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5 signs it’s time to hire a virtual CFO

Your company is growing and you’ve never been busier.  Sales are up, new customers are coming on board and you’re hiring like crazy.  Your problem is cash… it just doesn’t seem to be at the levels you expect given your success.  And you are spending way too much time on things that really aren’t growing your company.  Like accounting.

I work with a lot of entrepreneurs.  They are mostly salespeople and inventors – not accountants.  They understand the importance of cash and have built successful businesses with an intuitive feel for how to generate cash.  At some point, however, a business grows beyond intuition.  It needs financial processes and systems to thrive.  Here are 5 signs your business may have reached that point.

Not getting the financial information you need.

Many startups use QuickBooks.  It’s a wonderful tool for companies just starting out.  It’s usually set up by a tax accountant to help him or her prepare tax returns.  The problem is getting good data into QuickBooks and getting meaningful data out of it.  It should not be as difficult as it is now to get financial information you need to run your business.  As you grow you’ll have more transactions and complexity in your accounting.  How do you parse through what is important to you and what isn’t?

Never seem to have enough cash

This is the #1 issue with our new clients.  They have a good feel for when their cash balances will grow and sink but they are not tracking cash regularly enough.  They’d love to have more predictability and stability in their cash flow so they can make more confident decisions.  They also want to have access to capital – something to cushion the ups and downs.

You want a financial plan to follow

It’s a proven fact: businesses that plan perform better.  You understand the importance of creating a financial plan, however, when would you ever find the time to do it?  Once it is done, how will you track and measure performance against it?

You need a financial “sounding board”

Every now and then it would be great to speak to someone about your business.  Sure, you have friends, advisors and mentors that love to help you out.  But sometimes you need to get into the details about things that are important to you: how much should I be paying someone? What should new product pricing be? What are the risks to my business that could put us out of business?

You want to spend more time working on your business, not in your business

Many business owners I speak with spend far too much time working in their business, especially on their books.  He or she wants to see things a certain way, and the bookkeeper doesn’t seem capable of getting the books where they need to be.  So the owner steps in, spending valuable time getting financial information when she could be building the business.

If any or all of these reasons sound like you, it may be time to consider hiring a Virtual CFO.  This is a person who will “rent” you their financial and accounting expertise, knowledge and systems.  It’s a cost effective way to free up your time to focus on growth.