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How to incorporate outsourced CFO services into your accounting firm

Posted by Shivali Anand

February 14, 2022    |     3-minute read (486 words)

Your company currently provides virtual accounting services, but you'd like to expand your offerings. Virtual CFO services are one way that you can bring added value to clients while also opening a new income stream for your business. 

According to a report from the Association of International Certified Public Accountants, accounting firms that offer strategic advisory services might see a 50% boost in monthly income.  For businesses of nearly any size, the services of a professional CFO can help drive sustained growth. 

By definition, a virtual CFO is a financial expert (or firm) that business owners hire as a consultant for their company who is available on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on the company’s needs. The outsourced CFO provides financial reports and assists with strategy and planning while working within a set budget.

Among the many services an outsourced CFO can offer are operational optimizations, systems analysis and design, addressing cash flow issues, raising capital, devising pricing strategies and implementing better processes and systems. All of these skills are essential for companies at any stage of growth.

What steps should you take to launch CFO services?

Once you've determined that your accounting firm has the needed expertise to provide outsourced CFO services and that your existing clients are interested, you need to ensure the following three things are in place: 

Your client data is clean: Having clean and correct data is one of the most essential aspects of offering a complex advisory service, including outsourced CFO services. When a new customer seeks such services from your company, you'll be able to quickly clean up their data and bring it to a point where you can confidently give recommendations.

You’ve implemented a consistent month-end closing process: Out-of-date data can be just as detrimental as poor-quality data. Your firm must ensure that you’re providing high-quality data in near real time. This is the only way you can deliver accurate, relevant insights. 

By conducting a rigorous month-end process, meaning closing the books in less than a week, you ensure data is collected in a timely, organized manner. Establish your workflow to discover inefficiencies and trouble spots, and seek out ways, such as through technology, to achieve this faster.

You’ve developed sector expertise: An outsourced CFO's in-depth knowledge from working with similar organizations is a significant aspect of what makes them so valuable. Specializing in a particular vertical, industry or business type can be highly beneficial, especially if you want to grow and concentrate on providing advisory services. 

Focus on learning and understanding best practices and benchmarks within your chosen category, and continue to learn about the typical challenges these businesses face to become an indispensable business partner.

Taking up the role of adviser

Outsourced CFO services are a solid approach to providing your clients with value-added services. However, the role of the CFO necessitates high-quality data, meticulous planning, financial expertise and relevant experience.

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