What Makes a Great Virtual CFO? 6 Qualities to Look for When Hiring
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As the talent squeeze tightens, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to fill their financial positions. Research has revealed that firms in 2019 listed finding finance professionals as one of their top challenges.
Fortunately, if you are looking for a virtual CFO, you may find the pickings are a bit better and there is more competition for your business. However, this doesn’t mean that you should hire the first virtual CFO you find.
CFOs and their services can have a significant impact on a business. From tax and payroll compliance to accurate reporting, forecasting, and advice, reliable CFO services are pivotal to the success of your business and your peace of mind.
Fortunately, once you know what to look for, finding a good CFO is a lot easier. Want to know what type of qualities you want in a CFO? If so, keep reading.
1. Friendly and Helpful
When looking for virtual CFO services, one of the first things you should vet for is friendly service. Once you engage a CFO or CFO service, you will have ongoing interactions with them.
If these interactions are not friendly and enjoyable, you’ll probably dread having to call your accountant or speak to the bookkeeper. And this is the last thing you want.
To get the most out of virtual CFO services you need to have an open line of communication with whoever is working on your financials. This is important for informed decision making.
Besides keeping your books in order and your business compliant, one of the biggest virtual CFO benefits is that you get expert insights into your business’s finances. Without having to bear the cost of hiring a fulltime CFO.
If your virtual CFO is not friendly and happy to speak to you, you might miss out on valuable advice.
2. Good Communication Skills
Besides friendliness, good communication is another quality to look for in a virtual CFO service.
What you don’t want is to hire a service where you hardly ever hear from your CFO or anybody else at the company. A lack of communication like this can make you feel like your financials aren’t getting the attention you’re paying for.
What’s more, if you have a question or an area you want advice on, your CFO needs to be able to provide clear and direct answers.
There’s nothing more frustrating than asking a question and not getting a response. Or getting a response that doesn’t really clear things up. Not everyone has a degree in finance, in fact, studies show that majority of business owners don’t have a college degree.
If you have a query, you want your CFO to answer it in clear terms and promptly. Therefore, avoid virtual CFO services that have long response times or do not communicate with you clearly.
Another essential quality that a virtual CFO should have is reliability. When it comes to business finances, you can’t afford to have your books fall behind, your taxes not filed, or errors go through on your payroll.
If you hire an unreliable CFO you run the risk of your financial records being inaccurate and your reports late. This can impact decision making and even result in penalties with the IRS. An unreliable CFO might also impact important business events such as mergers or acquisitions.
If you are in doubt as to how to find a reliable virtual CFO, it is often best to choose one from a company rather than a freelance CFO. Companies that offer virtual CFO services may be more reliable.
What’s more, if the CFO assigned to you isn’t available for reasons outside of their control, you won’t be left in the lurch. Instead, you will be assigned a new or interim CFO and your business’s financials will stay up to date.
No matter the size of your business, you also want to hire a CFO with some experience under their belt. Experienced CFOs will not only be more efficient, but they’ll also be able to give you better financial advice.
To vet for experience, check how long prospective CFOs have been operating. Do they hold experience in your industry? Or better, yet in a variety of industries?
Another question you will want to ask is how much experience they have in virtual CFO services. The longer they have been working as an outsourced CFO, the better for you because they’ll be more experienced at offering outstanding virtual CFO services as opposed to in-house services.
Experienced virtual CFOs will also have a list of past and current clients. To gauge the quality of their services, don’t hesitate to ask if you can speak to past clients or check out any reviews they might have.
5. The Potential to Handle Scaling
If all goes well, we’ll bet that your business is going to grow. As it does, you’ll need your accounting and CFO services to keep up.
Therefore, ask any potential CFO services what size organizations they cater to and what their capacity is. Ultimately you want to make sure that no matter how extensive your financials get, that you can still rely on your CFO service.
Switching services can be highly disruptive so make sure that the virtual CFO you choose can scale along with you.
6. Certified and up to Date
Last but not least, the virtual CFO that you trust your business’s financials to needs to be certified. At a minimum, they should hold a degree in accountancy.
Additionally, they should also be a member of an accounting organization. If they are, this means that they are required to undergo ongoing training and are up to date in their field.
Do You Need a Reliable Virtual CFO?
Finding a trustworthy virtual CFO is not hard when you know what to look for.
In fact, it’s very easy now that you have arrived here at Sterling Tax and Accounting.
We offer virtual CFO services, as well as bookkeeping and tax services. What’s more, our top property is delivering financial services that you can rely on.
With our online accounting applications, you can access your financials on the fly, as well as upload slips and documents. You can enjoy bank-grade security, 100% on-time financials, and regular check-ins from our team when you choose us.
Find out more about our virtual controller and CFO services today for reliable, friendly, and fast virtual financial services.