The CFO'S Perspective

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

Getting your Financial House in Order Before Selling Your Business

Are you thinking about selling your business? Some business owners hear this question and respond, “No… well, not any time soon anyway.” But, if the answer is yes, even if you don’t plan on selling it soon, the time to start planning is now. If you think that selling your business might be in your 3-year, 5-year, or even 10-year plan, start getting the pieces in place now. Preparing ahead of time makes the process go more smoothly and quite often helps owners to get more value out of the sale of their business.

It’s never too early to plan for selling a business because there are a lot of steps that need to happen before coming to the table to sign the paperwork. Getting your financial house in order involves cleaning up your books, assessing the overall financial health of your business, putting together the information that buyers will need to enter into an agreement, working through the details of the deal, and then closing out the sale. From the early planning stage to final sale completion, the whole process can take several years to complete.

Topics: Planning Transition Due Diligence

Danger Ahead – What are the Future Business Risks? And what can we do about it? (From a CFO’s Perspective)

Uncertainty, a term frequently mentioned by business leaders today, essentially refers to business risk - an area CFOs often focus on. Let's delve into the various types of risk a business may face.

Topics: Planning Forecasting Risk Management

Understanding the Importance of Financial Modeling: Should You Build a 3-Year Model?

“How do you build a three-year financial model?” It’s a question we get (and answer) a lot.

A financial model is a type of financial projection that pulls together important data to allow organizations to analyze their current financial position and predict their future financial position. While effective financial modeling takes significant time and expertise to complete, the considerable benefits provided make it well worth the investment. Financial modeling is an essential tool used to manage risk, allocate resources, make smart investments, secure funding, and develop long-term growth strategies.

Some projections are over a longer time horizon while others only cover a short time horizon. However, whether your financial model covers two, three, five, or ten years, it’s important to understand what it should accomplish, why you should do one, and what it should include. Find out now why you need financial modeling and how to build a financial model for your organization that will offer the insights needed to make key strategic decisions.

Topics: Finance Trends Planning Financial Projections Risk Management

What Should Organizations Do to Prepare for a Recession?

We’re trying something new today by giving our readers access to insights from an internal conversation we’ve been having! In a recent team meeting our experienced CFOs were discussing what organizations can do to get ready for a recession or economic downturn. The list of tips that our team came up with to prepare your business for a recession offers great advice for for-profit and non-profit entities alike, no matter what the future holds. Below is the result of that brainstorming session.

Topics: Planning Forecasting Risk Management Strategy

How Will a Recession affect Nonprofits?

While some economists and business analysts claim we are already in a recession, many more believe we will be in one by the end of the year. The general consensus is that whether we are already there, or it is coming soon, for-profit and non-profit organizations alike will be affected. The question is how will they be affected and what will those effects look like? Essentially, what should they expect and to what degree should they expect to be affected?

Obviously, nonprofit organizations will feel the effects of a recession differently than the private sector, but the types of issues they are dealing with right now are the same: changing consumer behavior (purchasing and donating), increased costs, labor market changes, and increased reputational risk. How will nonprofits be affected?

Topics: Non Profit Organizations Economic Trends Philanthropy Planning

Is On-Site Necessary Anymore? Examining Today’s Most Effective Workforce Structure

When talking with colleagues these days it is common to hear people discussing the effectiveness of remote work, especially regarding consulting work. We hear partners and clients saying things like, “I just don’t think we can replicate the kind of interpersonal relationships we used to have virtually.” Yet, at the same time, we hear their employees expressing little desire ever to return to the office full-time, opting instead for fully remote or hybrid work arrangements. This dichotomy begs the question, “Which is better, in-person or remote?”

Topics: Trends Planning Leadership Company Culture

How does Uncertainty affect a CFO’s Role?

It is being mentioned on the news, among coworkers in team chats, and over dinner with family day after day. It is keeping Americans (especially business leaders) up at night. In fact, every client meeting we have these days has some discussion around it. What is it? Uncertainty.

Today’s culture is wrought with uncertainty that is absolutely sweeping through every industry. Rising inflation, COVID surges, interest rate hikes, a dramatic increase in the cost of living, the war in Ukraine, and a potential recession all have business leadership mired in a constant state of uncertainty. From professional services and hospitality to tech and manufacturing, uncertainty is taking a toll. And unfortunately, it does not show any signs of dissipating any time soon.

In response, many organizations have begun leaning even more heavily on their CEOs and CFOs to guide them through these tumultuous waters. Consumption patterns have changed, new buying trends have emerged, and supply chains have become murky, reducing confidence levels in business forecasts. And amid it all, CFOs are being asked to manage cash flow, oversee new business priorities, and aid in constantly shifting strategic planning initiatives.

Topics: CFO Planning Leadership CFO Responsibilities Change Management