What is an Outsourced CFO and do I need one?

By Sharon Casagrande

November 26, 2020
Virtual CFO setting KPIs and goals

Have you ever wondered to yourself: 

  • “I think my business is going well but how do I know where I can improve”
  • “How can I increase sales?”
  • “How can I improve cash flow”
  • “I’d like to hire more staff to expand my business but don’t know if I have enough cash flow to do it” 
  • “How does my business compare to my competitors?”


If this sounds familiar to you, your business would benefit from an outsourced CFO.  CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer. A CFO can benefit many small and medium businesses.  The benefit of an outsourced CFO is that you have access to an experienced finance guru and only have to pay for the hours you need them, saving you the expensive overhead of a full-time employee.  


You might be thinking, but I have an accountant, why do I need an outsourced CFO?  A traditional accountant looks after your tax compliance, tax structuring and tax advisory work.  But if you are looking to grow your business and want more clarity about your direction or you are spending a lot of your own time looking after the finances, then it’s probably a good time to hire an outsourced CFO.  


If finance is not your core business, why not free up your time so you can focus on what you love to do? Here is what an outsourced CFO can do for your business. 


Streamlined Bookkeeping


Good bookkeeping is the backbone of your finances.  To be able to provide meaningful financial information, your bookkeeping needs to be up-to-date and accurate.  Bookkeeping includes bank reconciliations, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll.


Putting the right systems in place such as Hubdoc, Xero and automated payment systems can help your business run more smoothly and help you run a paperless business.   As an added bonus, getting this setup also makes it easier to have accurate, timely financial information at your fingertips.


Management Reporting & KPI monitoring


For your business to grow and thrive, you need to be able to see your progress in real time.  Monthly management reporting provides clarity and allows you to take action quickly.  A simple to understand business dashboard can provide insight into the key drivers of your business success.  Dashboards can be custom designed for your business to measure the KPIs that matter to you. 


Dashboards are simple and cut through the clutter to focus on key indicators. It allows you to set targets and monitor progress towards achieving your goals.  For example, monitoring the amount of wages as a percentage of sales can identify areas of inefficiency in your business.  You can also monitor non-financial KPIs such as website visits, number of sales referrals, customer satisfaction ratings, media mentions.


If you have a goal for the profit you would like to achieve this year, do you know how many sales per month you need to achieve this goal?  Using KPIs and monthly reporting allows you to make sure you are tracking towards your goals.


Budgeting and forecasting


A budget for your business can be valuable in keeping costs under control.  A forecast makes it easy to explore different scenarios.  For example, What if I hire more staff?  What if we invest more in marketing?  What if more competitors enter the market?  A more recent example: What if we have to shut down for three months?  When will we run out of cash? Forecasting allows you to explore different scenarios to see what that looks like for your business.


Cashflow Management


There are several ways an outsourced CFO can help you improve your cashflow. 

  • Reduce costs – When was the last time you had a good look at your overheads? An outsourced CFO can review your operating expenses to eliminate any unnecessary costs and keep the money in your bank account.
  • Increased revenue –  An analysis of your business can help you determine which areas of your business are more profitable than others and find ways to bring more cash into your business.


Profit Margins and profitability for each service


If your business provides different services, do you know the profit margin for each  service line?  It’s hard to know which areas of your business are successful if you don’t have the right information.  For example, if you have a Real Estate agency, are you able to produce a separate profit and loss statement for property management and sales so that you can view each part of the business separately?  By looking at each of these, you can do further analysis on whether each part of the business is running as efficiently as possible.  


An outsourced CFO can set up reports that allow you to get more insight into how your business is performing so you can support those areas that are doing well and improve those areas that are not performing as expected.




Would you like to see how your business performance compares to similar businesses in your industry?  A benchmarking report can compare your business to the industry and provide key areas for improvement.  By doing this, we can highlight areas in which you can increase profitability.  For example, how do your overheads compare? Are you spending enough on marketing?  Knowing what your competitors are doing can give you an edge to achieve impressive results.


Business Planning


Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” While some things in business come down to luck, I believe that being prepared helps you take advantage of opportunities when they come along.

Taking the time to write a business plan creates a clear vision for your organisation.  It provides a purpose and can improve your communication with your team, clients or customers and your marketing voice.  Having a clear vision for your organisation helps you get where you want to go.  An outsourced CFO can assist you with writing your business plan as well as financial vision and strategy to guide your business.  


Implementing financial systems & technology


You may have a team in place to look after your finances, but things may not be running efficiently.  An outsourced CFO can review your internal procedures and help create systems to create consistency and automation to make scaling the team easier.


Ongoing Advice and Education


I invest a lot into my continuing education so that I can provide the best service to my clients.  Using the services of an outsourced CFO means that you don’t need to be on top of everything, you can focus on your core business.  You can rest assured that your advisor is aware of the latest developments that affect the finances of your business.


Business Obligations


Staying on top of your business obligations can keep business owners up at night.  An outsourced CFO can take care of your BAS lodgement, payroll tax, workers compensation and other government and regulatory reporting obligations. 


Get in Touch


I started my business to provide these services to help other small and medium businesses have access to a CFO at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.  You have access to an MBA qualified accountant on a part-time basis and only pay for the hours you need.

If your business needs the help of an outsourced CFO, please get in touch. We can schedule a complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your business, the current opportunities and challenges and the next steps you should take now to take your business to the next level.

We are 100% virtual.  However, if you would prefer an onsite visit, we service the areas of Albury, Wodonga, Griffith, Leeton and Wagga.


Are you ready to plan, grow and thrive?

Improve your cashflow and business performance with a passionate financial and business expert by your side.