Financial Controller vs. Part-Time CFO for Small Business

Posted on: April 25th, 2016
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Managing the finances of a small business can be, and often is, a full-time job. For many companies, hiring a full-time, qualified Controller can help alleviate many of the pressures placed on CEOs and other C-level executives. But is that always the best solution? What if there was a more strategic, more cost-effective way to resolve accounting challenges while helping your business reach and surpass goals? Outsourced controller services, or a part-time CFO, could be the answer for your small business.

Accounting for Benefits: Controller vs. Part-Time CFO

Reporting
While a Controller will produce accurate reports, a CFO will be able to go beyond that point and provide analysis, proactive thought, and offer creative ideas.

C-Level Liaison
With a CFO on board, questions from the CEO can become more strategic, with the CFO being able to contribute in a valuable way to those discussions. A CFO also takes action proactively with regards to staff and technology, knowing how critical these components are to ensuring consistency in processes and reliability of financial information.

Big Picture Thinking
Many times, a Controller will chase down smaller items yet can often overlook or avoid bigger issues. A qualified CFO embraces change, tackles the strategic issues head on, and dives into the details only when necessary to produce a certain outcome.

Proactive Tax Strategy
A Controller will tell you the taxes you owe as they become due for payment, while a CFO will keep a running estimate of your taxable income and tax due so you can plan for this in advance.

Future Planning
A Controller will tell you when you are out of cash or unable to make payroll. A CFO will warn you 90 days in advance that you are trending this direction and recommend solutions you can make today to alter the course.

Oftentimes, a qualified, full-time financial Controller can cost between $80,000 and $140,000 including benefits, etc. With a solid accounting staff in place, a part time CFO can be a more efficient use of funds while, simultaneously, providing another layer of internal controls, objective opinion, and strategic financial support to a growing organization.

Is a part-time CFO the solution for your business? Contact us today for your consultation.

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