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Signs your startup might need a CFO

Posted by Kanika Sinha

January 25, 2016

If you are running your startup by yourself and wearing many hats, it might be time to look at hiring a chief financial officer (CFO).

Even if you have a small staff of four-five people handling your operations but you don’t have anyone dedicated to your finances, you still want to look at hiring for this position.

With a tight budget, you might be tempted to scrimp on hiring. But, of all the potential new hires on your list, one of the most important positions is that of the CFO.

As the founder, you’re the big-picture person and you need to devote your time to solving problems, creating new products and services, and building your business. If you aren’t a financial whiz, the job of chief financial officer is better left to others.

Let’s look at some of the signs which may signal that your startup needs a CFO.


You aren’t equipped to be CFO

One of the hardest parts of starting a new company is admitting that you can’t do it all. Yet, sometimes it’s the best realization you can make. The money side of your business is going to make you or break you. If you aren’t equipped to function as the CFO, it’s time to look for someone else.

What kind of data will they need to know about? They’ll need to thoroughly know how to manage information regarding working capital, cash flow, balance statements, payroll, and much more.

If you have too much on your plate, it’s best to hire someone with expertise in financial operations. You’ll be glad when this person provides you with data including costs, revenues and capital as well as tax matters and government regulations.

 It’s time to raise money

When meeting with investors, you’ll find they are much more at ease when dealing with the CEO and the CFO. A chief financial officer could make them more comfortable when choosing whether to invest in your startup or not. By providing your investors with a CFO, you give them the confidence that their money will be handled properly. Your potential investors expect complex details about your startup’s past, present and future, or you have little hope of funding.

Your costs are exploding

Saving money and cutting costs helps your startup succeed. A skilled and experienced CFO can help you learn where you are burning through capital, and how you can remedy the problem.

Having someone to manage your budget and your cash flow as you continue to grow is vital to the success of your startup.

Suggestions for hiring

You don’t want to wait too long to hire a CFO. If you do, you’ll miss out on the financial expertise they can provide, especially with your strategic planning.

Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to hire a CFO from the top tier. While you want to hire the best, you can find strong financial talent in a number of places. You want someone who can help you with planning, payroll, budgeting, forecasting, investing and raising capital.

 To conclude

If you are starting to realize that you startup might need a CFO, you might be concerned that you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time expert.

For many startups, this is certainly a crucial challenge. If you don’t have the revenue or the funds to justify paying a full-time CFO, you might consider hiring someone part-time.

Additionally, you can get assistance from outside sources. You’ll find help available that can advise you on working with your board and your investors as well as to help you create a financial model and raise equity.

 If you’re ready to get your startup off the ground, we are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. We can help with the money side of your business. Outsource your finances, payroll, HR duties and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

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