These clients have a need for financial stewardship and strategic advice, but are not at the scale where they need, or can afford, a full-time CFO. The size of these clients has ranged from pre-revenue to $35MM. These are ongoing engagements (no fixed time period) that have ranged from 4 to 24 hours a week.
My approach entails the following steps:
- Understanding the short- and long-term goals of the owner(s). There is typically an exit strategy discussion, which could include the desire to sell at a particular time or milestone. It may also include passing ownership to the next generation of the family-owned business.
- Meet with senior management (usually between two and six people) to discuss issues and ensure that company goals are aligned with the owner’s goals.
- Review all significant procedures to ensure they meet, or are brought up to, professional standards. This includes internal controls, compliance with legal and tax regulations, bank covenants, audits, regulatory reporting, etc.
- Meet with senior management to determine what changes in the finance and accounting area would benefit them in making business decisions.
- Examine and improve internal processes, focusing on how the accounting/finance department can add more value.
- Determine the appropriate staffing level to ensure that the department is running efficiently while meeting the needs of management.