Scaling Up CFO
The need for a senior finance professional actually arises well before it can be justified as a full-time position...and many businesses leave it too late.
The risk of failure reduces significantly with sound financial management. You are much more likely to be successful and survive these statistics if you have a highly experienced CFO supporting you - and at an earlier stage.
Getting the highest level of financial management advice will help lead to increased sales, profit and cash. The business will be more sustainable and have a higher capital valuation. You will also benefit from having greater peace of mind and fewer sleepless nights.
Even after it has become a full-time finance position, the demands of any growth business can quickly outstretch the capabilities of that person. A Non-executive CFO provides business owners with the opportunity to have the support of a seasoned senior CFO on a part-time basis and someone who can oversee that full time role. A NonExecCFO has all the financial and business experience needed to meet the ever-increasing demands of any growing business, both now as well as into the future.
This is partly to show it is not a full-time role (somewhere between 1 and 4 days a month) and the CFO will operate outside of the business’s day-to-day management structure as much as possible. For example, the CFO will want to build a solid finance function which is an integral part of your business and one which you can manage day-to-day without you needing them to be there. All these things will allow the CFO to give better impartial advice, the ability to constructively challenge others, and become your “Trusted Advisor”. However, none of this means they will not roll their sleeves up and fix things when they need to, particularly in the early days of an assignment.
Why CFO and not FD?
There is nothing wrong with having a Finance Director, in fact, larger businesses may have both an FD and a CFO. It is just that a CFO is much more highly experienced in finance and, importantly, business generally. A CFO will be able to add much more value and in all areas of the business, not just finance. A CFO will be able to speak to you in language you understand and be better at operating at both a strategic and a tactical level. For all these reasons, a CFO will have much more credibility with investors, banks, customers and suppliers.
Aims & goals
What's included in this Support?
Ensuring that standards are developed and implemented in areas which are critical for success and oversee them going forward:
- Maximising value - ensuring at all times that the current and future value of the business is maximised, by knowing what the real value drivers are, and taking these into account in how business is conducted and, in the decisions, made.
- Management & Strategy - because of their breadth of experience they are better equipped than most to contribute to the actual development and direction of the business.
- Corporate governance - shareholder protection; doing business with integrity; being able to reassure banks, investors and customers/suppliers that the business is well run.
- Planning, structure and process – knowing what the business needs to achieve and how, setting goals/budgets; building an organisation with clear and efficient processes and making people accountable.
- Commercial acumen - making sure the right decisions are made at the right time, by the right people and that the business takes full advantage of its opportunities, whilst protecting the downside.
- Financial controls and reporting - maximising revenue, keeping costs down, managing cash & debtors; always knowing how the business is performing; customer and product profitability. Taking responsibility for areas such as tax planning, legal support and contractual negotiations.