1. Review your business budget.
How should you be spending company dollars? Your budget covers expected expenditures for the coming year—or even the quarter ahead—providing a guideline for how to utilize resources. Your CFO is instrumental in assessing your budget, especially as it pertains to reporting and forecasting.
Are you overspending? Bringing in enough cash to offset expenses? CFO services analyze your performance against your budget. One key way they do this is via budget-to-actual reporting. This comparison between your planned transactions for a given period (budget) and the final financial results of that period (actual) should be itemized to allow your company to gain insights into each facet of your financial situation. With key data in hand, CFOs have the information regarding variations and can determine the reasons behind them.
Of course, seasoned pros generally have some idea of how your company is doing financially along the way, helping you avoid substantial surprises later. Your CFO partner uses their expertise to predict budget outcomes in advance via educated forecasting. Throughout this process, they analyze past data and current trends to make predictions for near-future business performance. And the more they know about your business and industry, the better because recent events and company and market trends can shape your forecast.
2. Cut back on expenses.
Dollars add up ... or they disappear like sand through your fingers. The key is finding the right balance. Trust a CFO to figure out what's working and what isn't and trim costs appropriately.
Understanding Profits and Costs
Can the company increase its margins? CFO services help you understand where your highest profits and opportunities are as well as how to reduce costs. What's more is that your partner won't just help the business. They can also train your finance team to be stronger and to increase ROI and optimize work processes.
You can't "trim the fat" haphazardly and expect your company to keep chugging along. CFO services help you cut costs in a way that permits the business to run at the same or similar level of efficiency—even if it's with fewer resources. They use reporting to examine your expenses and even recommend innovative ways to reduce costs, whether that means changing providers, obtaining bulk vendor discounts, or some other minimally invasive strategy.
3. Communicate inflation price changes to customers.
"Netflix raised its rates again!" "I can't believe HelloFresh is going to charge me even more!" Customers aren't fond of price increases, but sometimes they're necessary to keep you operating at the same level of excellence —especially these days. Your CFO can run inflation-based scenarios of how profits will shift to determine whether you should increase your rates.
When you've determined that increases are necessary, there's more than one way to roll them out, and CFO services can recommend different options. For instance, you could raise rates across the board or just for certain customers or products. Alternatively, it may work better for your business to schedule annual price increases to soften the blow or even introduce pricing tiers to provide more choice.
Framing Your Company's Rationale
Again, plenty of folks won't be thrilled about the change—so help it make sense. Your CFO partner can provide data to help your company frame the "why" surrounding price increases. Are you trying to maintain product quality, service levels, or availability? Be up front about this and deliver the news transparently and in a timely fashion.
4. Take charge of business data.
Do you get lost in a sea of numbers, charts, or spreadsheets? Delegate those things to pros who eat them up like pizza on a Friday night. CFO services can take on the burden of making sense of what disparate data sources are trying to say.
Reviewing Data Structures
They're all about the numbers. Your CFO can dig into your accounting platform and help you review business data structures. These might include break-even points (where revenues are equal to total expenses), profit potential, or additional metrics.
Executing Reporting Processes
Your budget-to-actual isn't the only report that matters. CFO services also focus heavily on variable and fixed expense reporting. These reports incorporate variable costs tied to revenue, such as raw materials or direct labor, and fixed expenses that are unrelated to sales, including rent, insurance, and payroll. With this intel, your partner can help you manage costs, so they don't get out of control.
Hire outsourced CFO services to improve your financial position.
When you're knee-deep in the day-to-day business, it's tough to see the best moves to make. That's when a CFO partner can come in to make sense of what's overwhelming your team. From budget expertise all the way to reporting, a CFO can look at your financial picture objectively to position your company for success.
Ignite Spot's CFO services give you everything you need to succeed, including:
Cash flow forecasting and management
Variable versus fixed expense reporting
"I don't know how I was running this business before Ignite Spot joined our team. I've finally got time to do what I do best."—Nancy Fields, Metropolitan Windows
"They handle all our bookkeeping, CPA services, and fractional CFO (profit coach) in one company. We've grown over 350% in the last 2 ½ years and could not have done it without Ignite Spot!" —Harmony Brown, Greenworks
Curious to learn more about how Ignite Spot can help you? Explore our CFO services for a sneak peek at our capabilities!