Services Provided

Recurring Chief Financial Officer Services

As a small business you likely cannot justify keeping a full-time CFO or Controller on staff.  In fact, if you were to closely examine most small companies who do have a full-time CFO or Controller you would likely find that this individual spends a high percentage of their time performing tasks that simply do not require a professional.  But, you are still paying a professional level of pay for that person.

Often the duties that truly justify this professional level of service are no more than a few hours a week, month, or quarter.  The role of a CFO is very forward looking, and although it often requires getting into thee details, the real value comes when the CFO is able to take a big-picture look at the company and make recommendations that correct current issues, help prevent future problems, and position the company for growth.  So while we may start with something as routine as a monthly accounting close, we dig deeper to see just what the numbers are telling you about your company and identify ways to improve results.

You may be asking, “What kind of big-picture items are we talking about?”  Well, for starters, is anyone in-house really taking a close look at the operations of your company, including finance and accounting, production, warehousing, shipping and receiving, and sales and marketing?  Interestingly, many times one department has no idea what the other is doing, and, as a result, precious time and financial resources are wasted.

As your Part-time CFO, AimCFO will monitor the activities of your business to find inefficiencies that hurt performance and identify opportunities that can be seized to grow your company.

Financial Statements

Let’s face it.  Financial statements can be dry and boring.  That is likely to be because they are so poorly understood and viewed primarily as a necessary evil. In fact, many times the only thing people care about is, “How much did we make?”  While that is important, keep in mind that no matter how much you made on paper it will not matter unless you can convert it to cash within a reasonable time frame.

There are several things you needs from you financial statements.  We make every effort to be sure the following are in place:

  1. Financial Statements are timely and accurate
  2. You have a thorough understanding of your Financial Statements
  3. You understand what the numbers represent and where they come from
  4. You understand the relationship between the key financial statements, specifically the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet (also called the Statement of Financial Position), and the Statement of Cash Flows.  Some companies do not produce a Statement of Cash Flows, and its usefulness is dependent on the type of business and whether it is truly understood.

If this is a service you require, please contact us and let us show you just how cost effective it can be to have a professional prepare these statements for you.

Cash Planning

Often we hear a company talk about how tight their money is and how they are watching it closely.  Unfortunately, the phrase “watching it closely” really says nothing other than they are experiencing difficulty obtaining enough cash to finance the day-to-day operations and future growth.  It’s common to hear statements such as, “We need a larger line of credit” or “If we can just grow sales we will have plenty of cash”  in an attempt to explain away the difficulty.  While these statements and others may be true, often the cash shortage has nothing to do with these issues.

The very term “Cash Management” may get our thinking headed off in the wrong direction from the get-go.  Let AimCFO help you identify things you can do to improve your cash position.  When these activities are managed properly it results in two primary benefits:

  1. More available cash to grow your business
  2. Less stress and anxiety

Budgeting and Forecasting

Both of these activities are closely related to cash management.  In fact, ideally they set the stage for effective cash management.  Let AimCFO help you develop budgets and forecasts that are understandable and that you can use.

A word of caution must be offered in this area.  It is common for a company to develop a budget that is approved by top management and agreed upon as a reasonable estimate of what will occur by everyone involved in the process.  Then, guess what usually happens?  The next event is some meeting where managers and department heads are trying to explain why they overspent their budget.  Sound familiar?  It should because that is the typical practice of most small (and many large) businesses.  There is clearly something wrong here.

Budgets and forecasts are tools.  Only using them to see where things went wrong misses the major benefit they can provide.  AimCFO can help you develop budgets and forecasts, and, more importantly, help you identify how to use them to not just monitor results but to help direct what those results will be.

Business Plans

Whether a start-up or an established business you should have a business plan.  It really is a statement of what you intend to accomplish, for whom, by whom, and how.  Obviously this will involve identifying, quantifying, and qualifying financial, operational, sales, marketing, and other activities, depending on the nature of the business.  At AimCFO we thoroughly believe in a business plan, but we also believe that the simpler you can keep this plan the more likely it is that you will use it.

Profit Improvement and Cost Reduction

This is an area that is often overlooked, except for the most common method – layoffs.  While there are indeed times where staff cuts are necessary and even unavoidable, it is often possible to make other changes that are less disruptive to the company and, in then long run, produce more benefits.

As a side benefit, the additional cash that may become available could be used to grow the business in existing lines or even new product/service lines.  Small businesses are notorious for having hidden capital that can be freed up to be put to better use.

Contact AimCFO to see what we can do to help improve your profitability.  While you’re at it, be sure to ask about the Big 4 Capital Users that are found in most businesses in some form and how they can be more effectively managed.

Miscellaneous Financial and Operations Service

This service is included because companies often find they have a special need that does not fit in one of the clear cut areas above.  Examples include:

  1. Help in obtaining and evaluating insurance quotes for Property and Casualty Insurance, Health Insurance, and Disability Insurance.  AimCFO is not a broker but has contacts with agencies that we trust and with whom we have done business.
  2. Creating or improving an accounting system.  This is a common need for new businesses that often gets neglected.  Please don’t fall into that trap.  It is also common that a company may be in business for a few years and realize that existing systems simply no longer meet their needs.  It is better to address it early than wait until it is a crisis.
  3. You are undergoing an audit or review and need additional in-house assistance.

These are just a few of these special projects we can handle for you.  Give us a call to discuss your needs.  If we are not the ones to handle it, we will say so.

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