What is a Virtual CFO and Does Your Business Need One?

Many businesses are benefiting from having a part time or ‘virtual’ Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on hand to help manage the financial side of their operations. Tom Beswick, Director of Ingham Mora offers Virtual CFO services – this means he provides part-time CFO level support to a range of clients.

NZ has thousands of small businesses that could never justify the cost of a full-time Chief Financial Officer. So it often falls to you, the business owner, to manage the financial side of the business yourself. As the business grows this can be harder to keep up with. Xero has made ‘doing it yourself’ easier – however the DIY mindset comes with risk of not getting proper advice when you need it. Financial planning often goes into the ‘too hard’ basket meaning many businesses end up ‘flying blind’ without targets to aim for.

You’re the expert when it comes to your business. While you can manage your figures, there are many much more pressing jobs on your ‘to do’ list. A virtual CFO is there to ask you the tough questions about your business. Don’t forget the value in working with someone who is a specialist and has done this for other businesses in the same industry and/or size.

As a Virtual CFO Tom has live access to your financial info using Xero. He will look behind the numbers and make sure you understand your business’ financial information. His focus is strategising and management support: setting targets and helping you to understand the financial side of your business. His clients get the expertise of a CFO for a fraction of the cost.

Tom firmly believes accountants need to stop looking backwards and start looking to the future. This means having more regular interaction with clients to provide their businesses with more value - a once a year meeting is no longer enough. The best conversations with clients have an equal focus on the past, present and the future. So if your accountant is only talking to you at tax time then please read on. 

Virtual CFO services can include: 

  • Regular reporting to analyse performance against your plans (monthly or quarterly).

  • Cash flow forecasting to ensure the business doesn’t run out of cash. Businesses don’t go broke slowly and cash flow needs constant vigilance.

  • Budgeting – all too often an afterthought for most small to medium sized businesses but a vital tool in keeping the business on track.

  • Goal setting to agree on key performance indicators (whether financial or not).

  • Strategic Planning to agree budgets three years out and plan accordingly.

  • Specialist Tax planning & advice to ensure that you minimise your tax obligations and can pay provisional and terminal tax when it falls due.

  • Business cases with forecasts to support applications for bank lending.

  • Supervision of your bookkeeping or accounts function.

  • Advisory board membership to support management at board meetings. 

  • Accounting & tax compliance – the normal bread and butter work for accountants (your business’ annual financial statements, tax returns and tax management).

  • GST / PAYE / FBT returns – regular reviews of your indirect tax returns. The IRD is increasing its audit activity and having returns reviewed could save money and stress. 

Is it worth it?

In short, yes! There’s a whole host of benefits to having a virtual CFO. Take a look below at some key reasons to consider bringing one on board for your business:

  • It’s affordable. You can contact Tom as often or as little as you want. Utilising Xero and related Apps keeps costs more manageable than ever. We offer fixed price options for further peace of mind. Fees can start from as little as $250 plus GST per month for a wide range of services. See our Pricing page for further information.

  • You get the benefit of a specialist who is familiar with your business and is always available to provide support, for a fraction of the price of other options.

  • Tom brings experience from a number of different industries which he uses to provide valuable insights and save you time. He services SME’s in the Tauranga area. 

  • Cloud-based data storage is secure and instantly accessible making for quick, precise, real-time support. 

If you are interested in having a chat with Tom please call him on 07 927 1166 or email tom@inghammora.co.nz. We offer your first meeting free of charge, so there’s no pressure to make a decision on whether your business could benefit from bringing a virtual CFO on board. Tom is more than happy to come to your place of business if you prefer.