What Does a CFO Do?
A CFO is responsible for overseeing a company’s financial activities and operations. This includes helping your business address short-term needs and day-to-day analysis — think establishing performance measures and understanding the drivers of cash flow — in addition to long-term ones, such as assessing financial risks and opportunities. As a strategic partner and advisor, the role of a CFO is to keep a company on solid footing and moving forward. Most of their time is spent working with you to improve operations, increase revenue and increase cash flow.
Who needs CFO services?
At FocusCFO, we believe that once businesses get to a certain size, there is a real need for a CFO. While we often provide CFO services for companies ranging from $2 million to $20 million in annual sales, we have partnered with smaller and larger businesses as well.
Engaging a professional firm that delivers CFO services can particularly benefit small and mid-sized businesses, which often see their financial situations become more complex as they grow. Many of these companies don’t have room on their payroll to hire a full-time CFO and lack the in-house financial experience they need to make informed strategic, long-term and day-to-day decisions.
Outsourcing the CFO function is a way to bring on much-needed financial expertise on a flexible and affordable basis.
What’s the difference between a CFO and a CPA?
Although many CFOs are CPAs (certified public accountants), CPAs are not CFOs.
CPAs tend to spend most of their time on accounting and the historical numbers for a business. A CFO plays a much bigger role in the broad business aspects than does an accounting.
While a CPA will usually spend 90% of their time on accounting and 10% on broader matter, with a CFO it is the opposite – 10% on accounting and 90% on business matters.
CFOs spend their time on revenue strategies, profitability enhancement and cash flow while an accountant often handles bookkeeping, closing the books and taxes. As a member of the management team, a CFO must keep track of the company’s day-to-day financial operations while contributing to any number of financial projects and tasks. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Working with the production team or project managers on ways to increase profitability
- Supporting the sales and marketing teams
- Helping raise capital
- Managing internal cash flow
- Coordinating with a company’s key financial advisors, and
- Supporting the short and long-term strategic planning for the company.
At FocusCFO, our experienced CFOs provide these and a spectrum of other CFO services fulfilled by a full-time CFO, at a fraction of the cost.
Request a free consultation to learn how you could benefit from our CFO services.