Written by: Megan Stanton
What does a good outsourced CFO do?
A good outsourced CFO can be likened to a personal trainer for your business. Many people, myself included, have a drive to do things on our own and aren’t always eager to ask for help. But a point often comes where the old methods and strategies don’t achieve the expected results.
I tend to be a perfectionist, so when I first began a serious workout program, I spent endless hours researching the best moves to target each area I wanted to work on. Since I lacked the experience I would find myself questioning whether it was really going to make a difference. And then add on topics such as: how many calories should I be eating, how much protein do I need to eat to build lean muscle, what are macros and should I be tracking them?
That’s when I decided to make the investment in a personal trainer. I knew enough of the basics to be informed, but needed the edge that an experienced professional could provide to actually see improvement and feel confident that I would reach my goals. At Lucrum, we consider our outsourced CFO services to be like providing personal trainers for our client’s businesses – helping them to get holistic view into their business and help them lead confidently.
Why do companies decide to invest in outsourced CFO services?
The most common reasons for deciding to work with an outsourced CFO are similar to the reasons that you would hire a personal trainer:
One of Lucrum’s core values is Quality; more specifically “Do it right the first time”. Our team has a combined 37 years of tenure at Lucrum and over 100 years in diverse backgrounds and skillsets to help business owners stay ahead of an ever-evolving and changing financial landscape. Not everyone can be an expert in everything. Partnering with an expert, be it finance via our outsourced CFO services or fitness, can give a person the edge needed to take it to the next level.
It’s so easy to become discouraged when starting a new routine or relationship. Expectations are high and patience is low. Working with an expert or trainer can help bring expectations back into alignment so that goals are aligned with reality. If a trainer tells us that the workout routine they’ve established should lead to 2 pounds fat loss per week or 5 pounds more weight lifted per week we won’t be expecting greater results and be discouraged when we fall short. The same is true of working with an outsourced CFO; goals are based on reality and can be realistically attained.
A key benefit of working with a trainer, just like working with an outsourced CFO, is someone to hold you accountable. Consistency is key. Any great plan will fail if no or inconsistent action is taken toward achieving the plan. And, let’s face it, no matter how responsible a person we are, we all work a little better, faster, smarter, when someone is checking up on us. The same holds true for business. Having someone on your team to track progress, modify the plan to ensure the goals are met, and hold a business owner accountable for what they have committed to is an essential part of success.
Break through a plateau
Many times, a successful strategy will only be successful up to a certain point, and then it will no longer be effective and all forward progress will cease. It’s the old “what got me here won’t get me there” approach. In these situations, a new strategy or plan is needed to move to the next level. In the world of fitness, breaking through a weight-loss or strength gains plateau can be challenging and frustrating. Having that personal trainer to suggest a new strategy can make the difference. In finance, often a strategy that is highly effective for a start-up entity is not helpful once the company reaches maturity and new strategies and reporting are needed to grow and adapt.
Before joining Lucrum I had not considered how connected finance and fitness could be. In my previous positions I either was a CPA doing tax work or a Controller working for one company. But as an advisor helping a variety of clients solve their accounting problems, I’m able to use my skills and knowledge to assist many different business owners, in a multitude of industries, fix a variety of problems. It’s nice knowing that a small touch can make a big difference in their financial success. And when I think about it, it’s not too unlike my trainer working with me one hour and several other clients the rest of the day…