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Adapting to the ‘Next Normal’: Australian Businesses Prepare for a Relaxation of COVID-19 Restrictions

With the Federal Government announcing their three-stage plan to restarting the Australian economy, businesses around the country are eagerly awaiting a return to “normal” work after COVID-19. However, what will this post-pandemic environment look like, and ho.....

CFO - 5 min read

In an effort to simplify, you may consider hiring one well-rounded person to manage a host of financial tasks: taxation, compliance, reporting, accounting and strategy. But it’s rare to find one person who is comfortable working across this broad spectrum of functions. Even more critical, that single person may not have the skills and expertise to succeed in all of these areas.

As in many other industries, there’s a trend for finance professionals to specialise in meeting the needs of modern businesses. And companies thrive when they find the just-right mix of financial expertise. But finding those experts can be challenging, and keeping them can be even harder.

You may already have great accounting staff in place and wonder what a CFO could add to the mix. Simply put, while proper accounting is essential for making sure you’re compliant and keeping operations running, a CFO will strategise, analyse and provide accountability to guide and support your course and help you grow.

In this article, we’ll examine the differences between CFOs and accountants and explore the ways they work together to create a solid financial base on which your business can grow.

 

Division of Labour

While CFOs and accountants may overlap in some of their skills, they generally spend their time differently.

Accountants typically handle the following:

  • Basic reporting – Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reports
  • Quarterly/monthly activity statement preparation and filing
  • Payroll
  • Reconciliations – banking, ATO accounts, debtors and creditors
  • Year end financial compliance
 

On the other hand, CFOs usually manage these tasks:

  • Business strategy
  • Cashflow management
  • Pipeline reporting and forecasting
  • Budgeting and financial modelling
  • Product mix and commercialisation
  • Reporting to stakeholders
  • Advising the board and executives

 

Past vs Future

A business owner must continuously balance attention to the company’s past whilst planning for the future. In the financial realm, accountants take care of the past, balancing books, reporting results and filing taxes. CFOs manage the company’s future, creating strategies, forecasts and pathways to achieve future goals.

Both roles are essential to a company’s success, and they don’t have to conflict or compete with one another. In fact, accountants and CFOs complement each other, and when they work well together, they’re a dream team. With expert eyes on the past and the future, your company can do its best work today.

 

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Outsourcing CFO Services

Perhaps you already have an accountant who adeptly handles your tax filings, payroll and compliance. With all of these tasks comfortably managed, you may feel ready for more forward-looking financial help. But hiring a full-time CFO can be expensive and quite often outside the budget of small- and medium-sized firms.

In this case, external CFO services can be an excellent solution. A part-time CFO does not compete with your accounting staff. They’re flexible, adaptive and can harness their experience and the experience of those around them to supporting your company’s growth and performance.

An outsourced CFO offers an external opinion, from an unbiased position backed by industry experience and knowledge. Looking at the bigger picture, rather than the granular financial data, an outsourced CFO could be exactly what you are missing and help you to understand why your business is not achieving its financial targets or goals.

 

Ready for Growth?

If you’ve had a competent, reliable accounting team within your company smoothly handling the day-to-day, you may feel ready for growth. This is the perfect time to bring on an outsourced CFO.

A CFO is a secret weapon for growth, and you can access CFO-level expertise at a level you can afford.

To learn more about our CFO services, set up a consultation with one of our business experts. We’ve helped many Australian companies to realise their goals, and we’d love to help you.

 

In-House vs Outsourced CFO

Could Your Business Benefit from an Outsourced CFO?

Set your business on the right path with this simple guide.

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Prospective Business Owner - Succession Checklist

Make sure you’re on the right track with this online checklist.

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