Financial Leaders, CFO’s and Controllers in the New Economy
Being in a business where I work with so many small and medium companies provides me with some tremendous opportunities.
First of all, it allows me to meet so many great business leaders that are contributing locally and nationally to our economy.
Job creators, visionaries and some of the hardest working people on the planet fill my plate daily.
Over the last few years as we have seen some of the more challenging economic times in our nations history, I have had the opportunity to work closely with these leaders as they stood their ground and in some cases grew their businesses.
This was no small feat given the circumstances.
One of the great trends I saw from these business leaders during these tough times was their desire to do less with more.
As many companies had to lean down to withstand more frugal bottom lines, the owners had to make some really hard decisions. Especially those that involved people.
Anyone who has ever had to layoff a worker knows just how hard it can be.
But I digress…
With the desire to do less with more, I have seen companies that are very tentative to add staff.
Seeing that there businesses, albeit with some extra work could sustain and even grow with less help, they are tentative to add even as help becomes required.
And while we can all push ourselves a little harder, there is a point where more help is required.
Being on the accounting side of the house, we see this primarily with Finance and Operations staff.
We see analysts and support staff with workloads piling up and this extra work piles all the way up to the controller or even the CFO’s desk.
With all of this extra work it provides so little time to focus on the big picture aspects of the CFO.
The Role of the CFO in the Small to Medium Business (SMB)
Having had the opportunity to work closely with some fantastic CFO’s, I can tell you that the great ones are truly visionaries for their companies.
They help the CEO’s and the Sales/Marketing leaders of the company to take ideas and bring them to life.
Primarily by creating the capital through financial management, debt and equity financing and what sometimes seems like boundless creativity.
We all know without capital a business can’t run; and sales would tell you something similar.
So while the extra workload on the desk of the CFO or Controller is keeping them busy, it isn’t necessarily putting their best talents to use.
Rather it is forcing one of the companies more strategic resources to immerse themselves into tasks that don’t require such tremendous expertise.
Important Duties, But What About the CFO Duties?
Now to be fair, these are highly important items that a business must focus their attention on, but can we agree that these are not the best use of a CFO’s time?
If you are one of the companies that has that visionary CFO then you may be in really good shape because there are few things more important than having a CFO that can bring an Entrepreneurs vision to life.
If you are in the precarious position of having one of those people, but they don’t have the time to spend focused on those initiatives then it is worth looking at highly capable outside help in this area so that your current financial leadership can focus on the big picture strategy or on handling the important day-to-day financial requirements while benefitting from outside expertise to fill the gaps.
It Makes Good Business Sense and Financial Sense
Many times a business doesn’t need both a CFO and a Controller, especially on the heels of a turbulent few years for small business. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t benefit from a professional that can really step up to the plate to help with the company’s most unique financial challenges and requirements.
It is important that business owners and leaders understand that a great financial team, full or part time is key to a businesses long term success. Just like the blocking and tackling that makes up a businesses day-to-day operation, the CFO and their team is the right hand to the owner/CEO and serves a critical role as well.
A Part Time CFO or Controller from a close partner that understands your business may be just what your company needs to take the next step in reaching your goals.
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