What is a virtual CFO?

By October 17, 2016September 7th, 2018Business Planning & Strategy, Funding


What is a ‘virtual CFO’? Also referred to as an ‘outsourced CFO’ this is a service designed to bridge the skills gap present in an organisation that needs high-level financial advice, but doesn’t yet require a full-time employee in the role.

A common problem for many small-medium business owners is that whilst they may have their compliance all locked away with a good bookkeeper and a tax accountant to handle the year-end tax returns, they find they have a need for ongoing advice during the year with regards to their business. This advice is largely financial in nature, but can also cover things such as the strategic direction of the business, staffing issues and much more.


More than this, owner operators of small-medium businesses can often feel isolated running their businesses. It’s often not appropriate for them to discuss business issues with their staff and they’d rather not take it all home to dump on an unsuspecting spouse!

This is where a virtual CFO (VCFO) steps in. Every business is a little different from the last and a good VCFO will tailor their service to meet the needs of your business, but as a guide this might form a typical month of working with one:

  • Keeping an eye on your business numbers remotely
  • Prepare monthly financial reports with analysis
  • Create and monitor KPIs via dashboard software
  • Budgeting and cashflow
  • Advice regarding staff remuneration and incentives
  • Monthly meeting to discuss everything
  • Be available the rest of the time for calls, emails, video chat, etc.

All VCFO service providers offer slightly different sets of skills and experiences, but really, the above activities form the loose core of what you should expect from anyone providing this kind of service.

The price you pay will largely come down to the expertise of the person you’re working with and the amount of time they’ll need to spend working with you each month. Either way, it can represent an excellent investment for businesses looking for additional support and strategic advice, but don’t need (and can’t afford!) a full time person in the role.

If you’d like to discuss how a virtual CFO could benefit your business, get in touch today. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses in a variety of roles over the years and we’d love to help.