Executive and management positions aren’t keeping up with today’s increasing remote work trends. And, for the most part, it makes sense. You want a Chief Executive Officer or Senior Vice President on the ground with clients, ready to respond quickly to emergencies, and generally available to employees, customers, and shareholders alike.
But, finding virtual CFO services may be best when you’re a bootstrapped company or startup trying to scale. Often, financial management is the last thing on founders’ minds when working in a small business or startup. That maxim is doubly true if your small team’s effort centers around creating, developing, and bringing products to market as quickly and efficiently as possible. Focusing on the ins and outs of budget management and financial reports is the last thing most innovative founders want to do.
At the same time, finding a full-time CFO isn’t usually practical. If you don’t have someone on your team well-versed in regulatory requirements or a nuanced understanding of managing complex budgets, you’re looking at a hefty price tag to hire an experienced CFO through traditional means. And, if you’re a small startup, you end up paying the price for a ton of downtime if there isn’t that much to do day-to-day (which is often the case).
But virtual CFO services can fill that gap, ensuring your company is financially well-positioned while saving a ton of time, effort, and money.
Virtual CFOs Know What Matters Most
The primary benefit to a virtual CFO is that, often, the candidate has a deep pool of knowledge and experience. For your company, this means a virtual CFO understands and implements best practices when:
- Analyzing and optimizing budgets.
- Integrating the most cutting-edge financial industry tech, including artificial intelligence and data analytics tools.
- Recommending process improvements to squeeze as much cash from each operational aspect of your business.
Furthermore, virtual CFOs often work across multiple business sectors, bringing diverse insights to bear on your company in ways you’d never imagine possible.
What could be better?
Well, for firms interested in a total-package solution, finding a virtual CFO service compounds the benefits of a singular virtual CFO. That’s right – when using CFO services, you leverage talent and decades of combined experience across multiple sectors.
And you don’t have to be a math whiz to know the power of compounding benefits.
Virtual CFOs Keep Costs Low
Ultimately, the most appealing benefit to finding a virtual CFO is the sheer cost-effectiveness compared to a traditional, in-house exec. Finding a full-time (experienced) CFO in the United States costs $231,000 at the low end. An experienced candidate among the best of the best can cost well over $500,000, as the median CFO salary is around $430,000.
Again, you don’t have to be a financial genius to know these numbers don’t add up if you’re a bootstrapped startup working to get off the ground.
Virtual CFO service pay structures vary, but some common comp includes:
- $100 – $200 per hour for a virtual fractional CFO. This option is usually best for the smallest startups interested in tightening their budget, consulting for a specific issue, or occasionally helping with regulatory compliance.
- $2,000 weekly for a virtual CFO to help regularly, but not necessarily for long or overly engaging projects. This bet is best for companies needing help on a predictable timetable, like planning annual budgets or managing an accounting team during tax time.
- A $10,000 or so monthly retainer. This pay structure is preferred for companies ready to take the next big step operationally but not quite at the point where hiring full-time help is appropriate. A virtual CFO on retainer can offer professional financial oversight and advice to scale the company while managing day-to-day reporting and budget deliverables.
Ultimately, hiring a full-time, in-house CFO puts the cart before the horse if you’re not yet on track for the Fortune 500. Although a CFO is critical in helping scale a company, hiring an expensive salaried CFO will quickly eat into your margins. For small- and medium-sized businesses and startups, virtual CFO services fill the gap between no financial management and spending half a million on an experienced executive.
Copyright © 2023 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.