Virtual CFO Finance FAQs
There are common questions we get from prospects searching for financial consulting firms, tech firms or human resources consultants. We’ve highlighted key company questions we think may be helpful to you. If you have further questions you can call us at 512-345-9441 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
vcfo is a professional services firm that provides finance, recruiting and human resources solutions.
Outsourced Financial Services Support entails using a non-employee resource to support some or all of the financial functions of a company.
- Access to very seasoned professionals ranging from strategic CFO’s, controllers and HR personnel to very tactical office managers and bookkeepers.
- Tap into best practices for forecasting, evaluating and enhancing infrastructure and developing, processes and policies for finance, HR and recruiting.
- Only pay for the time you need, when you need it
- Incorporate current and applicable market knowledge and relationships leveraged to assist your company
vcfo has had the opportunity to work with a variety of clients representing a broad range of industry segments and sizes. While many of our employees have significant vertical experience they are also generalists and have a wide array of industry experience. Some of the industries we work with include, but are not limited to:
- Clean Tech
- Clinical Testing
- Film Production
- High Tech
- Life Sciences
- Medical Devices
- Oil & Gas
- Professional Services
- Real Estate
- Retail Manufacturers
- Service Providers
- Tangible Products (Distribution, Logistics and Manufacturing: On- and Off-Shore, Import/Export, etc.)
vcfo has worked with over 5,000 client companies in many different industries and sizes. vcfo’s client base represents high tech companies, traditional mid-market businesses as well as established public companies. We work with companies in all stages, from start-up and early stage to well-established corporate organizations.
All personnel are vcfo employees. The key to our success is hiring and retaining very experienced and versatile professionals. Our staff has been in the trenches working with companies in good times and trying times. This experience, as well as working with multiple clients, provides a very powerful value add to our current and future clients.
vcfo takes a professional services approach to providing its services on as-needed basis. We dedicate a team of professionals to each client company based on their requirements. With a staff of very seasoned strategic and tactical professionals, we are able to place the appropriate level of personnel on the appropriate tasks at a rate that is very cost effective. Typically team members work with clients on a part time basis. Schedules can change weekly to meet client needs. This results in a support structure that is very flexible, affordable and scalable for our clients.
vcfo charges by the hour with no minimum fee required and no continuing contractual obligations.
In general, vcfo does not accept equity in lieu of payment.
We prefer to work at the client company’s offices. This allows us to effectively respond to your questions and issues on a daily basis. However, if office space isn’t available, vcfo staff can work offsite or from the vcfo offices with periodic update meetings as needed.
No, our staff is comprised of experienced CFOs, controllers, bookkeepers, office managers, HR and recruiting professionals. This gives you a blend of skills and the most efficient cost mix.
While there are many good individuals in the job market at any given time, they often have the experience of only working with a few companies and industries. Each of our staff has worked with multiple companies across many industries. In the process, we see a large number of equity and debt financings, work with a vast number of legal firms and banks and see first-hand what characteristics are displayed by successful and not so-successful companies.
Yes, we typically try and match someone from the vcfo team with the appropriate skill-set and personality fit for each client engagement. We encourage clients to meet with the vcfo employee before starting the engagement to ensure there is a fit.
We work with our clients to proactively support the transition to permanent in-house staff when appropriate. We work closely with your full time team once they are on board to facilitate a smooth transition. We also mentor them as needed after the transition in areas where you want to tap our expertise and familiarity with changing market conditions
The vcfo team stays with a company as long as necessary on an as-needed basis. The amount of time depends on each client’s specific needs. Often we are engaged as the company is facing an opportunity or crisis that creates a need for strategic planning and additional help at some level. Occasionally clients have hired us as a fill in resource for a full time employee out on a leave while other clients engage because they need additional bandwidth from time to time. We have engagements that last for many years as most of our clients never need their own full-time CFO.
Yes, vcfo provides Human Resource services that complement vcfo’s Financial services. Our HR professionals and financial associates team up to deliver the best operational strategy for each company, streamlining processes from benefits and stock option plans to job descriptions and employee handbooks.
vcfo is not a CPA firm. While we can help a company prepare for these kinds of activities, tax returns and audits are activities performed by an outside independent CPA firm. vcfo can help select the right outside firm and work with them seamlessly as your in house team.
vcfo provides on demand expertise. To do that we have highly qualified employees on staff ready to deploy. A staffing agency typically places full-time resources into client situations. They sell that they can perform services and then staff the work with a contractor solution or someone they then call. Most financial consulting firms providing staff are of the staffing agency model.
- Senior-level expertise – our team members average 20 years of experience
- On demand support – delivered by the right level of expertise and at the right price point
- All staff are vcfo employees – not contractors
- Internally developed “tried and true” best practices and collective shared expertise
- Tailored support for your needs – every client’s requirements are unique
- Current and continuous training
- Current market knowledge and relationships
These key common questions may be helpful to you.
Do you receive accurate, timely, meaningful financial metrics and information from your team? Does your finance leadership participate in strategic planning and decision making to ensure you have the resources you need to fund your plans? If not, you need to address it. An assessment of the skill set of your team would be a good place to start. You may have grown to the point you need additional leadership on the team. Tap the experience and expertise of vcfo to help you determine what you need and present you with options to address any holes you have. Options range from adding to your full time employee team to tapping a fractional resource for expertise and leadership.
Individuals are the sum of their experience and knowledge. vcfo’s team model expands upon each individual’s experience and knowledge by bringing the collective experience of our entire team to address your company’s needs. vcfo provides different levels of expertise and experience to support your company’s needs. If the deliverables require CFO attention, it is addressed by your virtual CFO. Many financial executables should be done by staff level resources at a lower billing rate. As a result of our team approach, you get the benefit of specialized and flexible levels of experience and support, paying for only the time you need and at a blended, cost effective rate.
vcfo delivers services to its customers through a team-based model. vcfo assigns a dedicated and experienced CFO consultant to support and deliver solutions to each of its customers. Note though that this support is not limited to just the experience and knowledge of each CFO consultant: vcfo delivers to its customers the collective experience of our entire team of resources. Our customers often benefit from being able to access the knowledge, best practices and best-in-class solutions which have been developed and shared by the entire vcfo team. Similarly, vcfo’s customers often benefit from our team approach by being able to access vcfo resources that may have lower billing rates (such as Consultant Controllers, Assistant Controllers, Financial Analysts or Staff Accountants) Through vcfo’s team-based services approach, you will get the benefit of specialized and flexible levels of experience and support, paying for only the time you need and at a blended, cost-effective rate.
We can do that if that is what the company needs, but more often we augment the existing team on a fractional basis. The company may have lower level staff in place and need departmental leadership and guidance. Sometimes there is a hole in the department staffing or a burst of project work that needs to be addressed such as an audit or acquisition. In other situations, for one reason or another, the company does want to replace a team member with an outsourced resource and needs to consider permanent CFO solutions. We are flexible in addressing each company’s requirements.
Management Reporting Optimization
vcfo offers a benchmarking service as an excellent place to start to answer this question. All key operating metrics from the financial statements are compared to competitors to identify areas where the company is lagging in performance. Major opportunities for savings can be uncovered this way and a tailored plan created to achieve them. Examples of improvement areas highlighted in this manner include reducing days outstanding which in turn improves cash flow and reduces uncollectible expense. Variances in cost of goods sold appear here as well, indicating opportunities to renegotiate costs.
One of the most common areas of opportunity identified is salary and related expenses. Many of vcfo’s customers have the majority of their operating dollars invested in their labor and labor-related expenses. vcfo’s HR team can offer two major areas of support for expenses in this area. Often our clients benefit from a workforce analysis which is a deep dive into the activities being performed and ensuring that the right staff is optimally mapped to the right set of duties. In growing companies there is always opportunity with this exercise. vcfo’s HR specialists also examine and recommend changes to business’ compensation and employee benefit plans and programs to modify and optimize such benefit plans for the company’s employees while remaining competitive.
Most businesses use a weekly (or sometimes daily) activity level report to track their key performance indicators (KPI). Such reports usually reflect a number of statistics (generally no more than 6-8) to provide a snapshot of performance over a given period of time. vcfo has implemented this type of dashboard-level reporting with numerous clients to provide them with accurate and reliable information to understand at a glance the KPIs in their businesses. Some of our clients require more sophisticated support and we have implemented a variety of solutions, including a variety of ERP solutions, to meet their needs.
Benchmarking is very helpful information for our clients to have, We have access to proprietary industry information that enables us to benchmark the performance of our clients with their competitors, highlighting areas of opportunity where our clients may be falling behind their peers. We then develop a plan for improving all possible areas resulting in improved efficiency of operations and enhanced profitability.
We assist our clients with planning and due diligence for all kinds of events, including division and entity acquisitions and divestitures. Our finance and HR teams work hand in hand to help with both the financial and human impacts of these transactions. We also support investor partners in their evaluations of opportunities.
No. Think of us as an alternative to the in-house CFO, controller, staff accountant, or bookkeeper you would otherwise hire directly. We are your team and thus not independent. We are not a CPA firm and do not perform what are otherwise considered independent audits or tax preparation services. We assist our clients in obtaining these services from their CPA firm.
The answer varies but many times when manual, labor-intensive processes are increasing within a business, there’s likely a benefit to considering upgrading a company’s current account system. Some clients measure this by the number of excel spreadsheets they have to maintain or the sticky notes outlining variations from standard processes. A common problem, complex revenue/revenue recognition for a company will often trigger examination of a company’s accounting and reporting systems. Unfortunately most companies wait beyond the point they really need to make a change to initiate it. vcfo assists our clients in determining existing and planned system and infrastructure needs, developing requirements documentation and managing the vendor selection and implementation of new systems.
We advise our clients to first stop and look at themselves as a potential acquirer would. Take off the rosy glasses and take an objective, internal look. An acquirer is going to look hard at five major areas of your business. If you have enough of a planning horizon, consider where you can make improvements and execute on them. vcfo can help with this by providing analysis and forecasting support to visualize what you could be with certain changes and how that might affect your potential sales price.
If you’re ready to move forward with a sale, we find that most businesses need assistance organizing and updating their financial records in anticipation of due diligence requests. Locating, preparing and organizing various items that are commonly requested during this process can be extremely time-consuming and hold up a transaction if you wait until you’re in one to get started. You also run the risk of uncovering something you will wish you had found and fixed earlier. vcfo can help you anticipate and assemble the most common items that will be requested and provide an efficient process for producing these materials upon request.
Put together a solid financial forecast incorporating all of your assumptions. Run various variance analyses to develop a range of potential cash requirements and return. Understand the minimum you need to achieve your goals. Make sure your minimum number allows for some performance contingencies and setbacks. You don’t want to be out in the market asking for your next raise without adequate capital behind you to get to that raise.
Make sure your goals for your business are aligned with those of your funding source. If you want to grow and hold your business, don’t take funding from a firm wanting a 3-5 year exit. If you want an operational partner on your board from the investing firm, consider the experience and fit of that board member. Carefully consider your objectives when planning your raise and match them to the funding sources you consider.
Understand the terms of a transaction in their entirety. This is likely not an area of expertise for most business owners. Get good legal and financial advice and make sure you fully understand all of the terms of the agreement. The “preferences” that will be a part of the agreement are critically important for you to understand. They often determine what can and cannot be done with the company after an investment has been made. They are always going to control how any proceeds are distributed when the company is sold. It is very easy for a “preference” to give unintended control to a minority investor over significant transactions going forward.
Optimized Capital Structure
There are usually three common issues we see:
- Companies may not realize how much equity they have granted in their earliest days because of poor record keeping and failure to document verbal agreements. Such grants are generally extremely difficult to modify later.
- Companies often utilize equity grants early in their history in lieu of market salaries or other consideration, due to low available capital. It is critical to know that these equity grants can be prohibitively expensive in retrospect after a company becomes better organized and increases its value.
- Finally, it’s extremely important to show that all founders can demonstrate that they have fully purchased their equity. The price is usually very low, some fraction of $1,000. Write a check and keep a copy. vcfo recommends that companies review documentation in each of these areas with their legal counsel.
vcfo views any equity issued to be the most expensive consideration a company may ultimately pay. Early on companies should be cautious and comprehensive in planning for grants of equity to employees, service providers, and board members and in capital raises with investors. vcfo has developed metrics and best practices in this area, and as part of its CFO advisory services, uses those in making recommendations to clients for early equity planning.
vcfo assists its clients in the development of detailed, bottoms-up operational forecasts. Such forecasts include scenarios for raising additional debt or equity capital to finance the plans. Assumptions are made regarding the valuation of the company based on a variety of inflection points in the plan and that in turn ties to the projected dilution associated with the raises. This detailed projection process enables vcfo to provide its clients with a range of how their equity structure may evolve over time and the impact various scenarios will have on their own interests in the company.
Human Resources FAQs
There are common questions we get from prospects searching for HR outsourcing solutions or human resource consulting firms. We’ve highlighted key questions we think may be helpful to you.
We provide all levels of HR support on an as-needed basis. When you work with vcfo, you only pay for the time you need. Our HR consultants know how to efficiently support your requirements, whether it’s setting up new hire paperwork or meeting with your Board of Directors on a compensation program. Our HR team not only provides strategic direction to their clients but are also hands-on to get the work done. We deliver guidance and services at a fraction of the cost of a full-time HR Director.
The HR consultants at vcfo regularly work with HR teams on special projects. Some of our recent projects include: HRIS implementation, M&A pre-due diligence, compensation programs, FLSA testing and HR process enhancements. We can run the project or simply provide the necessary added bandwidth to get the project done on time…that’s what HR outsourcing solutions are all about.
In a word, trust. The human resources consultants at vcfo each have an average of 20 years of HR and business experience with exposure to a broad array of industries, company sizes and company needs. vcfo has worked with over 3,500 clients, and we partner with CFOs on a daily basis to help deliver best-in-class programs, processes and HR practices. We find our close association with finance professionals helps in aligning cost-effective solutions. From the 30,000 foot level to sea level, we roll up our sleeves and dig into any situation to support our clients. When you hire vcfo HR solutions, you aren’t just getting one person, you are getting a team of business professionals who can deliver solutions efficiently and effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions About Working With vcfo Recruiting Solutions
If you’ve never worked with vcfo Recruiting Solutions, you likely have a few questions about our expertise and ability to match you with quality talent. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions companies have as they begin to work with us.
Recruiting Client FAQs
We have worked to fill roles at companies in nearly every industry, specializing in Finance & Accounting, Human Resources and C-level Executives.
We use a myriad of different recruiting tactics such as social media, online postings, professional networks, and direct sourcing of passive candidates to attract qualified and high-quality talent to meet your unique needs. We are experts at identifying qualified professionals at direct competitors and parallel industries and actively seeking them out.
Absolutely. Our team will work with you to design a custom strategy for meeting your recruiting needs and business objectives. Our Executive Recruiters have an average of 20 years of experience and an establish network of candidates to draw from.
After determining the unique qualifications required for the position with your company, we combine in-depth behavioral interviews with targeted interview techniques to assess candidates. Our own vcfo consultants will also conduct peer to peer interviews when appropriate. Our process ensures you are receiving only the most qualified candidates that meet all of your required criteria. To learn more about our process, please click here.
Recruiting Candidate FAQs
We conduct executive searches for middle- and upper-level management roles of various functions within our focus disciplines of Accounting & Finance, HR & C-Suite.
As an executive search firm, vcfo Recruiting Solutions only represents hiring organizations. If we have your resume and understand your capabilities, we will identify you through our search process should a role match your qualifications.
No, candidates do not pay a fee for any vcfo executive search services provided.
vcfo Recruiting Solutions’ recruitment process offers candidates the following advantages:
- Exploration of undisclosed opportunities that can fulfill career and personal objectives
- Many of our searches are exclusive assignments, and many are confidential. You would not likely know of the opportunity otherwise.
- Consultative guidance on opportunities that represent a career move
- Candid information about our client, its role, and its goals once we have determined a mutual interest between you and our client
- Guidelines and tips for the interview process, including pre-interview preparation
- Post interview debrief of client feedback following interviews
- Guidance through offer negotiations
- Support to facilitate a smooth transition and integration into our client organization
- Assistance through the transition into your new role, and frequent communication to ensure that our client’s and your expectations continue to be met
Many of the searches we perform are confidential and not made public for various reasons, from our clients not wanting competitors to know their hiring strategies to needing to perform a confidential replacement. Therefore, many times we must maintain our client’s privacy until we determine if a candidate is qualified and genuinely interested. At the same time, we extend the same confidentiality to our candidates. We do not divulge their names or any of their information to client organizations until we have received approval to do so.
In some instances, there are many reasons why it is not prudent to divulge compensation information in an initial phone call. Our recruiters are highly knowledgeable of compensation structures, salary ranges, and benefit structures, and will discuss those in detail at the right point in the process.
vcfo Recruiting Solutions understands the confidential nature of exploring new career opportunities and therefore holds a candidate’s information with the utmost privacy. We will not discuss you or your interest in pursuing other opportunities, nor send your resume to any clients/hiring organizations without first obtaining your consent and determining your interest.
Please begin by reviewing our active searches (link to open positions page). If you are interested in a particular position, respond through that job posting. If you are not interested in any active searches but would like to submit your information for future searches, you may do so by emailing us at email@example.com. Your information will be added to our candidate system, which is only accessible to our recruiters and is not shared with anyone outside of our firm.
Having a resume prepared is helpful and expedites the search process. Along with standard employment and educational history, we encourage you to prepare a resume that includes quantifiable, specific accomplishments that illustrate your success as well as your potential. By doing so, we can understand the depth of your experience and obtain a thorough understanding of your talents and abilities. By including your career motivations, we can understand your objectives in seeking a new opportunity. Our recruiter will work with you to ensure your resume best represents your capabilities.
Our recruiter will schedule an initial phone interview with you, during which you can expect to cover many aspects of your professional career so that he/she can learn about your skills, capabilities, experiences, and career motivations. Our recruiter will discuss in detail our client’s organization, growth initiatives, corporate culture, and specifics about the role. At our client’s request, we may perform a face-to-face interview before scheduling a meeting between you and the client.
We will schedule a call with you prior to your meeting with our client to discuss more details about the organization, the itinerary for your visit, who you will be meeting with and the backgrounds of the interviewers. Shortly after interviewing with our client, we will gather your initial feedback and determine your interest level, what you find attractive about the position and organization, and any concerns you may have. We will also talk with our client about their thoughts and share their feedback with you. Vcfo Recruiting Solutions prides itself in providing transparency to clients and candidates throughout a search.
As the search progresses, vcfo Recruiting Solutions will communicate any developments regarding the search. If you are selected by our client for the role, we will be involved in compensation negotiations, and we will act as a liaison until a final offer is made and employment begins.
Yes, we encourage our candidates to send post-interview thank you notes and/or handwritten notes.
We maintain a detailed candidate record in our system that saves all information gathered. We will reach out to you should your credentials and career goals match a future search assignment.