Growth Planning, Forecasting, and Part-Time FD/CFO
As businesses grow, the importance of robust financial management and control becomes ever more critical to success. Whilst most SME’s neither need, nor can they afford a full time Finance Director / CFO and a full-time financial team, they still have the same needs: Direction, Credit Control, Bookkeeping, and Financial Analysis and Reporting…
The only practical way owners of a growing business can obtain these services is to outsource and/or engage the services of a part-time FD / CFO to help them establish the financial management reporting and controls they need. The only profession able to provide the support SMEs need in this area is Accountants and the opportunity, and potential fee income is vast.
At it’s core, the Finance Director / CFO’s role is to help the owner and co-directors to establish their strategic and operational financial plan. The financial plan must be created as a joined up, three way forecast that details the projected sales, costs and overheads, the P&L along with the associated assumptions to project Cash Flow and Balance Sheet in the coming years.
Ideally, supported by their part-time, or Virtual FD / CFO, the business will explore various strategies and potential scenarios to establish an optimum growth plan for the company to adopt. Thereafter the part-time , or Virtual FD / CFOs role is critical to the effective ongoing management of the business, comparing actual Performance vs Forecast and preparing the Management Pack to support Board and Management Meetings.
The suite of VFD Planning and Analysis tools combined with the Forecast and Funding Proposal model are both uniquely powerful and ridiculously easy for an Accountant to use, delivering far more output and value in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise.
This package includes:
Optional Training and CPD
Given the financial training and expertise you and your team have already acquired, combined with the VFD Mastery Training, helping clients correctly interpret and act on the information contained in their Management Reports will very quickly become second nature.
You can be up and running in less than a day and everything comes with a 90 day, 100% satisfaction or your money back guarantee, how could it be any easier.
Whilst the actual forecast itself forms the basis for reporting Performance vs Plan, it is the analysis and the planning that make up the various assumptions that take the time and provide the real value. The forecast itself can be generated in a matter of minutes/hours, however, done properly the planning, and the process of exploring various alternative strategies to find and decide on the optimum plan for the business takes much longer and provides much more value.
VFD Pro provides an unparalleled portfolio of analysis and planning tools that are ideally used to facilitate discussion with the business owner and ideally their management team, to help them identify and plan how to achieve their revenue goals, to maximise gross margins, optimise overheads and operate in a cash efficient manner.
If the business needs to raise finance, via debt or equity, VFD Pro’s CAMPARI compliant Funding Proposal is designed to streamline the process of preparing and supporting a funding bid, maximising the probability of both being successful, AND securing the best possible terms for your client’s business.
The typical workflow cycle from first engagement, goes in distinct phases, starting off with what is frequently referred to as the Honeymoon Period as follows:
- Business and Financial Analysis, Planning, Forecasting and establishing the Management Pack
- Monthly reporting, analysing performance vs forecast and supporting management decision making
- The Quarterly 90 Day Planning Meeting where key objectives for the next 90 days are established
- Planning and forecasting to update the overall plan and agree the forecast for the next 12 months
The part-time or Virtual FD / CFO is responsible for all matters financial to allow the MD, or CEO’s to focus on overall direction and managing the business. Who actually does what as part of the financial ‘function’ and what is carried out ‘in-house’ i.e. by the business, vs outsourced, for example to your practice, is typically decided, or at worst, heavily influenced by the Virtual FD / CFO, including the companies choice of Accountant for their Audit, Tax Planning and Statutory Returns.
Taking this role is not an arm’s length transactional relationship as with Compliance, the role is pivotal and done properly, the successful Virtual FD / CFO quickly becomes an indispensable part of your clients overall management team, which in turn rapidly become totally reliant on their plan, the forecast that you and you alone are able to manage, update and control.
What is this worth? The six-million-dollar question. If you consider the alternative, employing someone full time, the cost of recruitment, cost of salary, car and other on-costs, your client will have to outlay a considerable sum well north of £50K per annum, and that just for their Finance Director / CFO who in turn will then need to employ people or outsource with costs quickly escalating.
By contrast you, your team and the partners you chose to work with could provide everything your client needs to establish robust financial management and control as a fraction of that cost making it a classic win-win relationship all round.
What does the Growth Planning, Forecasting, and Part-Time FD/CFO training include:
- The Role of the Accountant / Advisor – What it takes to provide Part-Time FD / CFO Services
- Growth Potential and Business Planning: The Customer Segmentation Model
- Building Your Clients Forecast (Profit &Loss, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow – Years 1 to 5)
- Scenario Planning and Funding For Growth – The CAMPARI Compliant Funding Proposal
- Making the Extraordinary Ordinary – Identifying Issues and Reporting By Exception
- Reporting Performance vs Forecast – the Monthly Management Cycle
- The Finance Directors / CFO’s Business Planning Work Flow Process: What, When, How
- Establishing the Value of the Part-Time FD Service vs the alternative options
- Pricing – Proposals – Setting Expectations – Resource Considerations
You will never sell part-time FD / CFO services to all of your clients unless they are of an appropriate profile, or until you re-position your practice to only service clients who need and are prepared to pay for these services, which is exactly what some firms do.
What is certain is that for those businesses who do need these services, they frequently discover their existing accountant is unable or unwilling to assist, which in many cases is the ‘tipping point’ that causes your competitors ‘A clients’ to switch…
The firms to execute this strategy successfully, typically end up with clients queuing up waiting for them to have the capacity to onboard a new client, and the firms themselves frequently find they are able to pick and choose the clients they want to work with.
As part-time or Virtual FD / CFO, you are already providing, or overseeing everything your client needs as they grow and scale their business, but as the goal of every business owner should be to build an Exit Ready business there is one additional financial service that every business owner will inevitably need at some point.
Unfortunately, most don’t realise the need to plan until it is too late, don’t let that happen do your clients, and as this is perhaps the most lucrative area of financial support you could possibly provide, don’t leave any money on the table, and don’t force your clients to look elsewhere when they discover they need help with preparing themselves and their business for exit, and when the time comes, finding a buyer and executing the exit, (or identifying an acquisition target and completing a purchase, or a series of purchases).
- Exit Planning, Valuations, Financial Due Diligence
With this in place, you will truly have everything you need to support your clients from Start-up, through Scale-up to Preparing For and Exiting successfully.