Lots of businesses need an FD or CFO and even an FC but does your business need both to be full time on your payroll? In some cases, you do but in most SME’s you would be better to invest in having an external team who can be pulled on when needed.
As the FC function normally takes around two to four days per month to pull all the data and reports and information which is needed the pass this onto the FD of CFO so they can present the information to a board and let’s be honest who wants to spend two to four days pulling all that data from your accounts system and to be honest is it something you have the skills to do?
So outsourcing this vital task seems a no brainer for most business, and this is also the case for the FD role or CFO, as in these roles you will need a good understanding of your accounts and bookkeeping and it is always nice to have an independent set of eyes giving you this information as they have no emotional tie to the business like most business owners have.
When you are looking at outsourcing or bringing in an FD or FC, you need to understand what you want them to do, as it may sound great to say at your breakfast meeting or at the pub (when they are open) “I have just taken on a new FD for my board” but if you have no idea what you need from them you are wasting your money and time.
I have covered some ideas of the things you would like to know to get under the bonnet of your business and give you the information to be able to move forward.
This may sound like a stupid thing to get your head around, but it is one of the basics you need to understand, you need to have the basic information to understand what you need to do to grow and some of the information is to understand your cash flow and have the detail analysis and reporting to be able to move forward, so the best way to think about this would be an overview report which you can pull more in-depth details from.
This will help you identify opportunities to increase revenue, boost profits and save money which for any business is important.
This is a great way for you to pick areas which are costing too much, or you need to invest more in, a great example is a business which is paying for marketing support team and maybe some social media posting software at the same time, you will see that both of these things are the same so you should be able to make a saving.
To get a detailed overview every month is so important to your business.
Every business needs a plan, it does not matter if you are looking at raising finance for a new project or need to raise equity or sell the business.
Creating a robust forecast is key as this will give you the insight to understand where you need to be and what you need to do.
You have so many way and options this is almost a job by itself so outsourcing this seems a no brainer for most business and to get the best forecast you need to understand the options which are available to your business and without good forecasting you will not have the tools to know or the experience to understand what is available to you.
You may be saying “what does this have with FD or CFO or FC this must be sales?’
And you are right in one way and wrong in other, how would your sales team know if you have an issue without having the data, and most sales teams are focused on finding new clients and not looking after the old ones.
With a good GAP analyst, you will have the data to see the areas you can improve on with your current client base, this does not always mean selling a new product, but it may mean getting a client better value or moving them onto other services if you see a gap in what they have.
This is one of those bits of information which people almost always do a basic plan but no meat on the plan, you have no magic bullet or magic pill, this is all down to understanding your business and understand where your business is going and in turn understanding how to get there.
You need to get good scenario planning so you can see as many of the pitfalls and growth optionees as possible, and this is to do with data.