The CFO'S Perspective

What Does a Nonprofit CFO Do?

Our team is used to discussing what’s included in a CFO’s job description. But this type of conversation usually centers around the commonalities that unite all CFO roles, not the nuanced differences for a specific industry or type of organization. But when talking about what a CFO for a nonprofit does, there are some unique elements to the role that are important to understand.

Topics: Non Profit Organizations CFO

Speaking the Love Language of CFOs

Love is in the air, which got us thinking… what is the love language of a CFO?

For those of you not familiar with “love languages” the basic premise is that different people have different personalities, which means they give and receive love in different ways. And while this may sound like it’s only related to romance it certainly doesn’t have to be! Fundamentally, love languages are a way to discuss how people build connections, feel appreciation, and perceive their value. The conversation around love languages focuses on giving someone else what they need and what they will appreciate the most.

So, what do CFOs really want?

Our team weighed in during a planning meeting, and their answers were too good not to share:

Topics: CFO

Don’t Trust Your Accountant!

What would we do without our accountants? We rely on them for accuracy, reporting, transaction processing, analysis, and financial advice. For non-accountants, the discipline can be a mystery. So, we try to find a good accountant to add to our team and then we trust them to do their job. That’s what we should do, right?

Actually, no.

You shouldn’t trust your accountant. Well, hopefully, you can trust them, but you shouldn’t.

Topics: Accounting Fraud Risk Management

How do The Best CFOs Use Machine Learning?

With all the buzz around generative AI in business, many finance professionals are eagerly waiting to see what the future will hold for AI usage in accounting and finance. Overall, the sentiment seems to be positive, although many are taking a more cautious approach as they wait to see where and how it will be utilized. But while AI integration is still in its early days for most small to mid-sized businesses, companies of all sizes across all industries have been benefiting from Machine Learning (ML) for decades and can largely credit their success to doing so.

Topics: Automation Technology Artificial Intelligence

Financial Projections and Analysis – Considerations for Businesses

Originally published: 3/23/2020
Updated: 1/8/2023

Why are financial projections important and how can they inform a company’s financial analysis to increase confidence in the numbers?

To answer that question, we need to take a step back. Preparing financial statements is an important first step in the business planning process because these financials form the basis for predicting business outcomes for future reporting periods.

Using that foundation financial revenue and expense projections are generated from compiling the internal and external accounting data you already use in the day-to-day management of your business. These projections allow you to get a more accurate view of how successful your business can be so you can determine what to keep and what to cut when planning.

Topics: Analysis Financial Projections

How to Include Overhead in a Grant Request

Just the other day we were working with a client who came to us and said, “We need help with an important grant request. How do we know which expenses to include in our overhead costs? And how should we word those expenses appropriately in our proposal?” We were able to help and now we want to share the wisdom that we offered him to help you the next time you write a grant proposal.

Anyone who has ever worked with grants knows that budgeting can be one of the most difficult parts of the grant request process. To be effective a grant proposal needs to include both the direct costs of running the program(s) that the grant will be used for as well as the indirect costs (or overhead costs) associated with offering programming.

Organizations that do not appropriately account for overhead costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, and technology will not be entirely compensated for the full cost of running the programs that they offer, which can jeopardize their long-term sustainability. Simply put, an organization that cannot cover their overhead costs won’t have the operating budget needed to provide their programs and offerings to their community, which in turn can:

  • Reduce reach and effectiveness.
  • Negatively affect morale and increase turnover.
  • Threaten the long-term viability of the organization.
Topics: Non Profit Organizations Cost Allocation Grants

15 Questions to Ask an Executive Financial Recruiting Firm

When you are looking for someone to hire a CFO for your company, who do you tap for the job? What sets a great executive recruiting firm apart from a mediocre one? And how can you even tell the difference? Going through the research stage of selecting a financial recruiter can be daunting, but we’re here to help!

Our team of executive finance recruiters has put together a list of the questions they hear most often to serve as a guide as you go through the process. We’ll tell you why these questions are important and what you can hope to glean from asking them.

Topics: Recruiting

What to do When You Don't Know What to do – A CFO's Perspective

There's an interesting quote I hear quite regularly regarding how to act in times of strife or turmoil.

The only way out is through." – Robert Frost

If you think about it, it's a simple allegory for a moment when you may face a challenge, whether work, personal, or otherwise. Given that this is a business-related article, I'll limit my thoughts to the work environment, specifically examples facing business financial executives. The point, however, is that bemoaning the issue, or moment, or whatever the challenge may be, does very little to help you move on from that issue or moment. Action is what helps you more than any other element. Doing something is better than doing nothing almost all the time.

Topics: Planning Leadership Transition