Of the 100+ small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) I’ve worked with, many of the CEOs expect their CFO/Controller to perform only these basic financial functions. They are unaware that a Strategic CFO with a comprehensive corporate perspective can, among other vital contributions:
- create and execute business strategy,
- maintain and communicate critical up-to–the-minute forecasts to make better decisions,
- anticipate the need for and raise capital to support growth and profitability,
- negotiate major contracts, and
- assist the CEO with acquisitions and divestitures.
- And if the CEO is aware of the value, most think they cannot afford such a position.
For those business leaders, I have good news. Usually a SMB can add this important missing team member at a cost less than their current expense for the finance/accounting function. Not to mention the more important offsetting revenue, profit, and cash growth that accompanies a successful, experienced Strategic CFO.
While the position of controller/accountant is a full-time job, that of the Strategic CFO usually is not. How often during the year must an SMB prepare its business plan, access the capital market for growth funds, or pursue a strategic acquisition or divestiture? A fractional/part-time/consulting CFO is capable of monitoring business and financial operations continuously and responding immediately when decisions and action is required. This is a continuous but not a full-time task.
For those SMBs without a fractional, strategic CFO, may I suggest they consider it…it just makes dollars and sense.
John Ball is a co-founder and the Managing Partner of SeatonHill Partners, LLC. SeatonHill provides mid-market companies with affordable financial executive leadership from their offices in Fort Worth and Dallas. For more information, visit www.SeatonHill.com