The CFO'S Perspective

Key Financial Processes Questions and Answers

In the early days of your business, you might have managed your books single handedly or hired an outside accountant to take a peek at regular intervals. As you scale and grow your business, your financial management needs expand as well.

One of the keys to success in just about any sector is strong financial planning and management. This requires taking more than just a backward glance at what just happened during the past month, quarter, or year.

While a full-time bookkeeper can give you some of the controls you require, the truth is that you will need to dedicate more resources to the sound financial management of your business. So, just what is financial management, and where do you begin?

Here are some common questions and answers about key financial processes as they relate to your business.

Topics: Financial Reports Financial Process

A Business Owner’s Perspective on Financial Statements

Don't ever let your business get ahead of the financial side of your business. Accounting, accounting, accounting. Know your numbers.” - Tilman J. Fertitta

When it comes to financial statements, one size definitely doesn't fit all. In fact, as your business grows and evolves, your financial statements should too. Their primary purpose shouldn't change, which is to provide business owners with actionable information. However, as a business matures, and potentially becomes more complex, with an increasing number of opportunities to pursue (or not) the statements need to be able to keep up.

There isn't a hard and fast rule about what you should look at, and at what stage those needs will vary. What should be true, however, is the owner's commitment and rigor around the process of what is reviewed and when. For businesses that lack the full-time need of a CFO, a part-time or project CFO will provide the expertise necessary to produce financial statements that are appropriate and relevant to generate information (not just data) that helps solve real business problems.

I happen to lead an organization made up of those financial executives and can offer that I face the same challenges you do when evaluating what I need to run the firm. Primarily, how do I make sure I have what I need to make good business decisions?

Topics: Financial Reports

When Accountants Became Firefighters

There are times in the course of a career when an accountant faces difficult short-term circumstances calling for quick decisions and a focus on critical priorities.  In other words, the “fire” calls the shots, and the accountant must respond to the fire’s breadth and intensity. The ability to successfully manage the proverbial fire is based on skill and effort within an undetermined period.

Topics: Funding Success Stories Planning Accounts Receivable Financial Reports Audit Portland

Critical Information Financial Assessments Should Deliver to Business Leaders

Most small to medium-sized companies are owned and run by business leaders who are highly skilled in some key aspect of their business - such as technology, sales, or manufacturing - but are less savvy in financial matters. Financial performance measures are essential because they indicate whether a company's strategy, implementation, and execution are contributing to bottom-line results.

Whether it is your company's number one goal or not, the notion of turning a profit is sure to be in your top five short and long-term objectives. The only way to know if you are achieving your financial goals is to regularly assess your business. Are things running smoothly? If not, where are the bottlenecks? What parts of the business are acting as growth catalysts? Many of these questions can be answered by reviewing regular financial reports.

Topics: Analysis Financial Reports