Financial Analysis: Work With A Part-Time CFO To Set 2013 Business Goals

Oma H. Barnett

Business goal-setting and the New Year seem to go hand-in-hand. But, like that gym membership purchased in the afterglow of too many holiday parties, business goals are often abandoned by mid-February. Often, that’s because the goals were not set based on accurate financial analysis and a realistic picture of the company’s future.

How can you set accurate goals if you haven’t measured where you are now, where you were last year, and where you’d realistically like to be by Q4 2013? Conventional wisdom and self-help gurus say that your personal goals should be low enough as to be attainable, but not so low that you don’t have to work hard to reach them. The same holds true in business. You want to make sure you’re stretching your capabilities, taking calculated risks, and working hard to reach your goals. Or, as Les Brown has said, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.”

The first stage to goal-setting is financial forecasting. After all, how can you gauge what’s reasonable and attainable (with some work!) if you don’t have a clear picture of where you might be if you just let nature and momentum take its course?

If your books aren’t in order, financial forecasting is impossible. But even with well-maintained, accurate financial records, financial forecasting takes bookkeeping to a new level. That’s where a part-time financial controller can help.

Your financial controller can help you set the right goals for your organization, and act as an advisor, helping you develop the plan to get there. No one knows your business as well as you do, but your part-time CFO understands business in general. Sometimes, that bird’s eye view is exactly what you need to take your profits to new heights.

As April approaches, you’ll rely on your bookkeeper, CPA and payroll service to provide information to pass on to your tax accountant to manage your taxes. There may be a lot of finger-pointing. You tax accountant will say your bookkeeper has been maintaining inaccurate financial statements. Your bookkeeper might say the payroll company isn’t providing information in a timely manner. There are no regular processes and procedures established, so everyone is in a mad rush to make the April 15 tax deadline. At the center of it all is your tax accountant trying to make sense of a 12-month-long mess and minimize your tax liability so you don’t pay more than you should.

On the other hand, an outsourced full-charge bookkeeper and part-time financial controller can set up cloud-based payroll software, inventory management software, job costing software, CRM and anything else you need, all easily accessible 24/7 from any secure, Internet-enabled device.

Your part-time financial controller will provide you with financial analysis and financial management when needed. And prior to April 15, your part time financial controller and full-charge virtual bookkeeper will complete your tax filings.

You’ll know that your bookkeeping records and financial statements are in the hands of professionals, who know how to work together to get the job done.

If you’re still using an in-house bookkeeping staff, you could be missing out on the peace-of-mind of having one firm to handle all your small business bookkeeping and accounting needs.

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