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To CFO or not CFO? A small business dilemma

Whether or not to hire someone to fill a CFO role is a question that many small businesses face. Maybe to help answer this question, we need to ask another. What does a CFO provide beyond what your controller, accounting manager or bookkeeper are providing?

Here’s a brief listing of what you could expect from a seasoned CFO:

Strategic thinker

What’s our value proposition in the market place? Are we focused on the right customer and product lines? Where do we want to be in five years and how do we get there? These are all questions that a CFO is driving to answer through a collaborative strategic planning process.

Predictive not reactive

Cfos are forward thinking and ensure the company has the right tools (forecasting, financial modeling, cash projections) in place to navigate the outlook in front of them.

Decision making

Small businesses need to be nimble and dynamic in their decision-making ability. Cfos provide leadership, experience and the financial tools to streamline decisions as they support key negotiation areas such as banking, legal, customer and suppliers.

These CFO abilities make a compelling argument that all small companies should have a CFO. Unfortunately, budget limitations greatly impact the ability of small companies to actually have a CFO. When small businesses figure out how many senior management positions they can afford in their budget, the dollars usually run out before they get to a CFO.

What other options do small businesses have? Maybe they can hire someone who’s recently retired and would like to work part-time? Maybe they can form an advisory committee and ask a couple financial folks to help in this capacity? Maybe they can outsource the CFO position until they can afford a full-time role? In the end, small companies need to find a way to get CFO level capabilities into their business to ensure they are well positioned for the future.

If outsourcing the CFO position is appealing to your business, Rehmann has a team of seasoned professionals that offer “CFO services”. Rehmann can assist your efforts to be strategic thinkers and develop predictive tools to help your company reach its goals.

Contact Rehmann today to discuss CFO services.

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