What is a fractional CFO?

Fractional CFOs and Financial Executives provide services on a contract or part-time basis. Fractional Finance Officers are familiar with startups or developing companies seeking accounting, finance, and management advisory. In recent years, the scope of the CFO has expanded into operations, marketing, and general management advisors. Fewer and fewer companies are carrying a Chief Operations Officer (COO), which places a greater demand on the fractional CFO.


In small businesses, it is common for the CFO to have a Controller title. The Controller leads the day-to-day accounting and reporting functions in more giant corporations. In contrast, the CFO focuses on strategy, planning, and banking relationships. Regardless of the size of your company, the benefits of retaining an experienced CFO on a part-time basis can help accelerate bottom-line performance.


Fractional CFOs and Financial Executives provide services on a contract or part-time basis. Fractional Finance Officers are familiar with startups or developing companies seeking accounting, finance, and management advisory. In recent years, the scope of the CFO has expanded into operations, marketing, and general management advisors. Fewer and fewer companies are carrying a Chief Operations Officer (COO), which places a greater demand on the fractional CFO.


In small businesses, it is common for the CFO to have a Controller title. The Controller leads the day-to-day accounting and reporting functions in more giant corporations. In contrast, the CFO focuses on strategy, planning, and banking relationships. Regardless of the size of your company, the benefits of retaining an experienced CFO on a part-time basis can help accelerate bottom-line performance.


How does a fractional CFO work?


Outsourced CFO or finance executives work on a contract basis with preset terms, conditions, and scope of work. The functions of fractional CFOs range from conducting internal audits, reviewing bookkeeping procedures, and implementing new accounting and finance software, to working with external banks to secure funding.


Experienced finance leaders have solved many problems throughout their experiences which lends help to your firm outside the finance and accounting departments. It is typical for outsourced providers to work on mini projects within your more extensive scope of work to achieve results efficiently.


Why would I hire an outsourced CFO?


Startups, rapidly growing companies, and small businesses lacking a chief financial leader benefit from a fractional CFO. If your team is a one-person accounting and finance department, outsourcing can help remove internal constraints.

  • There is only time to perform daily bookkeeping and accounting

  • Cash flow forecasting is too complex, and current forecasts are inaccurate

  • Rapid growth entities expanding into new markets

  • Companies seeking acquisition growth

  • Business performance is diminishing, and you need advisory to regain financial control

  • The capital structure of the firm is changing either through equity or debt financing

  • Limited growth prospects due to extended operating cycles with cash tied into receivables or inventory

  • Lack of structure within inventory management systems

  • Mergers and Acquisitions


What are the benefits of an outsourced finance department?


Fractional executives provide the support of a whole department. When implementing an outsourced CFO, your team will add financial leadership and management advisory to ensure effective decision-making.

  • Improved financial reporting accuracy through enhanced technology and internal controls

  • Support your leadership team in strategic decisions

  • Management of month-end reporting and budget analysis

  • Established plans, budgets, and models with consistent variance analysis

  • The reduced administrative strain on your accounting team

  • Improved sales results due to open communication with finance

  • Financial Planning and Analysis (FPA) without hiring an Analyst or Controller

  • Dedicated efforts to improving banking relationships and capital raising activities

  • We coordinate tax filings with your external CPA

  • Analyzing customer acquisition costs and lifetime values

  • Performing due diligence and valuation on business acquisitions


What challenges can a fractional CFO help overcome?


If your business lacks an annual plan, is scrambling to pay bills, and is diminishing business performance, then outsourcing your treasury and money management team is a sound idea. Long days outstanding (DSO) and extending customers' credit can hurt small business cash flow. With a dedicated team, Westport Business Management regains financial control, improves cash flow, and drives bottom-line profits for its shareholders.

  • Account debtor, cash flow issues

  • Low gross margins and improving cost of goods sold

  • Downsizing operating budgets and reducing expenses

  • Implementing new financial systems with modern technology and automation

  • Navigating audits

  • Acquisition integration

  • Inventory Management

  • Inaccurate or outdated financial statements

Fractional c-suite executives advise management teams on strategic matters, financing, and corporate development. It is common for entrepreneurs to lack a controller or CFO in-house; this is where we can help accelerate your growth. We help business owners and managers focus on sales, marketing, and operations while we handle the cash flow and financials.


Fractional CFOs: Develop a strategy, manage growth, and achieve goals


Bookkeepers, Accountants, and Controllers are mainly concerned with keeping past and current accounting documents and recordkeeping. A CFO helps plan and develop a strategic plan for the future, looking out for up to 5-years. Reconciling budgets, conducting variance analyses, and identifying root causes of financial issues are how CFOs manage growth and achieve goals.


Strategy, growth, and goals require one common resource - finances or cash. To close gaps in your business, CFOs help secure financing and sources of capital to achieve corporate goals. Without a strategy, forecast, and plans, no finance team can produce a roadmap for the future.


Are you ready to speak with a fractional CFO?


Westport Business Management provides fractional CFO services to startups, rapid growth companies, and turnaround businesses. Our network partners include experienced CFOs, CPAs, and finance leaders with the skills to help your finance and accounting needs. We handpick and vet all of our fractional CFOs to provide elite services for your business. To speak with a CFO today, please contact us or call 800-686-3198.


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