If you’re just starting out in business, or you’re looking to grow your business, Matthews Steer offers a range of vCFO services you can tailor to your individual needs.
While a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can provide expert advice, financial planning, and strategy and mitigate against the financial risks a business faces, realistically many small, medium sized and even large businesses can’t afford to employ a full time CFO, particularly when they’re just starting out or embarking on a concerted growth strategy.
That’s where a vCFO can offer significant value, taking charge of the financial functions of a company including day-to-day financial operations, advising on structure and strategy, promoting business growth and profitability, upskilling internal personnel, and providing certainty around the numbers, health and future of the business.
A vCFO undertakes the roles and responsibilities of a CFO, but does so externally and on a part-time basis. This provides a business with the benefits of a CFO, without the expense of employing a full-time CFO.
At Matthews Steer we regard our vCFO Melbourne offering as very much a temporary service that our clients can leverage in order to access the advice they need to advance. The end goal is to upskill our clients’ personnel, build capability within their business, adjust the scope of our engagement over the course of our relationship, and ultimately make our role as vCFO redundant.
What sort of businesses should employ a vCFO?
Any business owner seeking clarity around their numbers and certainty around their business model – but who can’t afford a full-time CFO – can benefit from the support of an outsourced CFO. At Matthews Steer our experienced vCFOs don’t simply provide ‘traffic light reporting’ that assesses your key measures as ‘on target, requiring improvement or falling short of target, they impart genuine advice that eliminates ifs and buts and provides you with black and white answers to your business questions, offering certainty around the future potential of your business and helping you to improve the present-day health of your business.
What are vCFO services?
At Matthews Steer we offer four key vCFO functions:
Data integrity: monthly verification of data to ensure informed business decisions.
Financial analysis: evaluation of budgets, projects, performance, and other finance-related transactions to determine their performance and feasibility.
Third party reporting: completing quarterly banking covenants and consolidated reporting.
Board: attending board and committee meetings and reporting on findings.
What does a virtual CFO do?
Some of the specific activities a vCFO might manage include:
⁃ Financial insights and analysis beyond regular compliance.
⁃ Budget vs actual.
⁃ Tax planning.
⁃ Monthly/quarterly ATO compliance.
⁃ Monthly financial planning.
⁃ Management of account ledgers and bookkeeping.
⁃ Strategic planning.
⁃ KPI setting reporting and monitoring.
⁃ Business financial health assessment and monitoring.
⁃ Financial statement preparation.
⁃ Profitability and growth.
⁃ Business advice and decision-making support.
⁃ Identification of business opportunities.
⁃ Business structuring.
⁃ Upskilling of personnel.
At Matthews Steer we take a flexible approach to vCFO support, allowing clients to choose the combination of functions and services that best fit their needs and their existing capability.
How much does a virtual CFO cost?
Because we tailor our vCFO packages to suit our clients’ unique needs, the cost of our vCFO services varies. Before we provide a quote we meet our clients to scope the level of support they require from us and to clearly define our respective responsibilities. Then we provide an up-front quote, based on scope, at a guaranteed fixed-price for 12 months in order to avoid ‘bill shock’.
What is the onboarding process for a vCFO?
We see there being four steps to onboarding a vCFO. First it is critical that we understand each client’s unique needs and the areas in which they will benefit from support. Next we clarify a clear scope around our role and deliverables. Then we identify our expectations of the client and finally we outline our commitment to the client. This way our key monthly and quarterly deliverables are black and white. Everyone knows exactly where they stand: we can hold the client accountable to our expectations, and they can hold us accountable for the deliverables.
How should I work with a vCFO?
This depends on the structure of your business and working style. Regular catch ups with our vCFO clients may be in-person or virtual, monthly or quarterly, depending on clients’ preferences. There is also the scope for ad-hoc meetings. While our service offering is highly structured, we are flexible in what we deliver and how we deliver it according to our clients’ needs and the scope of deliverables. Over time our services are also adjustable to accommodate growing or diminishing needs.
How long should I employ a vCFO for?
Education and upskilling is a key component of Matthews Steer’s vCFO service. Our aim is to provide structure and guidance for between six and 18 months, equipping your own people with the knowledge and skills to perform the functions of a CFO beyond our tenure. We generally find that once a client’s has appropriate financial systems and processes in place, we can take a step back or refocus our support to an analysis or advisory service.
What are vCFO benefits?
The best vCFO services will share your passion for your business, acting as an extension of your business. Matthews Steer vCFOs take the time to embed themselves within your business, understanding every facet of your operation. The numbers are a result of multiple decisions made within the business. Frequently the conversations we have during our vCFO onboarding period start as financial conversations but digress to operational conversations, focusing on decisions made that had nothing to do with numbers, but impacted the numbers. Our relationship with our clients extends far beyond their finances, touching on personnel, operations and client relations.
Whether you’re looking for someone to look at your business with a fresh lens, provide clarity around your business finances and performance, you’re looking for a sounding board to help you validate your thinking, or strategic support to help you establish your business, up-scale, expand interstate or internationally or prepare your business for investment or sale, a vCFO can be a cost-effective and hugely beneficial asset.
At Matthews Steer we provide tailored financial management solutions for startups and established businesses designed to help our clients grow their businesses and realise their vision. Talk to us about how our specialist vCFO services can take care of your financial operation, leaving you to focus on your business.
If you would like to learn more about how Matthews Steer’s vCFO services can support you and your business, please contact Nidal Mazloum on 03 9325 6300.