Indeed the world is facing significant changes in quite a number of sectors and the accounting industry has not been spared. From an excess of supply to the obvious decline in prices as a result of the former, the value of accounting sector continues to depreciate exponentially.
To make matters even worse, technology in her untamed race has birthed Artificial intelligence and mobility across all types of human interfacing devices, thereby giving rise to software which can be used by utilised by business owners who double as DIY enthusiasts to perform their bookkeeping and tax preparations. It is indeed a painful reality.
As is the case with every type of change since the dawn of time, humans are a highly adaptable species. And accountants are no different, thus, accounting professionals have begun offering higher valued and more complicated accounting services in a bid to escape the struggle beneath the pool. One of such accounting services which has garnered popularity over the past couple of years are virtual CFO services.
This may be attributed to the fact that even though technology has taken away some part of accounting from professionals, these business owners who now make use of these software to do their own accounting and tax preparation still require a certain level of consultation at some point. This is where virtual CFO services come to play.
Who is a virtual CFO?
As the name implies, a virtual CFO is simply a CFO who provides CFO-level-support targeted at small and medium businesses on a part-time basis.
Typically, virtual CFOs are more affordable, perhaps largely owing to the fact that they work part time and in some cases remotely.
The traditional duties of a virtual CFO include:
Management of all financial activities.
Financial insights on key business decisions.
Monitoring of the financial health and growth of the business.
Thanks to technology (cringes) the position of a CFO has become quite a lucrative and very adaptable one. Hence, the rush to become a practicing accountancy professional while keeping a healthy work-life balance.
If you intend to become a virtual CFO or you already are, ensure to always keep in mind the virtues by which every virtual CFO must live by. They are:
Traditionally, accountants have always used complex esoteric grammar when relating to clients, which usually leaves the clients nodding without an iota of understanding. As a virtual CFO, you are expected to do the exact opposite. You must ensure that your clients or prospective clients understand the situation in the easiest possible manner.
The major difference between the traditional accountant and the virtual CFO lies within the latter’s advisory capabilities. This implies that a virtual CFO must completely and utterly understand the strategic business goals of the organisation in question if he/she is to provide advisory services on financial matters.
If you are going to make a good virtual CFO, one of the most important skills you’d have to acquire is that of communication. This is largely because you would have to provide advice on financial matters with limited interaction or information as the case may be.
Being an excellent communicator leaves no stones unturned and helps ensure that the stakeholders do not bolt the moment they see you coming out of the elevator.
As a virtual CFO, you may be likened to a personal trainer, except that you deal with financial figures. This means that you must ensure that your clients remain accountable. By keeping them accountable, you can effectively give professional advice and watch it blossom into results.
Dealing with financial information is risky enough, now add dealing with financial information online to the mix and you have a brewing recipe for disaster. Thus, you need to be tech savvy. You’ll need to understand a little of how information is passed, the latest cyber security risks and efficient communication channels.
In all this, it is of utmost importance to note that the main job of a virtual CFO is to report and suggest financial strategies with regards to the organisation.