Advisors, Business, Finance, Strategy
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a critical member of any organization’s leadership team. They are responsible for managing a company’s finances, creating financial strategies, and ensuring the financial health of the company. However, not all CFOs are created equal. There are good CFOs and bad CFOs

Here are key differences between a good CFO and a bad CFO:

1. Strategic Thinking
A good CFO is a strategic thinker who understands the big picture and can develop financial strategies that support the company’s overall goals. They analyze financial data and provide insights that can help guide decision-making. In contrast, a bad CFO focuses solely on the financials and doesn’t understand the broader strategic objectives of the company. They may also lack the ability to communicate financial information in a way that non-financial stakeholders can understand.

2. Risk Management
A good CFO is proactive in identifying and managing financial risks. They anticipate potential problems and develop strategies to mitigate them. They also work with other departments to ensure that risk management is integrated into all aspects of the business. In contrast, a bad CFO may be reactive and fail to identify risks until they become major problems.

3. Communication Skills
A good CFO is an excellent communicator who can explain complex financial information to non-financial stakeholders. They also understand the importance of transparency and provide regular updates on the company’s financial performance. In contrast, a bad CFO may be poor communicators who struggle to explain financial information to others in a way that is easily understood.

4. Operational Efficiency
A good CFO is always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the company’s financial operations. They streamline processes and implement technology solutions that can help the company operate more efficiently. In contrast, a bad CFO may be resistant to change and fail to implement new processes or technologies that could benefit the company.

5. Ethical Standards
A good CFO operates with the highest ethical standards. They are transparent in their financial reporting and ensure that the company is in compliance with all relevant regulations. They also establish a culture of integrity throughout the organization. In contrast, a bad CFO may engage in unethical practices such as misreporting financial information, which can lead to legal and reputational problems for the company.

Conclusion
A good CFO is an essential member of any organization’s leadership team. They are strategic thinkers, proactive risk managers, excellent communicators, and are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the company’s financial operations. In contrast, a bad CFO may lack these essential skills and could potentially harm the financial health of the company. By understanding the key differences between a good CFO and a bad CFO, companies can make informed decisions when selecting a CFO for their organization.
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Advisors

Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) often face unique challenges when it comes to managing their finances. Many of these businesses may not have the budget or need for a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO). This is where fractional CFOs come in. In this blog, we will explore how and why fractional CFOs can help small and mid-size businesses.

What is a Fractional CFO?
A fractional CFO is a professional who provides part-time CFO services to small and mid-size businesses. These professionals have the skills and expertise of a full-time CFO but work on a flexible basis, allowing businesses to access their services as needed.

How Fractional CFOs Help SMBs

1. Cost-Effective
One of the most significant benefits of fractional CFOs is that they are cost-effective. SMBs may not have the budget to hire a full-time CFO, but fractional CFOs offer their services at a fraction of the cost. This allows businesses to access high-quality financial advice and support without breaking the bank.

2. Expertise and Experience
Fractional CFOs bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. They have worked with a variety of businesses and have a deep understanding of financial best practices. This means that they can provide valuable insights and advice to businesses, helping them make informed financial decisions.

3. Customizable Services
Fractional CFOs offer customizable services, which means that businesses can access the exact level of support they need. Whether a business needs help with financial forecasting, budgeting, or accounting, fractional CFOs can tailor their services to meet those needs.

4. Flexibility
Fractional CFOs offer flexibility in terms of their availability and the services they offer. They can work on a part-time or temporary basis, depending on the needs of the business. This allows businesses to access financial support when they need it most, without having to commit to a long-term contract.

5. Improved Financial Management
By working with a fractional CFO, SMBs can improve their financial management. Fractional CFOs can help businesses create financial strategies, manage cash flow, and develop financial reports that can help guide decision-making. This can lead to improved financial performance and better overall business outcomes.

Conclusion
Small and mid-size businesses face unique challenges when it comes to managing their finances. Fractional CFOs offer a cost-effective and flexible solution to these challenges, providing businesses with access to high-quality financial advice and support. By working with fractional CFOs, SMBs can improve their financial management and make more informed financial decisions, leading to improved overall business outcomes.

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Advisors, Business

The need for independent or “outside” board members in a public corporation is well understood; its importance for small to mid-size, privately held business, not as much.

In this whitepaper, we make the case that a well-curated board of directors and/or board of advisors can be as important and useful to profitably growing a small to mid-size business.

In fact, a #BDC study suggests that independent boards could help increase revenue growth by 3X and productivity by 18%.

The paper also covers key actionable insights on how founders and CEOs of a small to mid-size business can leverage expertise of independent board members and how to go about setting up their boards.

Click here to download the full whitepaper.

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Advisors, Strategy

👉 What good is an advisor if you don’t listen to their advice?

 

Advisors are experts that an entrepreneur can use as sounding boards or to fill gaps in expertise and contacts.

 

They bring new perspectives on business that are easy to be overlooked by the entrepreneur, sometimes due to internal bias.

 

Seven months before COVID-19 pandemic, I advised a CEO not to renew their office lease.

 

A fancy office in downtown TO was nice but wasn’t necessary for their business. Clients hardly came to visit, the team was technically savvy and could operate remotely, and on top of that the office was much larger than their headcount warranted.

 

The CEO went ahead with renewing the multi-year lease because (a) “the office exudes our company image” and (b) “the team cannot work remotely”.

 

The pandemic proved both beliefs were misplaced.

 

They are now looking for ways to get out of the lease.

 

According to a BDC study, only 6% of Canadian entrepreneurs have an advisory board for their business. However, 86% of entrepreneurs who have an advisory board say it’s had a significant impact on their business.

 

If you are an entrepreneur, consider having a formal advisory board or informal external advisors.

 

And more importantly, listen to their advice.

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