Why you should or should not outsource your CFO function ?

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A while ago I was posting some thoughts about why you should or should not outsource your CFO function.

The mentioned postings are Outsourcing CFO …part 1 and CFO outsourcing ….part 2.

Well, it is not that easy as it sounds…

We are talking about several options for outsourcing :

  • partial outsourcing of your CFO function

For partial outsourcing, you should know pretty much what activity you want to outsource and what exactly you expect from the outsourced activity. A very clear line has to be defined between outsourced responsibility and still local / in house responsibility. This eases all potential future discussions that you might have.

  • complete outsourcing of your CFO function 

The complete outsourcing of your CFO function is somehow more easy to handle from the perspective of the user and services provider. In this case, it is a straightforward case of who is in charge and is responsible for what. Although you as a business owner have to make clear what you expect and want from your outsourced CFO.

  • on call CFO 

On call CFO is pretty much very easy to understand, it’s like going to the doctor ….if you need him you’ll see him. This option has a big disadvantage, you might be at your doctor’s pretty late and only drastic measures can save the day…

Recently I had a discussion with a client that told me that he actually does not need a CFO, he only needs someone who can help him understand his numbers and “translate” them into plain and simple understandable words.

Actually, he was right, he did not need a CFO up to a certain business volume. Luckily for him, an upturn is in sight and he is starting to feel the need for a certain something more ….in terms of business management and financial management.

I kindly told him to have a look at my services and let me know if he finds something interesting there.

What most CEO’s, business owners of mid-sized businesses do not understand is that starting from a certain business volume their business becomes too complex, too time-consuming and too fast moving to be handled by one person. Therefore they need professional support in terms of the employee or in terms of outsourced services.

At the end of the day it all comes down to the chosen strategy ….it all comes down on how you want to handle things.

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