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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.

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

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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.

That's the reason there is both supply and demand for part-time CFO services.

Many organizations start off thinking finances are simply about tax compliance. But by now, you probably realize there's more to it than just keeping Uncle Sam satisfied.

Maybe you're bleeding cash and don't know how to make it stop.

Maybe you have a board meeting approaching, or an investor needs to see some hard data and an accompanying map to growth and profitability.

Or maybe it has begun to dawn on you that your financial branch can be a competitive advantage and open the doors to new opportunities. You just need solid numbers and someone who can interpret the story behind the numbers to begin to step ahead of the competition.

A part-time CFO could be just the right solution. But, what do they do and how much do they cost?

What can I expect to receive from part-time CFO services?

You can expect the following from a top-notch CFO provider.

  • A CFO can identify and manage a bookkeeper and controller to produce reliable data and interpret the results, providing insight to help steer the ship toward your stated goals. The result is that you know exactly where, when, and how to focus your team and inform your stakeholders.
  • A CFO can be a much-needed sounding board, coach, or guide. Look for a seasoned veteran who you can trust, not simply someone to fill a role. In the end, you'll have a team member who knows your business and can help hold you accountable.
  • A CFO can position the finance function as a competitive advantage. If you're financially frustrated, chances are your competitors are too, but they're probably not reading this post and actively seeking a solution. An experienced CFO can help you cut waste, deploy cash efficiently, and find opportunities for maximized production or expansion. With their help, you can be in a position to step ahead of the other organizations in your niche.

You'll find more detail about the specific deliverables, reporting, and communication cadence in What's Included In Virtual CFO Services?

How much do part-time CFO services cost in 2018?

Most providers will create a custom quote based on your specific needs. The spend can range from $1,200-$2,500 per day. Contrast that with hiring a full-time CFO at >$225,000 per year (salary + benefits), and you can easily save >60% by outsourcing to a part-time CFO.

As you begin your search, keep in mind some that some firms bundle bookkeeper, controller, and CFO services. In this instance, the firm essentially provides you with an entire finance department.

If the consistency and accuracy of your current reports are lacking, you may want to consider these additional services.

You can expect the following from outsourced bookkeeper/controller services:

  • Accurate, timely, and useful financial reporting delivered consistently each month.
  • Oversight of the day-to-day finance function including process, technology, and internal controls.
  • Your eyes and ears on the ground who are intimate with the financial rhythms of your company and can spot trends early and often.

How much does a bookkeeper/controller/CFO bundle cost?

The spend for a full-service outsourced finance team can range from $1,000 to $12,000 per month. Contrast that with hiring an in-house team - bookkeeper(s), controller, and CFO - at $350,000+ per year, and you'll easily see a 60% savings with this outsourced solution.

27 Questions To Ask Your CFO Candidate

The Value Of Part-Time CFO Services Goes Beyond The Obvious

As you begin to initiate a cost/benefit analysis, keep in mind that professional CFO insight will create intangible benefits that are difficult to measure.

  • You'll gain the confidence of your board of directors, investors, or co-founders who may be apprehensive about the current state of your finances. These stakeholders may have occasionally posed questions you weren't able to answer or pointed out areas where your finance department is lacking. Filling the CFO role gives your team the confidence that you are working diligently to get accurate numbers and insights from your financial statements and reports. And that confidence can help open the purse strings when the time comes.
  • You'll eliminate opportunity cost because of wasted resources in the form of cash bleed, such as debt. Will Hackler, managing partner of Hackler Associates, Inc., benefited from our part-time CFO services by freeing up cash flow to pay down debt so he could reallocate his cash flow. "In the first year working with Driven Insights, my firm’s growth rate tripled and gross margins spiked. We also hired new employees who have been critical to supporting our growth initiatives, and we even paid down much of our debt balance."
  • You'll see increased efficiencies because when you hire CFO professional services, you get that team's systems as well as their time and expertise. Your finance team may be struggling to overcome bottlenecks in their processes or shortcomings in the technology stack they are working on. A part-time CFO service provider has likely helped other businesses overcome these pain points and navigate their way to more efficient processes and a better tech stack.

Would considering a part-time CFO service help guide your Firm to stronger financials and faster growth?

A key to obtaining stronger financials and faster growth, of course, is finding the right partner who can help you find the path to stronger financials and faster growth.

You'll want to look for a partner who has recent experience in your industry or situation. Each industry has its own quirks, and someone with an intimate knowledge of your niche can save you a lot of headaches, time, and money by anticipating trends and helping you develop strategies in response to those trends.

Find a partner who can identify the right metrics to watch and produce reports which speak to you. Make sure the reports you receive are presented in the form which you consume most easily. Some leaders work best with visual reports with lots of graphs and charts while others are able to digest reports with numbers only.

Locate a partner who can work well with your stakeholders. Chances are your board of directors and/or investors will need to communicate with your part-time CFO service provider. Those parties may even be apprehensive about outsourcing CFO services. Make sure your provider is skilled at understanding the perspectives of these team members and communicating the insights they need to see.

Wondering how to navigate the process of finding the right CFO service for your business? If so, read the comprehensive Outsourced CFO Buyer's Guide.

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Dave Robinson

Written by Dave Robinson

Driven Insights founder, author of "Competitive Advantage through Financial Management", writes about informing business decisions.

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