The CFO'S Perspective

CFO Selections Team

Recent Posts by CFO Selections Team:

Integrity in Finance – Why Establishing Trust Matters

“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
- Alan K. Simpson

Originally published: 6/30/2021
Updated: 5/10/2024

Integrity in finance should be the foundation of a lasting bond between a business and its clients. Everyone wants to believe the promises that a company makes to them with respect to safeguarding their interests. But how many organizations can follow through on those promises? 

In an ideal world, we would have absolute trust in our financial institutions, advisors, and government regulators. Unfortunately, history and public sentiment tell us a different story. Sure, ethics and integrity still exist in finance. And those organizations are the ones that will consistently find success. 

Topics: Leadership Company Culture Integrity

The Top 10 Accounting System Conversion Mistakes to Avoid

As fractional CFOs and Controllers our team engages with organizations in either a short-term or part-time capacity. One area where we often lend our expertise is in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and MRP (Material Requirements Planning) installations. Properly implementing and managing the accounting and finance elements of these systems requires a depth of financial acumen that is best suited for an experienced CFO to handle because there are wide reaching business implications to consider with this type of strategic execution.

In the many years that we have been helping clients with accounting systems conversions, we have noticed the same pitfalls tend to trip up organizations time and again. We are sharing those with you today in the hopes that calling them out can serve as cautionary lessons to help you avoid moving forward with an accounting system conversion that you will end up regretting later.

Topics: Accounting Software Accounting System

Understanding Nonprofit Hiring Trends

Originally published: Dec 20, 2022
Updated: April 8, 2024

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) the U.S. job market has finally ushered in positive employment growth after several years of decline. However, growth is occurring far slower than employment analysts would have liked to see. In the nonprofit space, hiring remains challenging, especially within more skilled, technical, and senior-level roles.

How should nonprofit organizations overcome today’s hiring challenges?

Topics: Non Profit Organizations Hiring

How Outsourced CFOs Handle Ethical Considerations

As outsourced CFOs we are brought in to assist in a variety of situations across many different types of organizations. Every instance is unique in terms of what kind of financial position they are in, where they are excelling and/or struggling operationally, and what they are looking to get help with across their financial functions. As a result, their expectations can get hazy for the consulting CFO coming into the role. When this unclear view of what a fractional CFO should be doing is combined with financial management activities that are (either unintentionally or purposefully) against best practices or downright unethical, an outsourced CFO can find themselves in a sticky situation.

So, whether you are a consulting CFO looking for advice or a business leader looking for an idea of what to expect from the engagement, we have put together a quick resource to offer some guidance on how external CFOs handle ethical questions and issues.

Topics: CFO CFO Responsibilities

When Should I Hire a Fractional CFO?

If you’re looking to hire a CFO, have you stopped to consider whether you actually need one? Too often companies, especially successful small to mid-sized companies, rightly understand that they need strong financial leadership to maintain their growth and incorrectly conclude that they need to hire a full-time CFO to get it.

Now, as a company comprised entirely of seasoned CFOs and Controllers, we certainly understand the importance of having this kind of strong financial leadership! However, our experience also allows us to understand that executive financial leadership is not one-size-fits-all.

Often, companies that think they need an in-house CFO are better served by utilizing a fractional CFO or Controller instead. This is especially true for businesses below $50M in revenue, because at that level either the primary responsibilities of an in-house CFO are not needed, or they are handled by the business owner/CEO. What this means for your company is you may not need a CFO …at least in the traditional sense of the role!

Topics: CFO CFO Responsibilities

When to Use a ‘Decision Tree’ for Business Planning

Originally published: 2/15/2021
Updated: 3/4/2024

For those not familiar with the term, a decision tree is a flow chart that works through all possible response options in a scenario to analyze resulting outcomes. Basically, it is a visual version of an “if this then that” statement across all possible alternatives.

The “branches” off each decision alternative that result use data analysis to forecast the most likely outcome of each decision. When one decision leads to another decision that must be made, that branch splits to continue extrapolating the effects of each subsequent decision. The result is a tree-like diagram (hence the name) that is easy to understand and interpret.

Decision trees can be more conceptual in nature or have numbers to back up decision scenarios, as is the case of pricing changes affecting revenue figures. For decision trees with complicated calculations, a software program can assign values and probabilities to streamline decision-making. A decision tree is a critical part of strategic planning because it allows decision makers to analyze the effects of a significant change throughout different areas of the business.

Topics: Data Analysis Planning Analysis Leadership Growth Forecasting Risk Management Change Management Strategy

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