When you come across the word CFO what comes to your mind? Someone semi-bald (or grey hair in best case) in his 50s with a very non-affable persona. No, it’s not about you. This is how most of the CFOs come out to be. Usually, CFOs is a finance guy who has loads of experience managing money and books for the businesses. No doubt, modern CFOs are donning more hats than just managing money and the books.
As cliché as it may sound, the pandemic has had severe irreversible impact on the way businesses are functioning. More and more tech companies are having multi-geography business and are hiring remote talent. Finance function is not too far in catching up with the change.
When startups are looking for newer ways to run and grow lean, hiring part-time or on-demand CFOs makes most sense than hiring someone in-house/full-time. Many finance professionals are available today to work with businesses to offer these services to those who need it. Many firms, like ours, provide CFO as a service.
In the perspective of an early stage funded startups, this makes most sense. Because these startups may neither have the budgets nor the work for a full time CFO. Also, because the business environment for startups is so dynamic, they prefer a CFO as a service since, it’s available on-demand and is scalable. Moreover, since, the CFO as a service firms work with multiple clients, their costs are shared, the learning curve is easy and they can get up & running fast.
Usually, the scope of service is wide ranging for CFO as a service and very much fluid. It starts with integration of all accounting, tax, finance and compliance functions and overseeing and guiding accounting & finance team, reviewing and then gradually covers financial analysis, modelling, valuations, finance strategy to support the growth strategy, budgeting, treasury management, cashflow planning and forecasting and most importantly supporting the fund raise, diligence process.
A CFO can be a much-needed sounding board, coach, or guide. An experienced financial professional who you can trust, not merely someone to fill a role. In the end, you’ll have a team member who knows your business and can help hold you accountable as you work to reach clearly-defined goals.
Of course, CFO as a service may not be a permanent solution for a startup, sooner or later the business may warrant a full time CFO. In such a case the CFO as a service will help recruit the full time CFO and continue to be available for any strategic or advisory role.
Have you explored CFO as a service option for your startup?
How has been your experience? Do share.
Written by Apurva Shrotri | Client Lead @ CFOLogic