What Does a B2B CFO® Do?

Hope everyone had a great holiday with your family and a good start to 2013. I had a chance to work with a number of really good clients in 2012, and  I also had a reminder about how powerful goal setting is; I received a check in the middle of December that got me to my exact goal for the year to the penny!

I am sharing an article this month about what a B2B CFO can do for your business to drive greater profitability and higher value. One of the first things I do at the start of each year with clients is to help them establish their sales and profitability targets, and our firm has a number of tools including industry benchmarking software to help. – Dave

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From B2B CFO® Partner David Kirkup, Atlanta, GA:

So what does a B2B CFO® do? A B2B CFO® is a highly experienced financial executive, someone who can help drive your business to greater profitability and a higher value – using a variety of techniques and analysis to forecast and shape your financial path. A B2B CFO® focuses on a number of critical areas:

• Cash Flow Management and Financial Reporting
• Accounting and IT Systems Management
• Planning – Strategic and Financial
• External Relations – with Banks, CPA, Legal, Insurance
• Cost and Profit Analysis

If you don’t have timely financials you trust – how can you begin to manage your business? It’s not just that your financials may not tell you much. Often they are telling you the wrong things. Failure to fully understand a company’s financials is one of the top 3 causes of small business failure.

B2B CFO® offers seasoned, highly experienced part-time CFOs, so there’s no excuse to run your company with blinders on. In a sea of economic red ink, many of B2B CFO®’s clients continue to add employees and grow sales, while having access to lines of credit, and developing company value. Here’s a check list to help you find a trusted CFO partner:

Technician: A professional accounting designation (ACMA, CPA) or demonstrated expertise is a great foundation. Your part-time CFO has to have the accounting, process and tax knowledge needed to steer a company’s finances.

Fund Raiser: A good part-time CFO not only runs the process for fundraising, but should also bring financing into the company. They will have a track record of originating and closing deals and should have a list of potential financing sources that are eager to take a call.

Sales Closer: Your part-time CFO can be a key member of your sales team, available to help negotiate and close sales. The CFO can be actively involved in managing and optimizing your sales pipeline and should be capable of being deeply engaged in sales.

Operator: Your part-time CFO should take a leading role in bringing operational quality into your company. That means installing just the right amount of process, reporting and structure. Not so much that it slows you down, but enough so that you smoothly run and grow the machine.

IT: You don’t want your part-time CFO installing Outlook upgrades, but you do want someone who’s savvy enough in information technology to take the lead in driving your IT strategy.

Cheapskate: This isn’t usually a problem with CFOs but you want someone who can stretch your dollars by knowing where to cut expenses without harming your business.

Consigliere: Your part-time CFO should be a trusted advisor. Running a company can be lonely. Your CFO can be a key, objective source of advice and counsel as you make the big and the small decisions.

As you probably noticed, only one of these points (the 1st one) actually deals with accounting. Despite their accounting beginnings, the best part time CFOs go far beyond this foundation. They are capable of adding value to every aspect of the business. Judge yours accordingly and make sure you have a high impact B2B CFO® on the team.

photo credit: Question everything via photopin (license)

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