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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Chief Financial Officer and what are a CFO’s responsibilities?
  • What is a Fractional Chief Financial Officer?
  • What is the difference between a CPA and a CFO?
  • When do I need a CFO for my Company?
  • My Company is running well, so why would I need a CFO?
What is a Chief Financial Officer and what are a CFO’s responsibilities?

A Chief Financial Officer is in charge of overseeing all aspects of the finance and accounting department in an organization: from  daily accounting and operational activities to strategic initiatives and business growth.  The CFO serves as a member of the leadership team and builds well congealed teams and controlled processes to ensure efficient operations and accurate financial reports for management and stakeholders. The most important part of a CFO’s role is to work with ownership and executive management to ensure a company is achieving its financial goals and objectives.  A CFO will be responsible for raising capital, managing cash and capital to ensure highest return on equity, ensuring proper financial planning and analysis is being performed to provide insights into business performance.

What is a Fractional Chief Financial Officer?

A Fractional CFO is a professional that can provide the CFO services needed to start, grow and manage a business without having to hire them as a full time employee. This is especially useful in small businesses, nonprofits and other situations where the budget and actual business needs do not call for a full-time employee. A fractional CFO will typically work as an independent contractor, so the business does not need to worry about payroll taxes, travel expenses and other employee related costs which makes it a much more affordable proposition and generates a high ROI.

What is the difference between a CPA and a CFO?

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation given by the state board of CPA examiners in each state. An individual must pass education, experience and examination requirements to become a CPA. Some CFOs will have a CPA designation, but most CPAs are not CFOs. In general, a CPA is more focused on tax planning and optimization for individuals and businesses. A CFO is much more operationally and strategically focused on business growth and development in line with a business plan. The CFO gives a much broader perspective into the operations and strategic plans of a business, and can provide this value for small start-ups to established business.

When do I need a CFO for my Company?

A Business owner’s number 1 priority should always be attracting and retaining customers, developing and maintaining strategic relationships and generating business to support the growth and profitability of the company. Some business owners are financially savvy and may not need a CFO until they have grown their business to a certain level, where they do not have the time to focus on the financial responsibilities. However, most business owners and prospective employees can benefit from a CFO in the very early stages and planning stages of a business. A good CFO can provide immense value and insight in the business planning stages to ensure a robust plan and the financial requirements can be met to maintain business operations. However, this typically will not be a full time job at this point in time, and that is why a Fractional CFO is a great solution. You can hire a CFO for as little as 1-3 hours a month, and benefit from the services provided while not spending your start-up capital.

My Company is running well, so why would I need a CFO?

In all aspects of business and life, there is always room for improvement. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and LeBron James all have coaches and professionals that help them get better every day! Sometimes a business owner isn’t able to identify the areas for improvement because they are so caught up in the day to day operations and running a business. Having a CFO (and a team of professionals and coaches) can provide a fresh perspective and view on the business and its business plan to identify opportunities, weaknesses, strengths and threats. A CFO is a sounding board and sparring partner for a business owner to discuss a variety of ideas and potential plans to ensure that a business owner is making the best and most informed decisions they can.


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