Whether you’ve just started as an outsourced CFO or you’re an old pro, you’ll always find a fresh perspective by interacting with your client’s business partners. Insurance brokers, bankers, and vendors can provide a unique viewpoint that is hard to find inside your client’s office.
Connecting with external advisors is a great way to get valuable insights about your client’s operations - quickly. Below is advice on meeting with external advisors taken from our webinar, Top 10 Outsourced CFO Quick Wins. (If you currently offer or are considering offering outsourced CFO services, this webinar is an ideal way to prove your value.)
Your client may be an expert in their industry, but they need advice from service professionals to help guide them through business growth (or downturn) periods. What are the commercial risks associated with the new merger planned for next year? Are there factors to consider for next month’s office relocation? Should commercial insurance policies undergo a comprehensive review of pricing and coverage?
These are all questions that a reputable commercial insurance broker can provide. They will see gaps in your coverage that may include cyber liability or crime insurance, but also offer policy bundling that will save your client money while mitigating potentially unknown risks.
Insurance brokers provide business insights, but they can also offer a unique perspective on your client’s operations. Does your client’s company pay on time? What is their claims experience? Have they refused recommended coverage or policy riders? These professionals can provide you with information you might not hear about inside the boardroom.
Banks and Financial Institutions
Today’s bankers are more than just blue suits. Banking is a competitive market that includes hometown credit unions, regional financial institutions, and national mega-banks, each offering their flavor of customer service, pricing, and technology. Payments, disbursements, investment vehicles, and the technology used to manage them are changing rapidly.
Where do you start? Look at the monthly service charges your client incurs. Are there numerous (and expensive) wire transfers and fees, indicating a potential process improvement that includes ACH transfers? Do the AP and AR functions have problems depositing money or paying bills? Is the technology outdated, or is your client paying for more services than they use?
The current banking partner, along with other potential vendors, may offer best practices, service charge savings, and improved technology that will make a positive impact on your client’s operations.
If your client is expanding operations, chances are they will need cash to grow. As an outsourced CFO, you’ll likely be a key advisor in this strategic area.
In your first 30 days, identify and understand all loan agreements, credit lines, credit cards, and financial obligations. You can start by collecting all supporting documents and making a spreadsheet of all pertinent information, including financial institution name, interest rate, loan terms, due dates, payment amounts, and other provisions. This will give you a bird’s eye view of the financial commitments the company has agreed to pay.
Next, you’ll need to ask some questions. Are we getting the best rates? Is there an opportunity to refinance or renegotiate the terms of the agreement? Are we paying on time?
Finally, meeting with lenders may be appropriate, especially if they can give you financial insights and recommendations.
Brokers, bankers, and other business partners will give you a unique perspective on your client’s operations, but also allow you to make a significant impact during your first 30 days.
Ready to Learn More?
For more tips on how to make an impact as an outsourced CFO, watch the webinar recording, Top 10 Outsourced CFO Quick Wins, and leave us a reply below with any comments you may have.