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How your accounting firm can add outsourced CFO services

Posted by Neha De

September 17, 2021    |     3-minute read (513 words)

Your firm already provides virtual accounting services to your customers, and now you would like to offer them more. Introducing value-added services, such as virtual CFO services, can allow you to provide more benefits to your clients and gain access to new revenue opportunities. According to research, organizations that provide strategic advisory services can increase monthly revenues by up to 50%. 

Having a dedicated CFO is crucial for businesses of all sizes. A virtual CFO is a financial expert (or a company) that business owners can bring on board as a consultant for their company, and who is available as a part-time resource based on their requirements. They deliver financial strategy services, help make big strategic decisions and work within a set budget.

An outsourced CFO can offer several services, such as operational optimizations within an organization; raising capital; systems analysis and design; fixing cash flow issues; implementing more efficient processes and systems; developing pricing strategies; and preparing for growth. These skills are essential for companies at any stage of development. 

How can you get started with CFO services

Once you have decided that your company has the necessary skills required to offer outsourced CFO services — and your existing customers have also expressed interest — here are three things you need to have in place before you can add CFO services to your service arsenal:

  1. Ensure your clients are ready: One of the most important and challenging aspects of providing any complex advisory service (including outsourced CFO services) is having clean and accurate data. This will come in handy when a new client approaches your organization requesting such services; you will be able to efficiently clean up their data and get it to a place where you can make recommendations with ease.

  2. Administer a systematic month-end closing process: Out-of-date data can be just as damaging as poor quality data. Therefore, it is extremely important that you ensure you are getting high-quality data in near real-time, so that the insights you deliver are relevant, timely and accurate.

  3. Carrying out a structured month-end process (that is, being able to close the books in less than a week) will allow quality data to be collected in a timely and organized manner. Lay out your workflow to discover inefficiencies and problem areas, and look for ways, such as adopting technology, to achieve this in a shorter time period.
  1. Develop industry expertise: Part of what makes an outsourced CFO extremely valuable is their experience and learnings working with similar companies. Specializing can be a valuable practice, especially if you want to evolve and focus on advisory.

  2. Choosing a vertical, industry or type of business to work with; learning and understanding best practices as well as benchmarks within that industry; and continuing to learn about the common issues those companies face within that niche can help you become an essential business partner.
Stepping into the advisory role

Outsourced CFO services are a great way of offering value-added services to your clients. However, stepping into the role of a CFO requires high-quality data, careful planning, expertise as well as relevant experience.

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