Virtual CFO FAQs

What is a Virtual CFO?

Growing businesses often reach a point where they need professional financial advice, but can't afford a full-time CFO or controller.

The cost of hiring a full-time CFO can range from $120,000 to over $200,000 per year, plus bonuses and benefits. A Virtual CFO can provide you with an experienced support team, at a small fraction of that cost.

What does a Virtual CFO do?

The list is really endless. We lay out some bullet points on this page, but it really depends on the needs of your business. We take action-oriented analysis pretty seriously, helping our companies establish KPIs and regular financial reporting as a strong foundation. From reviewing budgets and cash forecasts to helping you raise cash, establish cash reserves, and properly incentivize your employees, we're here to help your company maximize profits and minimize taxes, and to meet the financial needs of your growing company. 

How is a Virtual CFO different than an accountant?

Virtual CFOs are professionals in financial management.

That is all we do. Asking an accountant to assist your company in financial management and strategic planning is like asking an architect to take over the role of a general contractor.

We're not just a company who accepts outsourced project work. We're brought on as members of our clients' teams. You're not just hiring one person. You're hiring our whole staff - an in-house CFO typically carries experience from the few jobs he/she has held, while a Virtual CFO company like Summit CPA Group brings the experience of having worked with hundreds of companies to the table.

Why (or when) do I need a Virtual CFO?

If you work for a small business, you may only require simpler financial services provided by a bookkeeper or accountant. Chances are, if you're reading this FAQ page, you've likely worked with or are currently working with a bookkeeper or accountant.

As your business grows, or if you're planning for growth, your financial needs become more complex. Often your existing financial infrastructure and accounting reporting aren't giving you the kind of visibility you need to make confident, financially sound decisions re: growth.

You would benefit from hiring a Virtual CFO if:

  • Your company is growing fast, or you're anticipating rapid growth in the near future
  • You need stronger insights when it comes to your company's financial performance
  • You're experiencing cash flow management challenges
  • You're looking to buy a company, to raise money, or to sell off a portion of your company

How do you communicate with clients? Is it all over the phone?

While our company is based in Indiana, we work remotely with about 80% of our clients. We're big fans of GoToMeeting and do a lot of screensharing and follow-up email and video summaries.

We also text!

In a world of increasingly distributed companies, we pride ourselves in our ability to offer value remotely.

What kind of team does our company gain access to?

We assign one tax manager, one accountant, and one Virtual CFO to each of our clients at the Controller tier. At the Virtual CFO tier, your team benefits from one additional accountant and one Virtual CFO.

We're more of a niche design or web development firm as opposed to a larger interactive agency. Will your KPIs still help us?

We know the web design and development industry very well. The focus of the KPIs are to figure out “what makes your company tick”. Once we have identified the main revenue drivers, we can successfully build a dynamic forecast that you can use to make solid financial decisions. We are constantly monitoring the KPIs to make sure that the assumptions that we are using are solid. And if not, we can dive into secondary KPIs to determine where things are going wrong. For instance, if we are forecasting a team Utilization of 60% and we are consistently falling short, we can dive further in to see if there is a systemic problem or if we simply have to lower our Utilization to a lower percentage. This deep dive is one of the big differences between the Virtual CFO and Controller pricing tiers.

How soon can we start working together?

For sanity reasons, we have limited our onboarding to no more than 4 new companies per month. Depending on demand, you may have to wait a few weeks before we can officially get things started.

I'm nervous about giving you and your team access to my accounting infrastructure. How do you handle data security?

We offer secure data-transfer via a client portal and have never experienced data security problems.

Do you provide year-round service?

Yes. No different than hiring a CFO—we’re there until we’re not.

Why should I use Summit CPA Virtual CFO Services?

Why not? Our team has the experienced “credentials” some companies demand. Due to our being a distributed company we have the luxury of hiring the crème of the crop, with no geographic limitations. Additionally, our team has a profound knowledge of “process” – they know how to tackle tasks, get them done, and meet deadlines.

Will the same people always service my account?

Our Virtual CFOs all manage an experienced team. While that team may change (due to promotions, roles) your assigned CFO will be your main point of contact and that will not change.  

What are some considerations I should consult with you about on an ongoing basis? 

Ask us. If we can’t do it—we’ll find someone who can.

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