Part-time / virtual CFO services: a solution for SMEs and young enterprises
Ramus & Company is launching a part-time / virtual CFO service for the Swiss SME market. With this service, we provide the skill sets of experienced high calibre CFOs to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. Allowing smaller organisations to benefit from the expertise of a highly experienced CFO without incurring the expense of hiring someone full-time.
It usually concerns young enterprises or SME’s, with an annual turnover between CHF 2 and 50 million, who do not yet have sufficient resources to develop a strong finance function. Operating in a dynamic environment, companies often have various growth, profit improvement, investment, or diversification projects. To build a platform for growth in support of these strategic projects, a strengthening and upgrade of the finance function is a key contributor for success. The first step is to reinforce the management team with a highly competent and experienced CFO, but the issue is often that these companies can’t afford to pay for it at this stage. Here is where hiring a part-time / virtual CFO is a value-adding alternative.
Benefits of a part-time / Virtual CFO
The business will benefit enormously from being able to access the expertise from a part-time / virtual CFO with a high calibre and with decades of experience. You can reap the benefits immediately at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO. A lot of firms have established an in-house or outsourced accounting function, responsible for recording and reporting on past events. Bringing in a part-time / virtual CFO, provides for forward looking financial management. It’s a proactive role as it is concerned with the company’s future success. By creating relevant management information reports, it will give the management more confidence in its decision making. He or she will build the structure and will provide hands-on support to achieve the objectives for the business. The part-time / virtual CFO can also be seen as an independent sounding board and a sparring partner with whom the management can discuss financial and business issues. It means together they can achieve better results, faster.
A framework to identify the areas of improvements
When starting a part-time / virtual CFO engagement, we perform a diagnosis of the finance function, by using our framework of 10 areas of focus. This helps to identify where the opportunities are in the business so that we can create a robust plan which enables to resolve immediate issues as well as to build a stable platform for future growth. This takes usually 3 to 4 days and depends on the complexity of the organization. We also offer an initial free of charge 1-day review. This is a high-level assessment of the finance function, where we deliver a status report at the end of the day and an initial assessment of the areas of improvement. It gives the chance to get to know each other, offers us the opportunity to clarify our services and demonstrate how we add value to the company.
An economically viable and flexible solution
The part-time / virtual CFO service is typically agreed upon a fixed number of days per week or month, and for an attractive fixed monthly fee. We provide the flexibility to fast track the integration of the part-time / virtual CFO, and the possibility to increase or decrease the frequency per week/month in line with the client’s business requirements.