Virtual CFO Services Growing in Popularity with The Rise of Outsourced Accounting Services for Nonprofits
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Virtual CFO's may be called outsourced, part-time, or fractional CFOs.
Nonprofit trend alert: Enter the virtual CFO (that's us, meet our team)! Chief Financial Officer. Head Honcho of All the Numbers.
If you’ve ever met one, your mental picture of a traditional CFO is likely one of a middle-aged white guy wearing glasses, khakis, and a button down shirt hunched over a computer with paperwork all over his desk. Let’s call him Bob.
We’re happy to report that, while Bob lives on in many businesses, a growing trend in finance that's disrupting the C-suite for good. Enter the outsourced, virtual CFO, or vCFO. Virtual or in-office, here's what to look for in a nonprofit CFO.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, vCFOs may be called outsourced, part-time, or fractional CFOs. Google those terms and be amazed at the number of results. We think that 2022 will be another banner year for outsourced CFOs everywhere, so we thought it might be time to break it down for you. [Bonus read: 10 Reasons to Outsource Your Nonprofit Accounting]
Here’s what you need to know:
Virtual CFO's may either be a firm or an individual. Usually they are CPAs, senior accountants or bookkeepers, or other experienced and educated individuals who’ve held CFO or senior finance or accounting roles in the past. Likely female (more than half of all accountants in the US are women), these folks are highly skilled numbers nerds who can fill the CFO role just as well as (better than?) Bob.
What does an outsourced CFO do? They may be charged with a variety of tasks including bookkeeping, accounting, month-end closes, payroll, and financial reporting. But the real leverage in a Virtual CFO is the strategic guidance and financial planning she provides. Interpreting financial data in a way that makes sense to other members of the C-suite is job #1. The rest of the job is to take a proactive approach to finance with sustainability in mind. A vCFO helps organizations streamline its financial systems and processes, develop strategic budgets, manage financial risk, raise capital, and figure out exactly what is needed to get from where your business or nonprofit is today to where you would like it to go.
A growing number of nonprofits (like our Fox-tastic clients) turn to vCFOs for these reasons:
When to hire a vCFO is something we covered in this blog, but a different type of when question we get about Blue Fox is: when can we call you? The answer is: anytime. One big bonus of a vCFO is that, in most cases, they are available to support you, ask questions, present at meetings, and generally do whatever you need them to do anytime. 100% uptime, to poach a tech industry phrase. That’s because vCFO firms like ours pair a bookkeeper and a senior accountant on each client’s work. You can always reach someone on your virtual finance team and you’re never left in the lurch. Again, our singular agenda is: support you and your organization to the best of our ability at all times.
(5) WHERE & HOW
This is an easy one – outsourced CFOs can be remote and tend to deliver their services through cloud-based technology. It’s actually the recent evolutions in cloud-based accounting tech that make what we do possible – 10 years ago, the tech just wasn’t there. But now we can work with any client anywhere at any time. As a vCFO client, that also means you can pick from the nation’s top service providers, rather than just your local market. You can source vCFOs who specialize in your industry, and they can work for you from anywhere. Video and conference calls bridge the communications gaps, and our cloud-based tools allow us to securely exchange data and provide live, real-time accounting information all day long.
Hopefully, now you can see why one the hottest business trends will continue to be the rise of the virtual CFO. Will your nonprofit be an early adopter?
Our Team at Blue Fox Can Assist You Today!
Whether your nonprofit is seeking a full-service Virtual CFO or basic accounting services (we also offer payroll, tax and consulting), our team of nonprofit gurus at Blue Fox are ready to assist you! We serve our clients with exactly the right mix of services to support their back office operations. What does your organization need help with?
Editors Note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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