One of the key functions in any business is that of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Larger companies always use CFO’s to control important and sensitive financial and accounting aspects of the business. Unfortunately, smaller companies don’t always have the resources to employ CFO’s thus this function has been performed by the owner or has been delegated to untrained staff, family or friends. Virtual CFO is a simple concept, by taking advantage of today’s technology, an experienced, professional financial officer can provide the essential services of a CFO without having to be on sight or on the payroll. This is good news for the small to medium business. For a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee, the company can have the CFO function filled by an experienced and professional Virtual CFO.

To really understand how a Virtual CFO works, let’s take a hypothetical Virtual CFO and follow them through a typical business day. Our Virtual CFO’s office is in their home, first thing in the morning they log onto their computer and check email messages.


Client A, a medium sized transport company, has forwarded your Virtual CFO a loan package from their banker. They open the attached documents and review them for the key elements they want to see. They send a reply to Client A regarding a couple of changes and files the email in a folder they maintain for Client A.


Client B, a medium sized hospitality business, has sent an email asking for their thoughts on the price contained in a new contract. Your Virtual CFO takes a few minutes to make some calculations and confirm the information that has been provided. They then send an email reply telling Client B what they think the price should be and why.


Your Virtual CFO then places a phone call to the office manager at Client C, a small wholesaler, to see how things are going. While they are talking they open their accounting system (web based so he can get on line from anywhere) and reviews the prior day’s sales and current cash position. They ask a few questions about the invoices booked the previous day and answers the bookkeeper’s question about how to book an unusual transaction. Your Virtual CFO asks the office manager to transfer them to the company owner / CEO.


After discussing some new developments in the business, both your Virtual CFO and company owner / CEO open the weekly cash flow projection and review a projected cash shortfall two weeks out. The owner / CEO is feeling pretty good about a new contract that will bring in sufficient funds to meet the shortfall. They ask Virtual CFO to attend a weekly staff meeting to be held the following Monday as they will be presenting the new incentive compensation program. With some spare time, your Virtual CFO now turns to work on a proposal for a potential new client.


Your Virtual CFO works on it for about 45 minutes until time to join an on-line board meeting for Company D, a medium sized shipping company. Having already thoroughly reviewed the board package, your Virtual CFO allows ten minutes before the call to review their notes. They then dial into the meeting and spend the next hour and a half going through a rather extensive agenda. One section of the meeting involves issues that don’t concern your Virtual CFO. They hit the mute button on their phone and turn back to their computer.


Your Virtual CFO types their thoughts on points discussed thus far and makes a couple of notes of things they need to follow-up with the staff. They rejoin the meeting to answer some questions about the financial picture of the company. By the time the meeting draws to a close, your Virtual CFO has already emailed a couple of requests for information and has nearly finished their assignments from the meeting.


Just before lunch, your Virtual CFO will again check their email and respond to two other questions from clients. The afternoon is going to be spent on-site at a new client’s manufacturing plant. Your Virtual CFO is helping the production department create a value stream map to identify ways to eliminate waste. In a single day, your Virtual CFO has been able to perform key tasks for five different companies. They have been virtually in the next office when needed, but each company has only had to pay a fraction of the cost of having them on site and on the payroll full-time.