The CFO'S Perspective

CFO Selections Team

Recent Posts by CFO Selections Team:

How to Choose Between a Controller and a CFO

It might seem like a matter of semantics in a small to mid-sized company to use the Controller and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) job titles interchangeably. After all, don’t they essentially do the same thing?

The fact is there is a difference between the two. A CFO is not simply a more experienced and higher paid controller – the roles are different and require a different level of experience and a different way of operating.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Controller

Financial Projections for Startups – A How-To Guide

Financial projections are a critical component of a sound business plan. These projections (or “financial forecasts”) are used externally to obtain funding as well as internally to create a strategic growth roadmap with key milestones.

At the core of these projections are logical assumptions for revenue, COGS (cost of goods sold), SG&A (sales, general, and administrative) expenses, capital investments, and cash flow that serve as building blocks for the final figures that result. Because your financial projections rely on these pillars, it is crucial to find a balance with these inputs. Being too conservative or too aggressive with your assumptions will skew the resulting projections, damaging their overall credibility. The goal is to inspire confidence externally as well as internally while maintaining high ethical standards, which requires a balanced approach toward creating assumptions for financial projections.

Use existing financial information, even if it is limited by the newness of your business, to justify these assumptions and inform your financial forecasting process. Your resulting financial projections should include a P&L statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, capitalization table, and strategic investment plan.

Topics: Funding Planning Financial Projections Financial Reports Forecasting Financing

Vendor Management – Pay Now or Pay Later?

Effective cash flow management requires careful control of both money coming in and going out. While practices like shortening payment terms, offering variable pricing, and pursuing collections can increase the timeliness and amount of money coming in, delaying payments to vendors can slow cash outflows, providing the float needed to sustain operations during difficult times.

In an article about re-opening your business, Jeff Dunn explains succinctly, “Determine which vendors are critical to your day-to-day operations and pay them as timely as possible; which are important but can be paid slowly; and which are not important going forward that will be paid when able.”

How do you decide who to pay now and who to pay later, and how do you abide by vendor management best practices while doing both? This quick guide will help you answer those questions to improve your cash flow position right away.

Topics: Planning Cash Flow Expenses Strategy COVID-19

Which Financial Statements are Required to Get Funding?

Lenders and investors will always ask for financial statements as part of the application process. When applying for funding, you will be required to provide both historical financial data and projected financial figures. Banks and investors will then analyze where the company has been and where it appears to be going to determine if its trajectory fits within acceptable risk parameters.

Topics: Funding Financial Reports Financing

Cash Flow Management: 6 Best Practices for Small & Medium Businesses

Never take your eyes off of the cash flow because it’s the life blood of the business.
- Richard Branson

Staying on top of your cash flow is vital to running a small business smoothly. According to a U.S. Bank study, poor cash management is the cause of 82% of business failures. Cash flow is critical to the survival and success of your business. Without it, you cannot hire or pay employees, buy inventory, expand your operations, or secure a line of credit or financing. 

Building good cash flow management habits will help your small business weather rough terrain and double-down when opportunity strikes. To help your business avoid becoming just another statistic, here are six best practices to manage your cash flow and help you grow your business at the same time.

Topics: Cash Flow