Choosing an Outsourced CFO: How to Find the Right Fit

Choosing an Outsourced CFO: How to Find the Right Fit

In the early days of your startup you might be just fine handling your own basic bookkeeping and expense management or even outsourcing those tasks to a small firm or an individual. But you will reach the point where you both need and want more sophisticated help. Maybe you’re close to getting outside investors or maybe your revenues are growing faster than you projected (congratulations!) and you need to make sure you’re reporting them correctly. Once you’re at this point, you’ll want to put yourself in experienced hands.

Hiring an outsourced CFO is one way to step up your game when it comes to your startup’s financial management, while keeping your cost structure flexible. But it matters a lot who you hire. Here are some suggestions to help you find the right fit:

How to find an outsourced CFO


Interviewing outsourced CFOs: asking the right questions

Outsourced CFOs can offer so much more than just “handling the numbers.” Beyond financial forecasts, budgets, business modeling, financial plans, pricing, revenue recognition strategy, cash management, cash-burn analysis, monthly reports, and M&A support, CFOs can help with investor relations, strategic planning, and so much more.

It will be easier to find the right fit, if you’re clear about what you want and need from the outset — while still being open to listening to CFOs’ suggestions. The key is to find an outsourced CFO that can meet your current needs and grow with you — at least until you reach the point where you’re ready to bring on someone in-house.

Start with these questions:

Your relationship with your outsourced CFOs should be an ongoing open dialogue. Your CFO should be a trusted business partner that helps you with all aspects of your business.

And remember, you don’t outsource to make responsibilities go away, you do it to enable your team’s continued focus on your core skills and chief objective: growing the business.

Are you considering or have you used an outsourced CFO? Share your experience and ask questions in the comments section below or contact Early Growth Financial Services for a free 30-minute financial consultation.

David Ehrenberg is the founder and CEO of Early Growth Financial Services, an outsourced financial services firm that provides early-stage companies with accounting, finance, tax, valuation, and corporate governance services and support. He’s a financial expert and startup mentor, whose passion is helping businesses focus on what they do best. Follow David @EarlyGrowthFS.

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