Why you probably Don’t Need a CFO

“I think we need a CFO”

This is what we hear from business owners who contact us.

The truth is often they don’t.

Outsourced, fractional, or interim CFOs seem to be everywhere.

You see them on LinkedIn pitching their services every day.

Maybe you’ve met a couple on the golf course playing around with friends.

Most owners hear the words “Financing” or “Strategy” and convince themselves that’s what they need.

Then they call us.

We get it; talking about raising capital and tactical plans is sexy.

You can’t open the WSJ or HBR without running into SPACs, IPOs, and KPIs.

But most of the time owners don’t need a CFO.

So if you don’t need a CFO, what do you need?

(Lean forward – I’m going to tell you a secret)

You probably need a Controller.

With a little bit of digging and questioning, many of the owners that contact us say things like;

  • “I’ve hit a ceiling/wall and really want to grow this business, I know I can”
  • “I feel like my team’s just stuck”
  • “I’ve got several businesses and multiple locations, but I can’t tell which ones are the most profitable”
  • “I could probably grow this business 5x, but I can’t keep up with what’s going on”
  • “It’s just totally out of control”

After hearing these phrases over and over, my mind can’t help but think of the lyrics to Bo Diddley’s classic song Signifying Blues –

Say, look here!

(A-what dat?)

It look like your process took a recess


(A-that’s alright, at least I can afford to get one)

(You wear one of them do-it-yourself job things)


Why What You Really Need Is A Good Controller

woman working while outside on vacation

Is It Time To Change Your ERP System? Choose a Technology That DOESN’T Steal Your Soul!

Imagine a world where financial reports are delivered in real-time without your direct involvement and you stop working late nights, weekends, and during your family vacations?

As the CFO or Venture Capitalist of a Private Equity Fund, you may already have an ERP system in place. Most companies are running Netsuite, Great Plains, or possibly QuickBooks. 

But, you could be planning to change your direction this year by moving to a newer ERP system. If that’s the case, why not choose a system that quickly delivers what stakeholders want and also gives you more time to spend with your spouse and children during the various weekend trips and vacations that get squandered when an investment firm requests a report at the last minute? It’s a win-win for you and your clients.

Maybe you’ve considered a change but don’t yet have it in the budget. With the many systems your organization is using, managers are experiencing avoidable headaches. Does that include you?

Are You?

  • Struggling with consolidations and allocations on multiple funds?
  • Still using Quickbooks logging into numerous instances each day — as if you’re an adult wearing children’s clothes?
  • Frustrated with spreadsheets loaded with errors and mistakes?

person, outside blurry window, hands, head, black and white

How Do You Keep Up, Without Losing Your Soul?

As a company managing various funds, you have the complex task of creating reports, and quickly. The balance sheet tallies include incentive and management fees to the fund management costs. Unfortunately, in Quickbooks, these numbers must be manually tracked in a spreadsheet, consuming your highly paid people’s valuable time. And, when you have 35-40 funds, this becomes a nightmare, even if you’re willing to burn large stacks of money.

joker, money burning

How do you keep up with contributions, distributions, co-investments, unique preferences, particular needs?

Your management company wants to receive reporting of the funds. How often do you give that to your clients? Is it once a year?

How will you ever hear that they tell their colleagues what a great job you are doing on their behalf?

What if you used an ERP Software that provides you the capacity to…

  • Report key financial performance indicators weekly?
  • Send weekly reports with a net asset value in practically real-time?

So many times, companies make considerable investments to build their software. Why? They are unaware that a solution already exists to resolve their problems.

What happens when a right-hand member of your staff goes on leave or vacation?

One client shared that when their right-hand person, who did everything, went on maternity leave, he didn’t know what to do. Then, he realized that it was a lot harder than he thought to keep up with everything for all their clients.

What was a beast to manage before became “completely unmanageable.”

But, this must be impossible, right?

That’s only possible for people who don’t have a life or a family… for those locked in the office?

locked gated

How Many Weekends Are You Working or Vacations Have You Skipped to Generate Spreadsheet Reports?

How stressful and daunting is your work? Are you anticipating that next crunchtime project, the report you needed yesterday for the top-level management company lending you millions of dollars? Just like that?

How common is this story? You’re leaving for vacation this weekend, and you have to get all your work done before you go. So, you work 90 hours starting on Monday because you want to get everything done so you can take off. But, then Friday comes, and the managing director calls requesting a new last-minute report for Johnny at Goldman Sachs. As you look at the spreadsheet before you, you realize your vacation just got canceled, you’ll be working through Sunday night, and now you have to be the “bad cop” to your spouse and kids.

woman looking outside through a torn hole

What If….?

What if we could show you a system where all you do is press a button, and you never have to work another weekend in your life?

Is that worth exploring?

No more working weekends while you miss your kid’s ballgames, time with your spouse, and vacations!

When large funds entrust you with money to manage, and they say they want this reporting, net asset value fund investments, at least quarterly, and you can’t deliver it, they get agitated. They are known to board a plane, meet you where you are, and harass you until you make it happen.

Your client demands excellent financial reporting, but when you hand them a cobbled-together spreadsheet, that isn’t going to be good enough to keep them happy and coming back to you. The reports you present to your client need to look world-class like they come from sophisticated software.

woman indoors, giving gift

Your Product is the Yield You Give Your Investors

Do you know… What is your product?

Let us help. You manage funds. Fund owners will put their money where the yield is most substantial. There are many Private Equity Firms out there. What is going to make your product (yield report) stand apart?

It’s the packaging.

Consider how your reports look to your clients. For example, are you delivering your reports wrapped in a newspaper (Excel)? If so, your company’s value is under-presented, and under-presented value diminishes the perception of what you do.

Don’t you think that the business owners entrusting you with a billion dollars to manage for them deserve to have your product presented in a wrapper more valuable than a newspaper?

The Four Seasons Hotels and Chick-fil-A are two world-class service organizations. How about an Apple iPhone where the box is just as impressive as the phone?

What if you could save hundreds of hours and that savings could be transferred to your overall operating cost? What if that savings meant you could generate real-time reports? And what if, that report could be delivered in a way that’s reflective of the impressive work done by you and your team?

sage intacct report, dashboard

Sage Intacct Is An Excellent Wrapping — Trusted CFO Solutions is the Right Partner

There are multiple accounting firms like Trusted CFO Solutions that work with Sage Intacct. Many Sage Intacct partnerships will sell you the software, and that’s it.

Choosing Trusted CFO Solutions is choosing a company that understands your situation, your business, and your industry.

You can outsource your accounting to Trusted CFO Solutions. Or, you can hire us to help you set up Sage Intacct and support your internal accounting team who will use it. The team at Trusted CFO Solutions is apprised of accountants and entrepreneurs who do the implementation, hold your hand through the process, and answer your questions. That’s what we do here!

We understand your business and are ready to serve you. While engaged, you call us whenever you need to with your issues, and we get them fixed.

cracked ground, pavement, bandaid

How is QuickBooks Working For You?

Let’s say you have 35 funds and their subsidiaries. In Quickbooks, you have to log in to 35 different companies every day to check cash balances and then plug the numbers into a spreadsheet to calculate them. How many hours are you spending logging in and out and transferring numbers to spreadsheets, which by the way, leaves room for significant error?

What happens when you IMMEDIATELY need those reports for the fund owners? There is no reporting in QuickBooks.

But you do have other options available that do provide reports. Sage Intacct dashboards are what CEOs have been asking for years.

It’s time to get out of Excel spreadsheets and have what you need so your boss no longer comes down on you. Then, when you have what he asks for, you are finally free.

Partners shaking hands, business deal

What Makes Sage Intacct ERP Different?

Sage Intacct dashboards are what CEOs have been asking for years. This financial management solution is:

  • The number one in customer satisfaction
  • Able to consolidate 100s of entities in seconds
  • The AICPA preferred financial management solution
  • A Salesforce Platinum ISV Partner

It’s time to say goodbye to Excel spreadsheets and hello to the reporting you need so your boss no longer comes down on you. When you have what he asks for, you are free to take your family time, weekends, and vacations back.

For a deeper dive into Why Sage Intacct ERP is different, click here.

What Else? What Value Does Trusted CFO Solutions Deliver for Private Equity Firms?

We provide fully customized dashboards giving you advanced financial reporting for management and limited partners allowing management to perform continuous real-time consolidations and automation of multi-entity and inter-company transactions.

What we provide eliminates errors caused by manual projects done in Excel and allows finance and accounting teams to collaborate creating a robust audit trail for auditors.

Our team at Trusted CFO Solutions is here to help you rationalize your back office, get away from using spreadsheets, and give your weekends back to you.

To take the next step or learn more book your 30-minute complimentary consultation.

mark byrdAbout The Author

Mark is an accountant at Trusted CFO Solutions who “combines his intellect with a very astute knowledge of the capital markets to deliver a winning combination to any business venture.”
>> Connect with Mark on Linkedin here.

Franchises Food & restaurants

A Comprehensive List Of Resources For Franchises

Trusted CFO Solutions works with multi-location franchise owners to find money, save time, and provide growth advice. As a result, we come across common problems unique to the franchises, and to further equip and support our customers we’ve put together the following resource link center to help understand, resolve, the many problems franchise owners face.

  • Are You Ready to Regain 50% of Your Time & Add More Money To Your Business?

    As a CEO or CFO, you want to significantly increase the efficiency and function of your finance department. Imagine what you could do if you regained 50% of your time and saved your company thousands of dollars?

    Continue Reading

  • Client Interview: Stars And Strikes Survives The Challenge Of Change And Saves Time And Money!

    When we sat down to talk with Debby Ritnour, the second employee at 14-year-old Stars and Strikes, and Controller of thirteen locations, she didn’t hesitate to tell us how monumental a task it was for her and her team to make the switch from Quickbooks to Sage Intacct for nine of their stores.

    Continue Reading

  • Coffee - Tea - Store - Franchise

    Franchises: Are You Ready to Take Your Time Back and Boost Your Capacity For Growth?

    Sage Intacct is structured to work well with multi-location franchisers. We show you how you can increase the numbers at your best-performing stores, how to create the benchmarks, and then drive the performance at the worst-performing stores.

    Continue Reading

  • birds migrating san francisco

    When Migrating To Sage Intacct, Bring Your Historical Data Along For The Ride

    What happens to my financial history (even the old stuff) when it comes to switching systems? Does the baby go out with the bathwater?

    The short answer is, you can bring your historical data with you, and when we migrate that data as part of your implementation, you’ll get the opportunity to leverage that data in ways you’ve never been able to do before.

    Continue Reading

  • cupcake-franchises

    With Trusted CFO Solutions Your Capacity for Franchise Growth Increases

    How well does your current financial solution serve you and your franchise team?

    We show you how to get the numbers you’re getting at your best-performing stores, and how you create benchmarks to improve performance at the worst-performing stores.

    Continue Reading

  • Seth Godin Resized

    Organizing for Growth By Seth Godin

    “Maybe it’s (finally) working. Maybe demand is up, opportunities keep presenting themselves and people want to work with you. So why are you so stressed out? It might be because different organizational choices lead to different paths for growth.”

    Continue Reading

  • franchising-you-resaurant

    Franchising Your Restaurant

    Joe’s career has focused on helping early-stage franchisors achieve their expansion goals while avoiding common industry pitfalls. Clients often remark that he brings order to the chaos of the start-up process, and bestows peace of mind for their franchise’s future. Joe shares his insight for franchising in this Powerpoint presentation.

    Continue Reading

  • Franchise Marketing Strategies

    Digital Marketing Strategies for Franchises (Infographic)

    Here’s how to use the power of search, social media, email, and more to increase your visibility. As more and more entrepreneurs open franchises in the U.S, the competition is becoming fiercer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your franchise stand out and succeed in this crowded market, starting with effective digital marketing strategies.

    Continue Reading

  • Why Most Restaurants Fail

    Why Most Restaurants Fail

    “Have you heard of the two percent time bomb? The accumulation of numerous small, yet overlooked, expenditures will lead to a high-pressure situation. Stop throwing money away, and keep your doors open for business!”

    Watch this webcast now and learn how to shepherd those dollars for minimizing wasteful spending and maximizing your income. What you learn in this session from Dixie McCurley & Steve Gross could be the difference between your restaurant succeeding and failing.

    Continue Reading

  • This One Thing

    The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

    The ONE Thing is a book for busy people.

    Authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan demonstrate that the results you get are directly influenced by the way you work and your choices. You’ll learn how to identify the lies that block your success and the thieves that steal time from your day. By focusing on your ONE Thing, you can accomplish more by doing less. What’s your ONE Thing?

    Continue Reading

  • backoffice-accounting

    These Are The Reasons To Outsource Your Back Office

    “Business operations are undergoing a sea change of disruption caused by many factors. First, globalization has created markets and demand for almost all products purchased online and delivered by global systems to anywhere for anyone. Second, labor skills and costs are now distributed around the world, so customer support and administrative activities are now performed by a qualified and educated workforce around the world.”

    Continue Reading

  • Social Media Marketing

    Social Media Marketing For Franchising Brands

    “Looking at the latest franchise marketing trends, we will uncover several easy tactics to turn social media platforms into powerful marketing channels to build brand awareness while ensuring brand consistency, acquire more leads for your franchisees, turn social networks into an effective recruitment tool, improve customer service, turn followers into brand advocates, and generally take your franchise marketing to a whole new level.”

    Continue Reading

  • Franchise Computer SEO Results

    Local SEO For Franchises Means Teamwork

      “SEO is commonly viewed as one of the most challenging marketing activities to orchestrate across a national-to-local network. In addition to trying to figure out how to “win” at SEO in general, franchise businesses also often face the unique dilemma of needing multiple sites from the same domain to rank well in search results. Localization no doubt comes to mind immediately as the solution to this problem.”

    Continue Reading

  • Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work And What To Do About It

    The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

    “Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed.”

    Continue Reading

  • How To Succeed As A Franchise

    How to Succeed As a Franchisee

    While franchising’s prevalence in the U.S. economy indicates that franchisees can succeed, hundreds of franchisees fail each year. The most frequent causes: lack of funds, poor people skills, reluctance to follow the formula, a mismatch between franchisee and the business, and poor management. Often, it’s the small stuff that separates winners from losers.

    Continue Reading

  • Project Management

    IDEMA. A Framework For Capturing & Sustaining Ideas.

    IDEMA, Ideate > Discover > Execute > Maintain > Audit, is a problem-solving structure that helps organize a business. It guides the creation process for making a living blueprint for your project, department, or company. Every idea has a place, where does it now belong?

    Continue Reading

  • Process street screenshot

    Process Street

    “Process Management frees you from worrying about all the details. Keep your team organized. Assign or automate tasks. Track progress. Train new employees.”

    Continue Reading

  • Financial Model

    Financial Models

    Financial models are the track to run on to measure each operating component of your franchise company. It has taken years to develop customized franchisor financial reports. These are the most important executive tools to start your franchise company, and yet they do not exist in the open market.

    Continue Reading

  • How To Finance Your Franchise

    How to Finance Your Franchise

    “When considering finance options for a franchise opportunity, the best strategy is to take a personal inventory of your resources first, before deciding on one path or another. There are many creative options and strategies to utilize.”

    Continue Reading

  • Franchise Restaurants

    13 Mistakes New Franchisees Make — And How To Avoid Them

    On its face, opening a franchise may seem like a simple way to run your own business. But beware, rarely is business simple and in the franchise world, the business is never really yours.

    Continue Reading

  • franchise processes

    Do Things the Hard Way Every Once In a While to Improve Your Process

    If you can do something the easy way or the hard way, why would you ever pick the hard way? While the easy way is fine most of the time, you might want to try the more difficult path every once in a while to learn how to improve your process.

    Continue Reading

Outgrowing Quickbooks?

Say goodbye to spreadsheet reporting and manual consolidations and start using a cloud-based financial management system.

Learn More

Sage Intacct dashboards

Related Content

Continue reading

© Trusted CFO Solutions.