Do you need a Virtual Finance Director?

If you are considering a Virtual Finance Director for your business, read on, we are confident you will see why your answer is more than likely to be ‘yes’.

There is no time in a company’s life cycle when it is imperative to have a finance director on your leadership team.  It may be that you feel as management you have things in hand; an in house finance team making sure the right money is coming in and out of the business, some reports from your accounting system to show that the numbers add up and year-end accountants that file your tax returns and make your numbers look pretty for Companies House.

But there is so much more that you can glean from your finances than system generated reports and an experienced Finance Director will have the knowledge and skills to do that.

Whether you are a service based business or selling goods, the intelligence you can gather from your business to make day to day decisions, and some pretty big ones too, are easily interpreted by someone with experience in the field.

A good Finance Director shouldn’t baffle you with technical language and bamboozle you with complicated pages of reports but have the communication skills to tell you what you really need to hear.  They will give well thought out suggestions and ideas about what to do with that information to enhance your bottom line or make positive change to your business.

All business owners and leaders are different and have a different appetite for knowing how their finances are working.  They don’t want or need to be bothered by the detail but trust that someone with the required skills is doing it for them.

What will a Finance Director do for you?

  • Manage your finance team and/or external and outsourced specialists
  • Ensure all stakeholder needs are met from investors to HMRC
  • Provide advice on strategy that compliments the business objectives of the business leaders
  • Build budgets and tell you a story about your business from the numbers
  • Advise and implement change to the business based on what they are seeing in the numbers
  • Provide support during periods of change, such as restructures or M&A activity
  • Appraise opportunities from new client contracts to acquisitions
  • Build and use KPIs to understand the performance of the business and how it compares along time horizons and against the company’s peers and competitors
  • Develop, enhance and review the systems and processes operating in the business, so they provide the relevant level of control at the appropriate cost to the business
  • Be the eyes and ears when it comes to regulatory, tax and accounting rule change and advise directly on impacts on your business from such changes

This list is in no way exhaustive, every business will have different needs and requirements.  A good Finance Director will recognise this and be able to adapt.

How do you pick the right kind of Finance Director for your business?

Communication – A good Finance Director should be able to speak on your level and give a balanced message of both want you want and need to hear.  Jargon free and multi dimensional, providing reasons for what is being presented and ideas for positive change where necessary and appropriate.

Looks to add value – A good Finance Director as a given will ensure bills are paid and customers pay up but a good Finance Director will look to add value to the business through good use of the intelligence they can derive from the numbers.  Which products are selling best, providing the best margins, where can costs be trimmed, for example.

Profit v Cash – Being profitable is one thing but certainty of cash flows is better.  A good Finance Director will be able to provide you with insight into the current and future cash position of the business.

Understands business – A good Finance Director will be more than a number cruncher and share your passion for growing your business.  There is a time and a place for producing report after report but unless those numbers mean anything and are valuable in assessing opportunities or adapting to change then they are wasting everyone’s time.

Ultimately a Finance Director should be an enabler, they should understand the leadership team’s roadmap and help facilitate that, not crush their dreams and entrepreneurial spirit with bureaucracy and rules.

All sounds great, right?  But that means its probably expensive too?  It doesn’t have to be.

A Virtual Finance Director works for you just when you need them.  Helping you on a retainer basis for a couple of days a month or for a short period to support a project, this makes the cost of this level of expertise much more affordable than hiring a full time member of your team.

Contact us to discuss how we can provide a Virtual Finance Director service to your business.

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