HOW DOES THIS THING WORK?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have you noticed that there seems to be a bunch of new Outsourced CFOs about? This is a great thing, I think there needs to be a lot more of us.
That's because there is a big gap between the sort of advice businesses can get once a year from their tax accountants and from someone that has worked inside businesses, businesses like yours, helping to run them.
So, what is it that an Outsourced CFO should do well?
We typically go into a new client's business and do an extensive evaluation of key performance and processes. This process gives you critical information, stuff that's difficult for most businesses to ever find out. And without it's hard to take a business to the next level.
5. data & processes
Richard has very strong systems and process skills, Thomas more of the tactics - the who/what/why stuff. So, the two of us analyse your business in depth, and then prepare a written 40 odd page diagnostic report. It contains the results and our recommendations. Then we sit down with the you to go through it all in detail.
It's designed to help you get an outside view across a broad range of important items; and whilst we acknowledge that we look at problems primarily from a CFO’s perspective, we think that’s not such a bad thing sometimes. It's packed full of useful stuff, and our clients that have been through the 2 week program have all loved it.
At the end of the 2-Week Program, we might recommend a number of recurring services. Ok, we always do.. but, at that point, we can prove the value.
With this reporting service in place, most businesses up to 50 people only need an outsourced bookkeeping/BAS/tax return provider instead of full-time accounts staff (and we know people that do this well for a reasonable cost). You have us for all the who/what/why/how stuff once a month, or as needed, something you don't get from a 60K staff member, or even 100K.
Does anyone on LinkedIn actually do any work? If you are the CEO of a company with about 50 to 200 staff you must be sick to death of "strategy consultants" harassing you.
As CFOs we are more tacticians that strategists, and would never dream of telling entrepreneurs, such as yourself, how to suck eggs.
Having said that, we do get to see inside a lot of businesses and can usually get a feel for a well-run business that is growing.
Head up, it's usually always the businesses where the CEO is good at sales. But equally important are the healthy margins and cash you need to keep the machine running as it grows. That's what we can help you with. Practical stuff.
Running a business is hard work, and there are always hundreds of things to do at any point in time. It’s almost impossible to keep on top of everything. We acknowledge that we look at problems primarily from a CFO’s perspective, but we think that’s not such a bad thing sometimes.
We help you nail down the important things, you already know the big stuff.
If you find yourself swamped by the day-to-day pressures of running your business and want to be more disciplined about setting time aside to consider the big issues, one of the best ways to make sure it happens regularly is to start an advisory board.
I find this to be a very cost effective way of gaining access to professional advice. Find people with experience in your industry who complement and support your skills; people who have walked the talk and have a good bedside manner. Their role is to support, listen and advise. To let you know what worked for other people like you, and what didn’t.
Professional people love being on advisory boards because they get to feel useful. It’s what they love. Ask trusted people in your network to recommend people with particular skills; whatever you feel you need to bolster in the business.
This might be sales and marketing skills in the consulting industry, or project management and delivery skills in the software industry. Of course, I’m going to say finance, it’s what I do. I’m also going to advise you not to use your tax accountant. Whomever you choose, make sure they have a track record of doing what they purport to be experts in.
Not only will you get a lot out of the meetings and it will be a great help to your business, but I also think you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it if it’s done right. Just remember you don't report to them.
Mm.. maybe not... but let's chat about it. Never hurts. Mind, you have to be of a certain size for it all to make sense. Probably at least 1M turnover. Having said that, we have some big clients now that started out with us when they were very small but growing fast.
Regardless, it's always good to hear what people are doing and perhaps we might know someone that can help you somehow. We genuinely like to support new businesses however we can.
The on-boarding process is a fixed cost. We set the price at an amount that sorts out who's serious about getting stuff done, but less than it probably costs us for the hours we put in (we have trouble walking our own talk sometimes).
Ongoing, we will probably quote you a monthly charge for particular services or, sometimes, just an hourly rate with an estimate of time. That hourly rate is less than most accountants charge.
When Thomas started doing this 15 years ago not many people knew what an Outsourced CFO was, but we are becoming more widespread these days. Which is great.
The basic principle is that you get access to high-level CFO skills, at a reasonable cost, instead of having to wait until you get big enough to employ someone full time. A CFO worth their salt can help companies grow so it fixes that chicken and egg problem much earlier in the business lifecycle.
Bookkeeping, BAS, and tax can all be done relatively cheaply these days. The CFO stuff sits on top of that, uses their data. It makes the blended cost cheaper, and you get better results than employing someone mid-level, in-house, to do both bookkeeping and high-level stuff. And they are obviously very different tasks.
If you have to spend money on compliance, try to get some value from it. Bookkeeping and tax definitely fall into that category. We can turn the data they collect into useful stuff, that's what we do.
We often recommend that businesses up to about 10M turnover use a specialist bookkeeping/tax firm. For a fixed a monthly charge they do the bookkeeping and payroll, pay the bills, do the BAS and the annual tax. And they do all this for a lot less than it costs to employ someone and have them sitting at a desk in your office. And of course, an employee is not so great when they are on leave or unwell. Plus all the trouble of finding, training, and keeping the right person. It's just not nessesary anymore.
This is a relatively new thing made possible by cloud software. There are some great firms we have worked with that provide very good service. I'm more than happy to recommend someone for you if you want to contact me.
Sure you need to have someone in your business to do the billing but we see billing as an operational process anyway. You need to own it.
We really enjoy working with businesses that have outsourced accounts. We know we can better rely on the data. We provide specialist operational reporting services that use this data and helps you run your business.
We also meet with you once a month to go through the results.
The combined cost is far less than you would pay for an in-house accounts person and a bolshy once-a-year tax accountant.
Get in touch if you want to talk about our onboarding process.
Accounts staff will often tell you they're too busy when you ask them to do something new. I get it that it can be annoying sometimes, it seems like they are always resistant to new ideas. They tend not to be dramatic people, they just put their heads down and work but ask them for something new and you'll often get a sigh and a "Fine, I'll do it".
So how do you know if they need more resources, or that they might need to step back from the day-to-day to do some professional development so that the team can be more efficient? Or is it a little of both?
It could also be that the organisation has outgrown them but it's best to not make that your first assumption.
The first steps to a happier and productive work life, for you and your accounts team, is to call time out and get the issues on the table.
Just book a free phone call in "contact us"
So you know, we don't send bills unless you ask us to do a particular piece of work. We're not like normal accountants or lawyers, and we don't charge like them.
Looking forward to the chat.