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How Strong is Your Core (or COAR)?

By Michael Stier

“Being a leader isn’t about ability. It’s about responsibility.” This pearl of wisdom shared with Major Rebecca Childs, played by Hillary Swank, by her longtime mentor in the 2003 movie “The Core”. As the leader of your business, who is responsible for your COAR? Your business’ four COARsystems are critical to your success: 

1. Cash Flow 
2. Operations 
3. Accounting 
4. Revenue

The Chief Financial Officer of a company is the person who oversees all the financial functions of a business. While the role of the CFO is much more complex and multi-faceted, financial oversight is the CFO’s core role. At a higher level, the role of the CFO is more strategic.

 

Your COARBusiness Systems

At FocusCFO, a balanced approach is used by our CFOs in focusing on these four COARbusiness systems. By having tools and systems in place in each of these areas, businesses can operate at an optimal level and maximize internal cash flow. In addition to building tools, we at FocusCFO develop ongoing forecasting, planning and analysis tools in all key business areas in order to work collaboratively with the CEO to build a strategic growth plan for the company. 

Examples of the application of COAR 

  • Driving internal cash flow by actively managing working capital and improving product and service line profitability. 
  • Providing regular operations reporting, focusing on key performance indicators and operating data. 
  • Ensuring that all internal accounting and management reporting is timely and accurate. 
  • Developing tools to measure and manage revenue, including the sales pipeline. 
  • Improving the flow of financial and other information between the business and its banker, CPA and other key advisors. 

Which brings us back to the initial question of who in your organization is responsible for your COAR? For most business owners, your time and abilities reside with product/service and business development. Most do not have enough bandwidth to also assure that your COAR is strong. We can help you with that. 

 

Michael Stier is an Area President for FocusCFO based in Charlotte, NC. 

Founded in 2001, FocusCFO is the leading onsite fractional CFO services provider in the Midwest and Southeast. FocusCFO works closely with small to medium sized businesses helping business owners gain control over three key financial and operational areas: increasing cash flow, reducing business risk, and creating a platform for scalable growth. This allows business owners to then realize full financial control and increased value in their businesses. For more information, visit us at focuscfo.com or follow us on LinkedIn. 

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