The Definition of Success – Having to Hire a CFO to Manage Finances

A small business owner is usually a lone entrepreneur who starts a company on a dream, sweat, tears and hard found money. Then it takes a dream, sweat and tears to use that hard found money to invest in the business and make it turn a profit. Once the business finds some equilibrium and starts making money, this may be the time for the business owner to examine the complexities of success. It is probably time to seek small business financial help by hiring a CFO or a Chief Financial Officer.

Once a small business passes over the threshold of making money, becoming successful and sustaining a position in the black, it is time to turn over the financials to a professional who can handle all revenue and expenses and provide accurate and timely taxes to the IRS, get bills paid on time and prepare budgets and business plans. By this time, it is important for the business owner to focus on marketing for more business and it is the CFO’s responsibility to keep an eye on cash flow, profits and expenditures. Meanwhile, the CFO can assist the CEO in tracking investments so that the return is profitable. And what about financial statements? In many cases, the CEO is happy that at last, someone else will take care of a daunting task.

Reporting and paying taxes is crucial to small business financial help from a CFO who monitors and manages a company’s finances. Having accurate and timely financial and accounting information facilitates making better management decisions for expansion, obtaining loans, forecasting profitable growth and keeping the company in check.

Can a small business afford to pay a full time CFO? In most cases, the answer is no. CFOs are generously rewarded for their expertise and hard work and the salary reflects their qualifications and capabilities. But there are CFOs that act as a contractor/consultant on a part time basis. Instead of reporting to the office every day, a part time CFO will provide reports, statements and monitor the company’s fiscal health a few days a week or a few weeks a month.

When small business financial help comes in the form of a CFO, think of it as a gift rather than an expense. A CFO brings a level of achievement to move your company from one level to the next one. Along with the CFO’s cache, a high level of integrity, confidentiality and great service will navigate your company to success. The CFO understands how to guide your company through the financial and administrative maze for making educated and informed decisions.

It is the CFO who can help steer the business through any financial crisis. It is the CFO who sounds a warning when there is the slightest hint of a treacherous iceberg blocking the path of success and profitability. When hiring a CFO, the business owner must place all trust in the hands of an expert to achieve internal operating goals, maintain business integrity, making it work.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3315646

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.

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Part Time CFO And Controller Services – 5 Ways Outsourcing Can Change Your Business

By Terry L Mickelson

Small companies often face similar financial challenges to those of larger companies. Many reach a point in company growth where the expertise of a financial professional is needed, but are unable to afford a full-time CFO. With a part-time CFO, you receive the benefits of financial help at a much smaller financial commitment than hiring another full-time employee. Along with saving both time and money, you’ll be able to focus on where your company needs you most. A part-time CFO can help you:

1. Receive accurate financial information. Many companies’ financial statements are filled with incomplete or inaccurate data, making it almost impossible for business owners to choose right for their business. A part-time CFO uses up-to-date accounting standards, giving you the key profitability information needed to make vital decisions for your business.

2. Spend more time with customers. Spending time with current and future customers is not just a luxury; it is essential for a profitable business. If you are not spending time with your customers now, then your competition is. By taking care of HR functions and accounting; a part-time CFO can free needed time so you can focus more on your customers and growing your business.

3. Get more money from banks or vendors. Banks and vendors are looking for financial statements that follow correct accounting standards, look professional and highlight key information. Create the professional financial statements you need to improve your company image and receive better terms with banks and vendors.

4. Discourage employee dishonesty. Many business owners have been shocked to learn how much stealing can go on within a company. There are many different types of theft such as; theft of money, customer lists, inventory and more. A part-time CFO can help discourage theft by establishing control and keeping you more aware of what going on inside your company.

5. Manage your cash flow properly. Lack of planning can often cause unpleasant cash flow surprises. Don’t address only the ‘squeaky wheel’, or let your company only ‘exist’ from month to month. By correct planning, using cash flow management solutions and securing needed financing, many cash flow issues can be reduced or even eliminated.

All companies face large challenges, but with the help of a part-time CFO big obstacles such as getting more money from banks and receiving accurate company data can be simplified and handled properly. By aiding in better cash flow management, discouraging employee dishonesty and freeing more time to spend with customers; CFO services can help your company succeed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1678331
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

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The Fractional CFO Concept

The idea of fractional or part time use of a valuable resource has been around since the 1960s. It was pioneered by the vacation real estate industry when a French ski resort owner recognized few people could afford, let alone needed a resort condominium for all 52 weeks of the year. He addressed this challenge by dividing every room into 52 separate units of time.

Using the slogan “stop renting a room, buy the hotel” he launched a worldwide marketing phenomenon we now know as the time-share industry. Units were sold to different owners, each of whom purchased the full use and enjoyment of the week that best suited their schedule, and at an affordable price. If a buyer needed more than one week a year, they bought as many units as they wanted. And while other “bells and whistles” have been added through the years, over 4 million American families now own at least one vacation timeshare.

The concept of a fractional CFO is no different. Most business leaders recognize the need for trained, experienced financial expertise on their management team. Many simply do not need a full time CFO. Therefore, they cannot cost justify the investment of a full time salary. Even if an owner or manager has the required skill sets, a professional CFO can likely generate a superior work product in less time. This in turn frees up the most valuable and scarcest resource of all, TIME!

No successful entrepreneur ever launched a business with the intent of spending all day analyzing balance sheets, determining marginal profit contribution, dealing with bankers and tax accountants or addressing regulatory inquires. They launch businesses to exploit competitive advantage in their chosen field by servicing customer needs. Any time spent “working on the books” is time away from their real mission and a costly distraction from their value proposition.

Retaining a fractional or part-time CFO or Controller presents a cost effective solution customized to a business’ exact needs, budget and life cycle. The key to a successful fractional CFO relationship is to design and staff that engagement with a professional who will understand your business and address your financial needs. They must also become an integral (if part-time) member of your management team. Your fractional CFO should meet with you to tailor an affordable program to address your specific business needs. Together, you will establish a regular schedule of dedicated time to service those needs. That schedule can vary from just a few hours per month to several days per week, and can be adjusted as future needs require. You the client can typically terminate your fractional CFO at any time and for any reason without incurring additional costs, just as you would if you had hired a full time employee.

Frequently Asked Questions
•What exactly does a CFO do, and how does that change if I use a fractional CFO?
The chief financial officer or CFO is the person primarily responsible for managing the overall financial operations of an organization. This position is responsible for planning, cash flow management, record keeping, financial reporting, etc. The only difference between a traditional CFO and a fractional CFO is the nature of their relationship to the business. While a CFO is full time officer and employee, a fractional CFO is a part-time, independent contractor. However, their duties and responsibilities are virtually identical.

•Will I retain a fractional CFO for a one-time assignment, or will they continue to provide on-going services?
Occasionally, a client will request that that their fractional CFO provides services for a one-time, special project. The CFO will likely endeavor to accommodate all client needs. However, their primary focus will be on providing on-going fractional CFO services, including the development, implementation and monitoring of a long-term business plan. While the time allotted to this process can be adjusted and even reduced as initial objectives are met over time, it is a continuous process that typically requires some effort at least monthly.

•How much should I expect to pay for my fractional CFO?
The cost of fractional CFO services are primarily determined by only two things, the number of hours spent on an account, and the billing rate of individuals providing client services. Barring temporary or emergency situations, a reputable fractional CFO firm will endeavor to staff assignments using associates with skill sets and experience appropriate to your needs. Ultimately, they will provide the level of service you determine based on your needs and within a budget determined by you. Your schedule can vary from just a few hours per month to several days per week, and can be adjusted as future needs require. Typical clients should expect to spend from $500 to several thousand dollars, per month, depending on their needs.

———————

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

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9 Benefits of Companies Outsourcing Their CFO and Controller Tasks

All businesses need financial consulting, however not every business can afford to hire a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or a Controller. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly turning to expert outsourced CFO services. Here’s how an outsourced financial consultant can benefit your company:

1. Cost Reduction
Outsourcing a qualified accounting professional to handle your CFO services can help your company save a lot of money. You’ll be getting expert services without having to add additional personnel and technological resources. This can help reduce your company’s overall operation costs.

2. Quality of Services
With an outsourced CFO, you can be assured of quality services because he is a professional who has worked with different industries, and understands what works across the board.

3. Allows Better Focus
It’s very important for businesses, especially small ones, to concentrate on their core competency, and let professionals handle what they don’t understand. If dealing with the financial aspect of your business isn’t your specialty, outsourcing CFO services can help to concentrate more on what you know best.

4. Overall Efficiency
When it comes to meeting deadlines, as well as other requirements of different projects, an outsourced CFO is generally more efficient compared to a hired one. This is because he has experience with almost all financial situations, and you can only expect the best from him or her.

5. Assistance in Getting Financing
Bookkeepers do a wonderful job, but it’s usually an outsourced Chief Financial Officer, who has to present suitable financial statements to a lending body for financial approval. With his or her experience, the CFO will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your company’s income statement and balance sheet, and can equip you with the financial information that the bank may need. Many times, such CFOs will introduce your company to banking sources that match its lending requirements, and thereafter, assist you throughout the financing process.

6. Developing Budgets
Every business, regardless of size requires a revenue and expense management plan in order to successfully grow. An outsourced CFO can help you as the business owner to develop a model that demonstrates what needs to be done to attain a desired gross or net profit, or meet a sales goal. Every company owner can attest to the fact that without a budget, it’s difficult to run the business efficiently, leave alone managing it to become profitable. Therefore, the CFO can work with you to come up with plans that can help you identify the sales level that should be reached to attain break-even profitability, or know when it’s sensible to hire additional employees.

7. Managing Cash
Small companies would love to be able to have sufficient cash to run their everyday operations, however, most of them lack the tool to help them forecast their liquidity needs. When you outsource a CFO, he or she can build a model that forecasts your cash-flow requirements both in the short and long term. In addition, he’ll be able to help your company in prioritizing its cash-flow needs.

8. Assist in Complying with Tax Regulations
Several business owners usually disregard the consequences of failing to pay taxes to the federal and local government on time and in full. In addition, they pay the wrong amount of taxes because of wrongly entered transactions in the ledger. Accurate tax returns can’t be prepared without proper financial statements. Outsourcing CFOs can come in very handy for such businesses because they’ll ensure that financial statements are prepared accurately, and in a timely manner. Consequently, they’ll be able to assist you in navigating and complying with various tax regulations.

9. Upgrading Accounting Software
An outsourced CFO is familiar with a huge variety of software packages. As a result, he can weigh the gains of getting more powerful accounting software against the package’s cost, in order to know if the purchase makes sense. However, that basic software you have in your office may not suit every business type; certain companies for instance, those that deal with manufacturing, have significant inventory management requirements, and need more sophisticated software. An outsourced CFO can offer you very valuable advice regarding which accounting software is right for your business.

As you’ve seen above, companies have a lot to gain from outsourcing CFO services, such as cost reduction, efficient services and cash management. Besides, you’ll get more time to concentrate in the day-to-day running of your business.

———————

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

imagesRMWHBYUM

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Does Your Small Business Need an Outsourced Financial Controller?

By Tim Garrison

Many small business owners launch their business to follow a passion, whether that passion is writing, programming, Web design, art, sound & video, or any number of other industries. Your business begins to grow by word-of-mouth and soon, you’re hiring employees or independent contractors to take over part of your responsibilities rather than doing it all yourself.

Somewhere along the line, you grow large enough to hire a small business bookkeeper. Until now, you’ve managed your books yourself, either through QuickBooks or another bookkeeping software, or some system that you’ve devised yourself. Now, you’ve just gotten too big for this system to work anymore.

You hire a bookkeeper who understands financial accounting software and can manage your books on a full-time or part-time basis. This person could be an in-house employee, or maybe a local contractor. Or maybe you’re one of the growing number of smart business owners who hires an outsourced bookkeeper based in the U.S. who works virtually and communicates with you via phone and email.

Things go along well, but now that you’re not doing your own books anymore, you feel a bit out of touch with your company’s broad financial picture. Your bookkeeper can send you the reports and spreadsheets, but it doesn’t always make sense. You need someone to interpret all those numbers in boxes for you. Most importantly, you’ve grown large enough that you need a trusted financial advisor with the knowledge to help you make the best decisions for your rapidly growing business.

If you know anything about financial controllership, you might think a full-time financial controller comes with a 6-figure salary. And you’re probably right. Your business doesn’t have the budget for that — and it’s not what you need anyway.

You just need someone on a part-time basis to review your books with you monthly, provide checks-and-balances for your in-house or outsourced bookkeeper, and help you with financial planning and budgeting on a monthly or quarterly basis. If you think you can’t afford a financial controller, think again. Outsourced controllership services are less expensive than you may think, and will save your business money in the long run with better financial planning.

You may be concerned that, by hiring an outsourced controller, you’ll be giving up “control” of your company. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A financial controller provides you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your company — but all decisions remain yours. A financial controller doesn’t “control” your business. As a trusted advisor, he gives you the information you need to be more in control of your company.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7114727

———————

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

imagesRMWHBYUM

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Are You Running Your Business Without a CFO? Seriously?


By Jon C Daiker

The role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) -and the structure in which CFOs operate-varies significantly across organizations. Market complexity, revenue sources and budget size are important factors that drive how the CFO role is configured-and how the role evolves over time.

The past decade has seen dramatic changes to the role of CFO – an evolution from a “bean counter” who reported the numbers and controlled over-all costs to a dynamic, strategic member of the management team. The responsibilities of today’s CFO have gone well beyond the finance function as more time is expended on strategy and operating issues and less on budgeting and accounting. Increasing business pressures, government regulatory intervention, the tight economy and a need to measure the operating performance of a company in order to stay ahead of the competition has transformed the “green eye-shaded” CFO into a key business partner of the CEO.

An interim CFO can fulfill a vital role in keeping a company on track, both in terms of day-to-day operations as well as longer term strategic objectives during these transitions. According to The CFO Expert, Samuel Dergel, even if a company is truly serious about hiring their next CFO and makes the search a priority, it could take up to 3 months to complete the search. “Can a company afford to leave this position unfilled for up to 3 months or more”?

In order to answer that question, let’s look at some of the responsibilities of the CFO on which organizations have become very dependent.

Cash flow is of utmost importance for all companies, and a tight economy really exacerbates managing the cash flow situation. To be successful, today’s CFO needs to manage both sides of the balance sheet.

On the asset side, managing the company’s accounts receivable balance becomes critical. How many days’ sales are outstanding compared to a year ago, compared to industry standards, compared to the company’s best ever? Has the company’s aging deteriorated? What can be done to accelerate collection? How much will it cost? What has been written off and why? Does the credit extension policy need revision in light of economic conditions? No business can afford to lose sight of any credit extension factors and the collection of outstanding accounts receivable balances. Who is the key to all this? —-the CFO and the financial staff.

Again, on the asset side of the balance sheet, a potentially huge use of cash that needs to be managed is inventory level. In a tight economy, consumer spending habits change. In response, production output probably needs to be reduced. However, cutback production too far and sales may be missed. A lot of analytical work needs to be done by the CFO and the financial staff to understand which SKUs are moving on a regular basis and which ones have started to stagnate. If production is cut, what facility is most efficient and has the capacity to meet new needs? What are the economics of the labor agreements in the plants where downsizing would occur? No business can afford to lose sales, build inventories without demand or make bad decisions on plant cutbacks. Who is the key to all this? —- the CFO and the financial staff.

One last area of concern on the asset side of the balance sheet is capital improvements. Even in good economic conditions, capital investment decisions are somewhat subjective. There are always a lot of assumptions that need to be made and challenged. A tight economic environment only intensifies the decision making process. And when funds requested are for an intangible like software, assumptions are difficult to challenge and evaluate. No business can afford to forego ROI and Payback analysis at any time, let alone in a tight economy. Who is the key to all this? —- the CFO and the financial staff.

Turning to the right side of the balance sheet, accounts payable and accrued expenses can be an important source of funds from a cash flow perspective and require more scrutiny and management in tough economic times. Understanding vendor agreements and negotiating better terms are responsibilities of the CFO and the financial staff. No business can afford to leave a stone unturned if the goal is to maximize cash flow and minimize borrowing. Who is the key to all this? —- I think you know the answer!

One of the CFO’s primary responsibilities in all economic environments is ensuring there are adequate funds available through loans, lines of credit or equity. These agreements require continual monitoring to avoid default. Also, determining if market conditions are right for a refinance or equity offering are equally important. No business can afford to default – the market waits for no one, so be ready to refinance when appropriate. You know who is the key to these transactions.

The tactical responsibilities detailed above all support the day to day activities of cash flow management which by itself is a full time job. And that is before the control and reporting aspects of the CFO’s responsibilities are considered. When you add all the regulatory responsibilities that are now part of the CFO’s portfolio, the CFO is truly moving from “bean counter” to “jack of all trades”.

The CFO’s responsibilities go well beyond finance into balancing compliance and risk management with overall business performance. A CEO needs the CFO to take a leading role in shaping strategy that drives bottom line results while managing risk. Market conditions are continually changing and the CFO needs to recognize change as it relates both to control as well as business performance.

The executive team needs to seize opportunities as they arise. Understanding and monitoring evolving business drivers and developing models that portray the “what ifs” of new market conditions requires diligence as well as consistency. Management needs to know the deeper sense of how business will be affected by various scenarios. The CEO is no longer relying on marketing and business development to make these decisions without having applied the financial analysis tools of the CFO and the financial staff. No business can afford to approach these scenarios in a haphazard way, as a wrong turn could cost the company millions of dollars and a potential loss of market share. Who is better equipped to address these issues?

Increased business pressure and the tightening of purse strings are causing the CFO and CIO to work more closely together to leverage technology to cut costs and improve processes. The need for real-time operational and financial data and analyses is being demanded by management and the need to respond to the fast pace of today’s market conditions. Processes need to be streamlined to adapt to the ever-changing business and market demands to meet key business goals and improve the bottom line. Again, these decisions are more subjective and can negatively impact the bottom line if the appropriate analysis and due diligence are not performed. Here, again, you can’t afford to proceed down the process improvement path through technology improvements without the scrutiny and challenge of the CFO and the financial team.

With the changing focus of the CFO’s responsibilities and financial management in general, the CFO is becoming a strong business leader. More involved with the evolution of the company’s culture, concerned with the development and mentoring of the financial team, the CFO must now instill financial acuity into the whole organization. Assisting the CEO and other key management personnel with talent management is only the tip of the iceberg. Today’s CFO must instill a sense of confidence and credibility with all stakeholders….employees, customers, partners, business analysts, and shareholders.

The CFO’s role is no longer one just of stewardship, statistician and historian. The narrow purview of years past of reporting, compliance and controls, while still part the CFO’s responsibilities, has evolved into strategist, visionary, technology leader and communicator. The CFO role has become the glue that holds everything together and moves the organization forward—balancing compliance and risk management with business performance goals. CFOs have emerged as the key business partner to the CEO. CFOs require an understanding of the company’s markets and the evolving business drivers, as well as broad knowledge of the organization and the relationships between functions. And CFOs require the communication skills to recognize the concerns of all stakeholders and assure them that the accountability and integrity of the company and its management is not being compromised. A business that wants to become or remain a market leader and create value for the shareholders/owners cannot afford to be without the strong business leadership of the CFO for any period of time, including the candidate search window, without jeopardizing the company’s performance. That is why an experienced Interim CFO can add value in a time of change, provide steady and seasoned direction in a turbulent business situation, and continuity and counsel to the CEO, executive team and eventually to the new CFO. Every business of substance could use some CFO assistance whether it’s full-time, part-time, or on an interim basis.

———————

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

imagesRMWHBYUM

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Outsourced CFOs are Smart for Business


By Mark Ferguson 

Running a business takes many skills sets, and business owners, eager to keep costs in check, try to do it all. From hiring decisions to compiling financial statements, owners spread themselves thin running from task to task.

The upside? There’s no large salary tied to people holding specialized positions. The downside? Each task gets but a fraction of the time it deserves – and requires.

According to the Harvard Business Review, outsourcing is one of the most important management ideas and practices of the last 75 years. Companies using outsourcing cite innovation as their number one reason for bringing in a fresh perspective to key company functions. Business owners and executives say they derive these four benefits from outsourcing:
1. Outsourcing allows companies to focus on what they do best – their own core competencies.
2. Companies achieve greater efficiencies without adding people or technological resources.
3. Outside expertise helps companies become more profitable, thereby increasing company or shareholder value.
4. Outsourcing offers increased service levels within company functions.

One of the most critical functions in a company – especially one transitioning through one of the growth phases – is that of the financial officer. A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) typically focuses on how efficiently a business is operating. While some business owners view this function as a reporting function – one where the CFO merely is a score keeper of how well the business already has performed, that’s just where CFO duties begin.

A CFO takes the historical financial data (also known as financial statements and other typical recording reports), combines that information with operating practices, and analyzes areas where the company could – and should – make changes that affect profitability, productivity and efficiency. The CFO with top-notch business sense can dramatically impact a company’s bottom line.

Companies nearing the half million up to the $5 million revenue mark often find they can benefit from the services of a seasoned CFO, but can’t – or don’t want to – afford the $200,000+ these professionals typically demand for a salary. Some business owners, realizing that they do not have the resources to hire a full-time CFO, simply accept this and vow to grow their businesses so they can hire a CFO in the future. Smart business owners recognize that if they want to reap the benefits of an experienced, results-producing CFO, they must look for a more creative way to do it.

These smart entrepreneurs regularly make outsourcing work for them. They understand the importance of leveraging their money while obtaining critical tools for success. Many times, the cost savings accompanying qualified CFOs makes the decision that much easier.

Outsourced CFOs sell their time by the hour or on a monthly basis -four to eight hours a month, for example, at an agreed-upon fee. CFOs can isolate areas of concern that the business’s accountant wouldn’t (and possibly couldn’t) detect until tax time. Even the closest accounting advisor isn’t privy to day-to-day business practices.

CFOs can have a positive affect on the outcome of major business decisions. For instance, companies facing reorganizations or mergers need to have access to real numbers associated with these events. They also need to know how to leverage available resources with company debt. Skilled CFOs handle these issues regularly and can bring much-needed expertise to company owners and executives as they make short- and long-term decisions.

Other areas offer opportunities as well. Purchasing agreements sometimes can hurt the well-intentioned company manager. If a company makes larger purchases because of negotiated lower prices on products and the trade off is a shorter pay schedule, CFOs can isolate this scenario as the key reason why a company could constantly be in a cash crunch.

Finding a qualified CFO may be as far away as a phone call to your CPA or accountant who offers outsourcing as a credible service component for companies like yours. Today, some firms offer the services of experienced CFOs who have retired and now work as temporary workers – much like you would hire a secretary on an as needed basis. Whichever route you take, financial matters aren’t the only areas where an outsourced CFO can lend advice. CFOs can help your business in several critical areas including:
· choosing appropriate accounting software,
· deciding whether leasing or buying equipment is best,
· how to compensate company officers,
· how to handle company collections,
· how to handle cash flow and how to balance company debt with receivables, and
· how systems can be improved to improve productivity.

While hiring a CFO for a short amount of time may get you past a cash flow crunch, help secure a much-needed loan or initiate systems that increase productivity, experts agree that to get the most out of your investment, you should commit to your outsourced CFO arrangement for at least a year. An experienced CFO often can impact your business in less time than an average work day or approximately eight hours.

If you are a business owner currently functioning as CFO, think of all the things you can do with your leveraged time.
· Spend time with valued customers to ensure their continued business.
· Attract and win new business.
· Develop new products or services.
· Work on operational or financial projects to make your business more profitable or accelerate its progress toward your growth goals.

Bottom line: the choice to outsource comes down to dollars and sense. When companies add a CFO’s salary to a benefits package complete with annual bonuses, the price tag is high. And, not all CFOs are equal- navigating the maze of available CFOs can leave you dazed and confused. Keep in mind that CFOs possessing business performance management knowledge add an extra dimension that positively affects other areas of your company, including productivity, operating efficiencies and internal systems.

It takes time to make the decision to outsource a critical management position. Aligning company growth goals with the operating budget, and comparing that to the benefits an outsourced CFO can bring to the picture, enables you to determine if outsourcing is right for your company. If you still aren’t sure, call your accounting business advisor to discuss the pros and cons of this type of arrangement.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mark_Ferguson/43797

DeSmidt Consulting, Inc.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of Accounting, Cost Accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons.

Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

View our testimonials < www.desmidtconsulting.com/testimonials.html

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits of our CFO and Controller Services.

Retain A Part Time CFO – Reach Your Business Potential

Business meeting

By Sara Johnston

Often small businesses are confused when deciding which is best for their company; an accountant, a bookkeeper, a CFO, etc. For most small to mid sized companies, the best choice is a part time CFO. You can benefit from all the experience of a CFO, without the commitment and added cost of hiring a full-time senior staff. Using a variety of financial planning tools they help map out a company’s future, on an affordable, as need basis. Choosing to hire a part time CFO can greatly benefit your company in many ways, such as:

1. Many are seasoned professionals with at least 20 yrs of experience in accounting and finance. They have overcome and learned from numerous challenges, have already experienced most problems your company faces and know how to help you run your business successfully. With a part time CFO, plans and strategies can also be tested in financial models before you risk implementing them in your company.

2. Using strategic, insightful solutions, they work as a member of your team to help you reach your company’s financial goals. They provide financial management at a significantly lower cost than hiring an in-house senior staff and should be seen not as an additional cost, but as a way to boost profits.

3. With accurate financial statements, a part time CFO helps empower business owners to better achieve their goals and control the direction their company is moving. By clarifying and enhancing your financial situation you will be able to see exactly where you are now and decide on future steps needed. You’ll be able to move forward confidently in the direction you want with a strong foundation under you, and anticipate company needs before future events occur.

4. Having accurate financial statements is critical when trying to obtain necessary cash from banks or other financial institutions. A part time CFO can help create financial statements that will help you feel more confident in your control over your business. When a lender sees the owner knows exactly what is happening, they will have confidence in that business and be more apt to provide the working capital needed.

Experienced and thorough financial management is vital to building a successful business. Part time CFOs are skilled at enhancing and assessing your financial situation and offer advanced, affordable expertise. By working as a member of your team, they offer strategic solutions to help you move in the right direction for your growing business and achieve long-term goals, with lasting results.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sara_Johnston/137485
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

imagesRMWHBYUM

dyn gp

What Part Time CFO Services Can Do for Your Company

By 

Money can be considered the blood of a business. It enables all the  departments to function to let the business survive. Money is needed to  establish a business and gaining more of it is why a business is put up. Keeping  track of the financial processes in a business is an essential and challenging  task. Accuracy and promptness is needed. For your business, you can get part  time CFO services.

A chief financial officer, or CFO, is responsible for facilitating the  financial processes of a company. This may include financial risks,  record-keeping, reporting, financial planning, and others. The officer may also  be responsible for data analysis. Today, CFOs can function in the area of  business strategizing. They can also be advisors to the CEOs. A chief financial  officer plays a big role in the development of a company.

Every corporation, no matter the nature of their business, can greatly  benefit from having a chief financial officer. A company can even get part time  CFO services, so that at least someone is managing the finances for the  meantime. Part time CFO services can help a company function properly while it  looks for the right person to become the chief financial officer. These services  are especially helpful for large corporations that need immediate  assistance.

If your business is in need of a chief financial officer, but you have not  yet found a qualified candidate yet, an interim or temporary CFO can help you.  Interim officers from CFO services are experienced, so they do not need a long  period to become familiar with the dynamics in your company. You may no longer  need to do thorough training, which can be time-consuming. This is good if you  urgently need a CFO.When you get CFO services, they make sure to place the best  officer for your company, based on the nature and conditions of your business,  and the capabilities of the CFO. These part time chief financial officers have  experience in many industries. Among these industries are construction,  manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and food and beverages. CFO services can help  companies that range from small to multinational.

Another benefit in getting a part time CFO for your company is that you may  not be limited to a contract. You can work with a temporary officer while  searching for a full time one. A company can also hire an interim CFO on a  long-term basis, if that is what it needs. These CFOs can help improve the  skills of your finance department. They can help business leaders come up with  strategies and make critical decisions. With this, you have assistance in  achieving your goals.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6694128

Ask us for help – this is what we do.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com to learn more about our business.

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-938-3608

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA