps to Prepare Your Business Plan for Next Year

Large firms have the finance staff and business intelligence tools to inform their decision making and provide a competitive edge. Here are 5 simple, cost-effective steps to level the playing field for your small business, for 2018 and beyond.

Dec 04, 2017

When to Hire an Employee: Be Careful to Time it Right

As a trusted adviser to our clients, we routinely have a seat at the table during the hiring debate. Business owners will want to weigh a handful of factors when considering the timing of their next hire (eg: what to pay, to whom the new employee...

Nov 29, 2017

Cash Management Practices and Strategies for Your Slow Season

Managing your firm through its slow season can be difficult. But by developing cash management practices and strategies, you'll be positioned to hit the ground running when your busy season resumes.

Nov 28, 2017

More Productive Board Meetings Start with this Board Packet

How constructive was your last board meeting? Can you name at least 2 or 3 specific insights or outcomes that will add meaningful value to your enterprise? You're not alone if you view these quarterly meetings as a necessary evil, standing in the...

Nov 21, 2017

ROI Marketing in 3 Simple Steps

We were invited by social media marketing leader Likeable Local to write a guest article for the steps required to measure marketing return on investment - ROI Marketing. Click here to read it now.

Nov 06, 2017

December Small Business Tax Deadlines: You've Earned a Reprieve

With the busy holiday season upon us, it's a good thing there are only a few small business tax deadlines for December. 

Oct 31, 2017

How To Make An Invoice: 5 Tips to Get Paid Faster

All business owners want to be paid promptly. But many small business owners don’t realize their invoices may be lacking the five elements that facilitate quick payments. Here’s how to make an invoice that encourages customers to pay faster.

Oct 30, 2017

8 Must-Have Metrics for Your Finance Dashboard

We were invited by the GoDaddy Garage blog to write a guest article for small business owners detailing what comprises a great finance dashboard. Click here to read it now.

Oct 26, 2017

3 Basic Accounts Receivable Best Practices to Increase Cash Flow

Managing your accounts receivables is crucial to maintaining steady cash flow in your business. Here are three accounts receivable best practices you can implement to clean up your books and bring in the money due.

Oct 19, 2017

Sources of Competitive Advantage: Start With Your Finance Department

The term “competitive advantage” might trigger thoughts of a company with a defensible market position, best product, lowest price (and cost), superior customer service or consistent client outcomes. But the truth is, there are many sources of...

Oct 18, 2017

Bookkeeping Management 101: Is Your Bookkeeper Happy?

Where to start when you've committed to take control of your firm's financial management? A small business owner could look to the current reporting, reevaluate the accounting technology or even thumb through the accounting manual. But what about...

Oct 12, 2017

November Small Business Tax Deadlines: Why to be Thankful

As we move further into the fourth quarter, small business owners everywhere begin to breathe a sigh of relief as their most pressing tax deadlines fade into the distance.

Oct 06, 2017

Make Your Finance Dashboard Visual

Your finance dashboard - not unlike your car's - should present the most critical indicators of your firm's financial performance to help you steer it toward achieving your objectives.

Oct 06, 2017

How to Find a CPA: 4 Questions to Navigate to the Right One

Your CPA (certified public accountant) is a crucial part of your finance team. They must turn a year’s worth of accounting entries into final yearend financial statements that ultimately lead to the smallest possible tax liability.

It seems as...

Sep 28, 2017

Why Use a Balance Sheet: 3 Compelling Reasons

With all that a small business owner has to do, why add a regular balance sheet review? Won't your CPA advise at tax time if something is amiss? The fact is, an owner can't afford NOT to embrace this critical tool. Moreover, businesses are far...

Sep 25, 2017

Fundamentals of Financial Management: The Secret to Profitable Growth

HOW TO GET MORE FROM YOUR BOOKKEEPER

What are your goals for your business? Do you want to expand your market, release a new product or increase sales? Believe it or not, whatever your primary goal is for your company, the key to achieving it...

Sep 20, 2017

October Small Business Tax Deadlines: They Don't Have to Be Scary

Halloween isn’t the only frightening event in October; there are several October small business tax deadlines looming ahead. Here’s the list of important due dates next month.

Sep 12, 2017

Why Budgeting is Important for Business: 3 Reasons

Successful small business leaders view their annual budgeting process as one of their most important managerial tasks. Ever stop to think why budgeting is important for business in the first place? Reasons abound, but here are a few.

Sep 06, 2017

Outsourced Bookkeeping Fills the Accounting Void for Rural Businesses

As a rural business owner, are you struggling with how to find a good bookkeeper or controller? This is a common problem for rural businesses, largely because a smaller town means an even smaller pool of candidates to fill a bookkeeper or...

Aug 29, 2017

Why Do a Bank Reconciliation: One Significant Reason

As a small business owner, you know all the ins and outs of your product or service, down to the most technical detail. But how much do you know about your day-to-day accounting? As long as the cash flow is in the black, you probably don’t think...

Aug 23, 2017

Pro Forma Financial Statements: Model Worst Case to Enable the Best

No one likes to imagine the worst-case scenario. But if you are planning a new product or service in your business, forecasting failure is necessary to demonstrate your firm can withstand a slower than projected start or an unanticipated hiccup....

Aug 21, 2017

1 Question to Tap the Power of Your Small Business Financial Reports

Does this sound familiar? Month after month, your bookkeeper or controller dutifully produces the financial reports you need to monitor your business. And month after month, you check the bottom line on the profit and loss statement, tuck the...

Aug 14, 2017

September Small Business Tax Deadlines

Summer may be drawing to a close, but the IRS turns up the heat in September with several important tax deadlines for businesses. Mark these dates on your accounting calendar so you have time to get the necessary information to your accountant...

Aug 09, 2017

How to Find a Good Bookkeeper: Outsourced Bookkeeping for Rural Firms

Nearly all small businesses struggle with hiring experienced staff at one time or another. The most recent NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities Report ranks “locating qualified employees” as one of the top 10 struggles of small businesses....

Aug 07, 2017

3 Tips for Creating Cash Flow Projections

 

Does your company experience ebbs in revenue at times? Or periods of particularly heavy costs? Is growth constraining your cash position? Creating cash flow projections will help ensure you'll always have adequate cash to pay the critical...

Aug 02, 2017

Cash Accounting vs. Accrual Accounting: Which is Right For Your Firm?

If you are a new business owner, you have undoubtedly already tackled many decisions regarding your company operations. However, one of the most impactful choices to make is whether you should use the cash or accrual accounting method. Since this...

Aug 01, 2017

Building Business Value

There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your firm’s finance function. For starters, there’s the accuracy, frequency, timeliness and utility of the reports your finance team produces. Are those reports digestible at a glance? And don’t...

Jul 19, 2017

Why Budgeting is Important for Business: 3 Reasons You Need One

 

Ask any small business owner what a budget is and they will likely respond with something like this: a financial plan for a firm's future that projects revenue and expenses. Ask them if they have one, however, and you may get a variety of...

Jul 13, 2017

Why Do A Bank Reconciliation: 5 Reasons to Reconcile Monthly

First things first, for those new to reconcilation, to reconcile a bank account means to identify and explain the differences between the entries in your accounting system and the corresponding transactions listed on your bank or credit card...

Jul 12, 2017

August Small Business Tax Deadlines

August is right around the corner and although there isn’t much heat in the way of upcoming tax deadlines, there are a few target dates that may apply to your business.

Jul 11, 2017

How to Find Gross Profit Percentage: Careful it's Often Misleading

As a business owner, you know that your gross profit is an important figure, to you and to potential (or existing) lenders, investors and acquirers. For starters, your pricing strategy, ability to benchmark your performance and even you firm's...

Jun 28, 2017

Why You Need a Financial Close Checklist

As a refresher, a financial close is the process of entering all of your expense and revenue transactions from the most recent period, reconciling your bank and credit card accounts and a handful of others steps that tie up loose ends to set the...

Jun 20, 2017

7 Essential Features Your Finance Dashboard Must Have

When you're on a road trip, how often do you check the gauges on your car’s dashboard? Routinely, if you're like most people. Those indicators tell you important information like where you are in your journey, how you’re tracking relative to...

Jun 14, 2017

July Small Business Tax Deadlines

The accounting world is ruled by deadlines and missing them can prove costly to your business. To help you avoid any such repercussions, we like to use our weekly tips to remind you of the most essential upcoming accounting deadlines. The summer...

Jun 08, 2017

A Guide to Internal Controls for Small Business

Are you tired of inaccurate financial reports? Do you lay awake at night wondering if someone might be exploiting your systems for personal gain? Are you confident your data is secure?

Jun 07, 2017

Internal Controls for Small Business: An Introduction

Tight financial controls are a must for every small business and they don’t need to be overly complex or cumbersome to establish and maintain. To get started, here are three essential areas your internal controls must address, along with examples...
Jun 02, 2017

Small Business Focus: The Key to Drive Profits

In a former career, I analyzed hundreds of small business acquisition opportunities through the lens of a private equity investor. If there's one thing I learned from that experience, it's that the firms with the highest valuations, biggest...

May 30, 2017

How to Get a Business Loan

Need cash to expand your business? Consider these steps to secure a business loan:

May 17, 2017

Why Financial Reports for Small Business Should be Game Changing

The minute the bookkeeper hands you the latest financial reports, you check the top and bottom lines. But once you have the big picture, you’re ready to dig into the details. All too often, the out-of-the-box income statement, balance sheet and...

May 10, 2017

Top 5 MSP Bookkeeping Challenges with Subscription Billing

As the reality of cloud-based business technology catches up to the hype, MSPs (Managed Service Providers) face fundamental changes in their revenue models. Project-based billing and margins on hardware sales are being replaced by recurring...
May 08, 2017

Get Tighter Control of Your Business with Outsourced Bookkeeping

As a business owner, it’s natural to be hesitant to hand over the reins of your accounting processes and financial reporting to an outsourced bookkeeping firm. You trust your in-house bookkeeper to file the taxes, get the bills out on time and do...

Apr 29, 2017

Mud Season is the Perfect Time to Build Profits. Really.

Last weekend, I took my retriever, Fletch, for a run in the woods and found myself post-holing through the snow. With every stride, I sank ankle deep into the soft snow, slowing me to a crawl as the mud below tried to suck the shoes from my feet....

Feb 28, 2017

9 Advantages of an Outsourced Finance Department

 

If you receive accurate, insightful financial and operating reports each month -- without taking time away from where you need to be adding value -- and that information fuels the decisions that drive your business month after month, then...

Jan 26, 2017

10 Steps to Better Financial Insights From Your Finance Function

As operators, we know how many balls a small business owner needs to keep in the air. Days are spent on sales, operations and the crisis of the day, leaving nights and weekends for administrative tasks such as preparing the reporting required for...

Dec 12, 2016

Outsourced Bookkeeping: Your New Best Resource

Sure, every small business could use a new sales person who can “make it rain,” but in 2017, we recommend you look to another – less obvious – position to fill the most important gap on your team (or that of your client or portfolio company)....

Nov 17, 2016

5 Questions Every Owner Should Ask Their Financial Controller

A small business owner places a great deal of faith and responsibility on their financial controller. If you don’t yet have a financial controller, read on to ensure you or other members of you team are filling this critical need. Much of your...

Oct 31, 2016

9 Reasons to Entertain a Bookkeeping Career

There are so many reasons why anyone would want to consider a bookkeeping career. This article addresses the most compelling motivations below, but first, we thought it was important to clearly define what a bookkeeper is and describe exactly...

Sep 30, 2016

Small Business Insights: What your Reporting Should Reveal about Your Business

Are you thirsting for more business information?

You know that feeling when you’re so thirsty that you just can’t stand it anymore? Sweat is beading on your brow, you’re parched and all you can think about is a pint of cold water (or beer!). 

Aug 31, 2016

2 SaaS Metrics Every Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Firm Must Master

Let’s face it: As the CEO or leader of a growing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) firm, you have your hands full. Whether you’re busy onboarding new customers, retaining existing customers, hiring to meet anticipated demand, managing your board or...

May 31, 2016

3 Questions to Ask a Bookkeeper

As strange as it may sound, many small business owners are reluctant to engage with their bookkeeper as often as they should. Most report that they don’t feel qualified to proactively manage someone in finance, which can be intimidating to those...

Apr 30, 2016

How to Find Gross Profit Percentage: 9 Ways Yours is Misleading You

Gross profit is gross profit, right? The math is simple enough. Revenue less the cost of goods yields your gross profit. Divide that figure by your total revenue for the same period and you have your figure. Unfortunately there's more to it than...

Mar 31, 2016

5 Step Guide to Get a Business Loan

So you have your next great growth idea in hand.  The catch is you need cash to implement it.  Before dusting off your suit and marching off to the bank, consider these five critical elements to get a business loan that best meets your specific...

Feb 23, 2016

4 Steps to Useful Cash Flow Projections

Profits don’t pay bills, cash does. Just because a firm is profitable doesn’t mean it won’t run out of cash. Cash flow projections may be the single most important business planning activity you perform, in good times or bad. Whether you are...

Jan 26, 2016

Balance Sheet vs Income Statement: Where to Seek Key Insights

Many small business owners aren't certain where to look for key insights. Balance sheet vs income statement? After two articles dedicated to balance sheets - on why and how to use your firm's balance sheet - it's time to turn our attention to the...

Dec 17, 2015

3 Ways to Use and Understand a Small Business Balance Sheet

You’re in good company if you aren’t comfortable reading a balance sheet. So create some separation from your competitors by following these 3 ways to understand and begin using your small business balance sheet.

Nov 30, 2015

Why Use a Balance Sheet: 3 Reasons to Start Today

Lots can be found online about how to read a balance sheet. In fact, our next blog article, written with the small business owner in mind, will cover how to read and use yours in a few simple steps. But what’s less clear is why a small business...