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. Sales, operations, crisis management, and the crucial yet often neglected realm - financial administration. This is where the services of a virtual CFO can prove invaluable.

Days are spent on your core business operations, leaving nights and weekends for administrative tasks such as preparing the financial reporting required for your board, equity/debt stakeholders, and your own management purposes.

financial insights

1. Articulate Your Goals.

Establish clear, quantifiable short and long-term goals so you know where you’re headed. Live by the maxim: “Without a plan, all activity looks like progress.”

2. Direct Your Reporting.

Identify the financial insights and financial reporting required to inform your decisions en route to achieving your goals, including regular comparisons to industry benchmarks and by using generally accepted accounting principles - GAAP. This is where a virtual CFO's expertise can be game changing.

3. Align & Equip Your Team.

Even a finance team of one should have the capability, bandwidth and mindset required to consistently produce an income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and other useful financial data each month. Tired of the headaches associated with attracting, managing and retaining your finance team? Consider outsourcing your finance department with a virtual CFO and virtual F&A support.

4. Select the Right Tools.

There are many affordable software applications available to manage your general ledger, income statement, balance sheet, and each facet of your finance function. With virtual CFO & virtual f&a support, the right mix of tools helps make the information you need secure, accessible, consumable and shareable, in service of financial reporting.

5. Ensure Accuracy.

Well-placed controls suggested by your virtual CFO, help ensure your information is accurate and secure, no one is exploiting weaknesses in your system for personal gain and you’re operating within the law and in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.

6. Demand Consistency.

Establish and document standard procedures to facilitate the consistent delivery of highly accurate financial statements and financial data, a service often provided by a virtual CFO.

7. Produce Timely, Consumable Info.

Generate financial reports monthly to not only evaluate your company's financial performance, but also to ensure issues are caught early and opportunities are spotted while there’s time to exploit them. And remember presentation matters. No business owner has time to read cryptic financial statements built for a CPA. Useful insights from accurate financial reporting should leap from the page.

8. Know Your Cash Position.

Yes, cash is still king, and an important view of your company's financial position. You won’t have your finger on the pulse of your business until you understand how and when cash flows in and out of your business. No better way to know if you’ll have adequate cash when you need it than to maintain a running 13-week cash flow statement.

9. Review, Take Action.

Don’t simply file away your company's financial reporting package monthly. Use the data from your income statement, balance sheet and other financial reports to measure your company's performance and progress toward your goals. If you fall off track, engage your team to understand why and devise a plan to recover. Make it a habit to review and respond no less than monthly, don't wait on annual reports.

10. Evolve with Your Business.

The opportunities and challenges a business owner faces change with time. It follows that the financial insights required to inform your decisions do as well. Invest the time with a virtual CFO or virtual F&A to ensure your metrics allow you to remain one step ahead of your competition.


The Driven Insights Advantage

Driven Insights is experienced in leading service businesses on the journey to leveraging financial insights and operating metrics to accelerate growth. Our bookkeepers and controllers are charged with much more than simply “doing the books” – they ensure each client understands and uses the insights we share to improve their company's financial health.

Interested in learning more? See for yourself how Driven Insights can provide the insight and control you need to achieve your most critical goals. Contact us at or 888-631-1124.

Dave Robinson

Written by Dave Robinson

Driven Insights founder, writes about informing business decisions and building enterprise value through financial management.

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