As CFO’s for hire, often the hardest task we have, is to explain to business owners and networking contacts what exactly a CFO does and how that differs from a CPA. In simple terms, a CFO is a highly experienced financial executive, who can help drive your business to greater profitability and value using a variety of techniques and analysis to forecast and shape your financial path.
Consider that not recognizing the need for and value of a CFO can cripple or kill your business. If you don’t have timely financials you trust – how can you begin to manage your business or make the right decisions?
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Know There’s a Difference
Even when you get monthly financials, they may not tell you much. Worse still, often they are telling you the wrong things. Failing to fully understand your company’s financials is one of the top causes of small business failure. And, it’s not your CPA’s job to produce regular or timely financial statements (except at tax time for tax reporting purposes). That’s a job for a CFO.
Key Differences – CPA vs. CFO
Although there are plenty of exceptions, most CPAs do not have CFO experience. CPA’s compile and report the results, but they don’t forecast or shape the results. Your CPA is an excellent resource on taxes and accounting regulation, but they may have little experience with running a company – other than a CPA firm. Also, most CPA’s will tell you that is generally not their job, as they perceive it. If you hire them to prepare monthly statements and do your taxes, they expect you are going to read (and understand) the monthly statements and that the data you provided to prepare them was accurate.
You Can Have a CPA and a CFO
CFO for hire service firms, like Barba CFO, have seasoned, highly experienced CFO’s for hire. They are available on a part-time, as needed basis for recurring or project based services. For a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO, small businesses can gain access to this valuable resource. Given this, there’s really no excuse to run your company without a CFO. Even during tough economic times, Barba CFO’s clients have continued to grow – adding employees, increasing sales, and controlling costs, while also having access to working capital, and developing company value.
So, as you can see there are major differences between a CPA and a CFO and major values to both. Relying on a CPA to produce the facts and relying on a CFO for Hire to interpret those facts will enable you to have an accurate view of your company and a realistic vision for it’s future. Don’t underestimate the importance of both. A CFO as part of your company is attainable.
Contact Barba CFO for a FREE consultation and check out this free cash flow spreadsheet to get you started on your more profitable path!
Interested in more, check this out. 8 Common Misconceptions about CFO’s