Don’t Need A CFO? How About a Virtual CFO!

Do you want to know more?

Virtual CFO + Management Reports

Written by: Krystine Canny-Smith l Accounting Team

According to Wikipedia, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is “… the officer of a company that has primary responsibility for managing the company’s finances, including financial planning, management of financial risks, record-keeping and financial report.”

Great Chief Financial Officers will help guide the company by ensuring the financial stability of the business and advising on the long-term business planning, as well as overseeing the more general tasks, such as payroll, BAS, tax and budgeting.  As CFOs earn around $100-$150k per annum, they can be inaccessible for startups or small businesses.

A rise in the understanding of the value of a good CFO has brought about an equivalent rise in the popularity of the “Virtual Chief Financial Officer” – that is, the CFO you have when you don’t actually have a Chief Financial Officer.

The Virtual Chief Financial Officer provides some of the services provided by a CFO, and the ability to provide the rest of the services when necessary or desired.  To understand that, let’s look at what a CFO will do in a typical business.

Accounting Systems + High-Level Tasks

“Working capital is like your diet; if you do not manage it, then it can kill you.” – The Strategic CFO

High-Level Tasks:

A Chief Financial Officer will be involved with the executive team to guide decision-making.

They will do this by providing budgets and calculating likely financial results based on different actions.  They will also ensure the business has enough working capital to continue to operate in both the short term and the long term.  Other high-level tasks include negotiating leases and contracts, providing information to banks and external lenders and engaging financial planners and investment specialists.

Financial Records + Mid-Level Tasks

“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker

Mid-Level Tasks:

Another task the Chief Financial Officer will oversee is the development of the business’ budgets.

These may be budgets for specific projects, or more usually the financial yearly budget of the business.  A good budget will ensure that the business is able to achieve its goals, and the purpose of a budget is multi-faceted.

Budgets provide motivation and goals for team members.  They identify clearly what is expected by the owners of the business, and set specific financial goals and expectations.  The budget also guides those who spend the money around how much they can spend on items or projects. For example, if the business has a marketing manager, they need to know what their budget is so they can ensure they achieve all their projects over the course of the year.

Budgets also manage cash flow to ensure that at times when costs are high there is enough cash to cover expenses.

Financial Plan + Low-Level Tasks

“If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, trying missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

Low-Level Tasks:

Low-level tasks in a business are often the tasks that can be the most painful for business owners or managers.

They are the day-to-day tasks that are extremely important to the business’s survival and keep the lifeblood of the business flowing.  They are generally lower-level tasks to a Chief Financial Officer, but a good CFO will never ignore them or consider them unimportant.

The tasks that keep the blood flowing in the business, are extremely important and include things such as payroll, superannuation, payroll tax, business activity statement preparation, income tax lodgement and management financials.

A Chief Financial Officer will also oversee or manage the debtors and creditors.  These are the sorts of tasks that can often fly under the radar until something goes wrong.  Then the consequences can cause delays, penalties, lost productivity and general dissatisfaction with suppliers, customers or even employees.

Virtual CFO + The Importance of the Right Financial Information

“Many people make the mistakes of saving money by wasting time.” – J.R. Rim


“Time’s a currency, I’m currently poor.” – Exit Sign, Hilltop Hoods

Virtual CFO:

If you speak to most business owners and managers about their biggest problem, you will often hear them say “lack of time”.  Time is a constant challenge and allocating the appropriate amount of time to all the important things in our lives can be challenging.

Time is the reason so many service-based businesses have popped up and are thriving in Australia.  We know there is a lot to do, but also recognise that we can’t do all of it, and there are some people who can do it faster and better than we can.  The issue we have is balancing the cost of saving time.

At Canny Group, we are great believers in efficiency.  Efficiency allows us, and our clients, to do more with less time, to achieve greater goals with fewer recourses, and to share resources to lighten the load.

We believe that business owners’ and managers’ time is important.  It is their time that creates the business, run the business, and build the business.  For those reasons, time is too important to waste, and we don’t like to waste it ourselves or see our clients waste it.

A Virtual Chief Financial Officer service is one that provides the services of a Chief Financial Officer without the cost!  It is tailored to the business needs.  For some businesses, a Virtual CFO service would involve all the Low Levels.  Tasks are taken care of, and an annual budget and business plan are every two years.  Other businesses just like help to pay bills and manage their debtors, wages, and cash flow.

There are a great variety of ways to tailor the Virtual CFO but the one thing that is constant is that business owners can have the confidence of the job being done by someone with the qualifications of a great CFO, without the cost.

If you are considering Virtual CFO services, then the question becomes “For the amount, I am paying, how much time am I saving and what could I be doing with that time?”.  We will all have a different answer, for some, it is time we can be spending building your business, and for others, it is time we can be spending with our families.  What is your answer?

Canny Group, Your Virtual CFO + Financial Reporting

If you want all the knowledge you would expect to have with a Chief Financial Officer on staff, we can step in with our knowledge, expertise and experience and take care of it for you with our Virtual CFO + Management Reports service, tailored to individually suit your business.

Want to know what our clients have to say about our Virtual CFO service?  Check out Complete Mailings testimonial here and read it directly from our clients.

If you would like to know more about how to have the ability to make informed financial decisions quickly in your business, get in touch with our team today and give yourself back the time you deserve!

Canny Group Director, Krystine Canny-Smith standing in the centre of the picture wearing a black sleeveless dress

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