How do you choose your virtual CFO?

Where do you start? What do you look for? Who is right for you?

Listed below are the most important attributes you should seek in a virtual CFO:

  • Qualification: They must be qualified to a minimum level of Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA). This will confirm that they are educated to a superior level, as these organisations not only require the tertiary qualifications, but they also require postgraduate studies and continued professional development for every year they run their practice. This will provide you with a technically skilled and educated team of professionals to work with you.
  • Experience: They must be able to display that they have at least ten years of experience working with businesses on all facets of tax compliance, financial reporting and analysis, strategic planning, cash flow management, financing, and advisory services. In addition, the more experience they have in your industry, the better service they will be able to provide.
  • Communication: They must be good communicators and be able to clearly explain and demonstrate the advice they provide so you are able to clearly understand that advice. They should not only be able to work well with yourself, as the business owner, but also with all your key employees that they are likely to liaise with over the life of the relationship.
  • Analysis: They must be analytical in nature. Any accountant who has the relevant qualification and experience is able to prepare annual tax returns. CFOs, however, are much more. Not only are they able to prepare all of your compliance requirements, they are able to review and assess the financial position of your business and provide feedback on which areas need attention. Having done that, they will then offer different solutions.
  • Strategy: They must be strategic thinkers, always looking towards the future and to you achieving your goals. Your virtual CFO should be able to work with you to develop strategies that suit your long-term vision and then help you deliver those strategies. Having delivered those strategies, they need to be flexible and adaptable to be able to cope with changing competitive dynamics, differing customer needs, new technologies and the ever-changing regulatory environment.
  • Risk: They must be very mindful of all the exposures to risk in your business. Risk is rapidly becoming one of the most important factors in business and, with continued regulatory changes and restrictions, it must be front of mind at all times in every facet of your business. The ability to make your business resilient and strengthen your structure and processes is a key trait to look for in a virtual CFO.
  • Technology: They must be up-to-date with all relevant technology that can assist you in the financial management of your business. Technology continues to evolve and you want your virtual CFO to be able to evolve with it. This will not only create efficiencies in your business, it will also provide opportunities to innovate.
  • Passion: They need to care about you and your business and your continued growth. This will ensure they do everything in their power to help you reach your goals.

Before deciding on your virtual CFO, you should do a little research on them

What you should be looking for is whether they meet the criteria listed previously. Some of those attributes can be easily determined, such as their qualifications and experience. However, the remaining attributes will require meeting with them.

Think of the first meeting with your virtual CFO as an interview – this is someone you will be working closely with and, hopefully, for some time. Just some of the questions you could ask include:

  • I see your firm is (CPA or CA). Are all your accountants qualified accordingly? (Remember, you might find yourself working with different members of the team.)
  • You appear to have the experience in years but have you worked with many busi-nesses in building and property development?
  • Can you give me some examples of the type of clients you currently working with that would be similar to me?
  • Can you give some examples of how you’ve helped similar businesses with their tax compliance?
  • How have you helped similar business owners protect their personal and business as-sets? Can you give me an example?
  • What strategies have you used to help your clients improve their cash flow?
  • Do you use and/or do your clients use the latest technology in their business? If so, did you recommend and/or implement the systems? How has it helped them?
  • Have you not been able to help a business owner better manage his finances? If so, why? What was the outcome?
  • Some of my strategic goals are (explain some of the goals you’d like to achieve in the next one to three years). What are some ways we could go about achieving them?

Depending on your level of comfort, you may wish to ask more questions and be even more specific about how this virtual CFO can help you. That’s totally fine because you need to be sure.

Having gone through this process, the only attributes that you didn’t ask about are the ones that will answer themselves, being communication and passion.

It’s now up to you.

You will see the impact these changes have on your profit margin, your asset turnover and ultimately your return on assets.

Now you’re starting to really see where your business is financially and what you need to do to get you to where you want to be.

Are you in need of finance or funding to help grow your business? Do you clearly understand the cost of money? Contact us for a free 30 min strategy consultation. Click here to get started

Let us review your business and funding requirements to help you grow your business and achieve your business goals – big and small.

Want to take your business further with your cash? Book a 30-minute cashflow consultation and I’ll give you a copy of my book “Build It & The Money Will Come”. Click here to get started

Tony Dimitriadis
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