8 Reasons to Hire

a CFO in 2023

Trust is the word of the year for entrepreneurs: trust in your business model and your numbers, earning trust from your investors, and building a trustworthy team to keep every part of your company on track. Financial confidence is more important than ever as we head into the new year, and it’s critical that your growth strategy has the resilience to withstand the ebb and flow of an uncertain economy. 

But building a rock-solid strategy can be challenging when cash and resources are unpredictable. To navigate financial decision-making successfully, growth companies need a skilled CFO at the financial helm who can put strong systems and processes in place, manage cash flow strategically, and build out a skilled team who can execute critical tasks.

Why Hire a CFO?

In 2019, Pitchbook reported that 71% of startup unicorns (companies valued at $1B or more) had CFOs, and 64% of those valued at $500M – $1B had them. Successful companies know that CFO leadership is the key to fast-tracking growth and value. A skilled CFO will help you gain clarity and precision so you can grow faster, boost confidence, and make great decisions. 

Here are 8 things a CFO can help you achieve this year:

1. Gather Real-Time Data at Speed

Successful growth depends on having quality data to make informed decisions. You’ll also need to collect and analyze that data in real time, so you don’t lose momentum or miss opportunities. A CFO should put systems in place to capture the right data quickly, monitor key performance metrics, and make rapid course corrections when needed.

2. Improve Process Sophistication

As your company grows, financial processes become more complex. You’ll need more sophisticated processes to handle billing, accounts payable, financial reporting, and more. A skilled CFO will help you identify inefficiencies in key processes like data capture, month-end close, reporting, and cash flow management. Within the first 90 days, they should assess the company’s current performance and streamline processes to add value. 

3. Hone the Month-End Close Process

The month-end close process should consistently be completed within 15 days after the end of the month. If it isn’t, you won’t have the information you need to make course corrections for the next month. A skilled CFO will assess this process and make adjustments so that key financial data is clear and timely. 

4. Build a Capable Team

Building a team of financial leaders and doers is not easy, especially in today’s hiring environment. The CFO will need to find people with the right skills and experience so they can build a team that functions well together and collaborates effectively with the rest of the organization.

5. Create Value Through Technology

Technology upgrades help you increase process speed, reduce inefficiencies, and eliminate errors from your accounting operations. Your CFO should take a look at your current tech stack and determine whether a new ERP or other technology transformation could add significant value to your finance function. 

6. Conduct Financial Forecasting and Analysis

Financial forecasting is one of the most important jobs of the CFO. To support informed decision-making and increase confidence in projected revenue and profits, forecasts should take place every quarter. The CFO will evaluate your finance strategy against those forecasts and should also compare financial performance against industry benchmarks on a regular basis. 

7. Create and Maintain a 13-Week Cash Flow Strategy

The 13-week cash flow strategy is essential during periods of both growth and uncertainty. The CFO should keep a close eye on cash to prevent cash flow surprises, increase agility, and build confidence. 

8. Spearhead Capital Funding Efforts

If you plan to seek funding this year or if you anticipate a merger or acquisition, having a skilled CFO at the helm is the best way to navigate the process successfully. The right CFO will spearhead the process, help you access and deliver high caliber information quickly, keep investor confidence high, and close the deal.  

What if Hiring a CFO Isn’t in the Budget This Year?

For all the reasons above and more, hiring a CFO is one of the best things you can do for your business. But what if you just don’t have the budget for it this year? If you aim to hire linearly, filling one role at a time (first an accountant, then a controller, then eventually a CFO) you’ll be left to struggle along without the resources you truly need to succeed. 

The good news is that there’s a better way. Outsourcing the CFO leadership role and finance function delivers exactly the resources you need, when you need them. You also gain the flexibility, agility, and functional sophistication to grow strategically and scale quickly. 

At CFO Alliance, we partner with innovative founders like you to deliver high-value financial leadership and execution at every stage of growth. 

Download our Founders Financial Playbook to see how we eliminate financial stress and uncertainty with the Office of the CFO solution!