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The new definition of CFO: Creating Future Opportunities

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The term “CFO level services” is frequently thrown around but it is often left as a vague idea. At the deepest level, CFO level services are meant to help Create Future Opportunities for your clients. We dive into the three steps you can take in order to successfully grow your services and focus on your clients’ futures…

The way accountants work with businesses is changing; it is changing rapidly across the globe. Improvements in technology and in information sharing mean that there is no way for your firm to avoid these changes and remain successful. Each year numerous small businesses close, and the main reason is cash flow, or lack thereof. Business owners are starting to understand that there is an opportunity to gain from the knowledge of finance professionals. And since most businesses already work with an accountant, their accountant is a logical resource for them to turn to.

Business owners say they want CFO level services because they understand that reactive, traditional services do not cut it in today’s business world. But what are CFO level services? CFO level services, at the deepest level, are focused on Creating Future Opportunities for the business. Accountants are now in the perfect position to start taking on a larger role in their SME clients’ future success.

A common definition understands a CFO to be a “Chief Financial Officer,” and while that is correct, it does not explain how accountants can start operating in this way. Most large corporations have internal employees that operate as Controllers and CFOs. A Controller is in charge of managing cost control, monitoring operational efficiency, and providing historical financial information; these services use historical data and are largely reactive to what has happened. A CFO manages cash flow, understands the strengths and weaknesses in the company, monitors financial affairs, and creates business strategies to correct problems; a CFO is truly the key to long-term success in the corporation.

The good news is that most accountants are already operating as a Controller for their small and mid-sized business clients. But these SMEs can benefit from the same levels of proactive monitoring and strategic skills that they would get from a CFO.

Accountants are able to leverage real-time data, which enables them to be flexible, dynamic, and most importantly, proactive. When they act as advisors, they are able to truly make a difference to their clients and Create Future Opportunities...

Read the full article on XU Magazine here!

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