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3 Ways for New Outsourced CFOs to Be More Strategic Right Away

Posted by Joerg Joergensen on Nov 27, 2019 9:21:00 AM
Joerg Joergensen
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The Need for Outsourced CFO Services

In a recent webinar, we asked how many of our attendees if they offered Outsourced CFO services as an extension to their accounting services.  An astounding 97% offered fully outsourced or similar CFO services. Why is the role of outsourced CFO so popular and needed among today’s mid-sized businesses?

The Importance of Being More Strategic Right Away | 3 Ways for New Outsourced CFOs to Be More Strategic Right Away

According to, the median salary for a CFO is over $132,000.  Add in employee benefits, bonuses, and 401(k) contributions, and you’ll soon see why small to mid-size companies might struggle to bring on such a highly paid expert and still pay the bills. In addition, a leading recruiting firm, Korn Ferry, estimates that the average CFO tenure is 5.1 years, leading to high turnover that can derail a growing company.

How to Be Strategic from Day One

Companies expect their Outsourced CFO to know the basics: excel at accounting, understand financial statements, and be an excellent communicator.  But before you sign on as an Outsourced CFO, you should have a preliminary plan in place to hit the ground running from Day One.

Being strategic means having a plan in place that involves three phases:

  1. Learn the Company’s Business Objectives.  Spend time with the CEO, COO, founders, and other stakeholders to make sure you understand the company vision, where they’ve been, and the direction they want to go.
  2. Set short and long term goals.  If you already perform outsourced accounting services for your client, you probably have a good idea of their financial picture. If not, you’ll still need a plan in place that helps you quickly identify issues and put an action plan in place.  Building out a 30-, 60-, and 90-day plan will provide focus and show the value you bring to the organization.
  3. Become a reliable, trusted advisor with a fresh perspective.  Your client hired a CFO because they need to understand a critical aspect of their business: their finances.  They need your skills, astute opinion, and practical ideas of how to help them achieve their business goals. You won’t automatically be part of the team, but you’ll earn their trust through quick wins and alignment with company goals.

An Outsourced CFO offers something unique that an in-house CFO can’t - a fresh perspective.  You bring your industry knowledge and client experiences to the table, helping them identify problems and company-specific solutions.  But because you’re still offering services to other clients, you keep feeding your global perspective. As a result, you’ll help them avoid unpleasant surprises and look at their nagging issues in a new way.  You’ll bring structure and discipline that they don’t currently have (but need), so they can thrive in a competitive environment.

Are You Ready to Become an Outsourced CFO?

If you have an existing accounting practice and are ready to share your expertise with mid-sized clients, the answer is YES; you are prepared to become a CFO.  And to hit the ground running, be prepared to:

  1. Develop relationships with the CEO, President, and executives
  2. Develop a strategic plan for the short and long term
  3. Become a trusted advisor with a market-perspective to solve chronic problems. can help you streamline your accounting operations and bring quick wins for your outsourced CFO clients.  We’ve developed a webinar that helps leaders like you understand what you need to do on day one to be successful as an Outsourced CFO.  Watch our webinar recording, Top 10 Outsourced CFO Quick Wins, to find out more about serving your Outsourced CFO clients.


And if you’re already an Outsourced CFO, we’d love to hear what your top 3 tips are for success from Day One. Just leave us a comment below.

Top 10 Outsourced CFO Quick Wins | Watch the Recording

Topics: Outsourced CFO

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