How to find the right virtual CFO for your business

HomeInformation Centre
CFO services
Partner & Consultant
June 21, 2022
minute read

A guide to choosing outsourced CFO services in Australia

A virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is often used by small to medium-sized businesses that do not have the need or budget for a full-time CFO. However, their services are also increasingly being utilised by large companies to supplement the skills of their in-house finance team.

And why not? The advantages of working with a virtual CFO seem endless and include access to highly experienced financial professionals, flexibility and scalability, and cost savings. In addition, a virtual CFO can help your business overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and achieve its long-term goals.

But how do you know if outsourced financial services are right for you, and how do you find genuine services that will focus on your company’s financial strengths and get you on the path to success? 

Read on, and we’ll break down the whole service and help you understand how to best leverage this fantastic growing trend in financial services by partnering with the right virtual CFO. And, if you’re ready to jump in and start growing your business, contact our virtual CFO team at Liston Newton today.

CFO meaning

CFO is the abbreviation given to a Chief Financial Officer within a company. In general, the CFO is responsible for providing financial guidance and advice to help inform business strategy. Many companies have in-house Chief Financial Officers who work full-time. However, some companies need more flexible options such as the services offered by a virtual CFO or an outsourced CFO consultant.

What is a virtual CFO?

A virtual Chief Financial Officer (also known as an outsourced CFO) is a senior financial executive who can provide expert-level guidance and assistance on an as-needed basis without being a full-time employee of your company. This type of consultant can be brought in to work on specific projects or to offer general financial advice and support as needed.

Many Chief Financial Officers work with their clients to improve financial planning and management, reduce costs, and increase profitability. As your strategic partner in business, they provide advice on a range of topics, including cash flow management, tax planning, business growth strategies, and exit planning.

Why hire a virtual CFO?

As a business owner or Chief Executive Officer, you may be weighing up the benefits of hiring an outsourced CFO. Especially if you need someone on a project or temporary basis instead of employing staff full-time or simply managing it independently.

Working with a virtual CFO from Liston Newton Financial Services gives you access to premium accounting and financial technology that smaller-scale businesses may not traditionally be able to afford.

For businesses in Australia, a virtual CFO can provide an invaluable service. If you are looking to extend your finance and accounting team cost-effectively, the services of a virtual chief financial officer may be the answer. 

There are many reasons why you might consider hiring a virtual CFO, but here are some of the most common.

1. You're a start-up or fast growing business

If you're a start-up or small business experiencing rapid growth, you may not yet be ready to hire a full-time CFO. However, you may still need access to high-level financial advice and support to make informed decisions about your business's future. A virtual CFO can provide this support without the added expense of a full-time salary.

2. You're undergoing a business transition

If you're considering selling your business, acquiring or merging with another company, or undertaking any type of major business transition, a virtual CFO can help you navigate these complex waters. From due diligence to negotiating the best possible terms for your transition, a virtual CFO can be an invaluable asset.

3. You need part-time or flexible support

Perhaps you have an in-house accounting and finance team, but you need some additional support part-time or as-needed. Or maybe you're not quite ready to hire a full-time CFO, but you could benefit from having someone to consult with regularly. A virtual CFO can provide the flexibility and support you need in either case.

4. You want an independent perspective

A virtual CFO can offer an unbiased, independent perspective on your business's finances. This can help evaluate potential partnerships, investments, or other business decisions.


Want to know more about our CFO services?

Book a 90-minute strategy session.

You'll walk away with a better understanding of your business and a report detailing the next steps you need to take to achieve your business goals.


What’s included in virtual CFO services?

When you outsource your financial planning and management to a virtual CFO, you free up time to spend on other aspects of your business. In addition, this can allow you to grow and expand more quickly, as you’re not bogged down by financial worries and mountains of financial data.

Plus, with access to expert financial advice and business growth guidance, you can save money and make better decisions about your business finances. 

With virtual services from finance professionals, all types of companies can improve their financial planning and management, leading to an improved financial position and security for the business. 

Virtual Chief Financial Officers provide a range of specialist financial services, including:

  1. Financial Reporting and Modelling
  2. Scenario analysis and decision making guidance
  3. Design and Refinement of Internal Accounting Systems
  4. Bookkeeping & Management Reporting
  5. Fulfilment of CFO Duties at Monthly/Quarterly Meetings
  6. Budget creation and monitoring
  7. Independent consultant who will hold you accountable to your goals

What does an outsourced CFO do day-to-day?

A virtual CFO is an experienced, certified financial professional who can provide expert advice and guidance on all aspects of financial management, from bookkeeping and accounting to tax planning and strategic financial planning. Once they understand your business and current financial operations, they can help you put together a solid financial plan for your business, which will give you the confidence to make sound decisions that will lead to long-term success.

In addition to providing financial advice, your business’s Chief Financial Officer will also manage your busy day-to-day finance operations. This includes collaborating with your internal teams, including supply chain, procurement and IT. 

Virtual CFOs can provide a wide range of services day-to-day, depending on the needs of your business. Common services include:

  • Cash Flow Management: A virtual CFO can help you understand and manage your cash flow to make informed decisions about allocating your resources.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: A virtual CFO can assist you in creating realistic budgets and financial forecasts so that you can plan for future growth.
  • Business Planning: A virtual CFO can work with you to develop a comprehensive business plan, including KPIs, which will provide a roadmap for your business’s success.
  • Raising Capital: If you are looking to raise capital, a virtual CFO can prepare forecasts and financial analysis to share with investors or lenders.
  • Exit Planning: A virtual CFO can help you plan for your business's future, including succession planning and exit strategies.

How do I choose a virtual CFO?

When choosing a virtual CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for your business, there are many factors to consider. Here are some key considerations:

1. Determine what services you need. A virtual CFO can provide various services, from financial planning and forecasting to bookkeeping and tax preparation. Make sure you understand what services you need before you start your search.

2. Consider your budget. Virtual CFOs typically charge by the hour or by the project. Be sure to get an estimate of the total cost of the services you need to compare apples to apples when evaluating different providers.

3. Check references. Ask each provider for references from past clients. Once you have a list of references, follow up and ask about the quality of service, timeliness, and overall experience working with the provider.

4. Compare credentials. Some may have more experience than others or be certified public accountants (CPAs) or Chartered Accountants (CAs). Consider what credentials are important to you and make sure the providers you're considering measure up.

5. Make sure there's a good fit. In addition to finding a qualified virtual CFO, it's also important to make sure there's a good fit between you and your provider. Be sure to communicate your needs and expectations clearly from the outset, and don't be afraid to ask questions if something isn't clear.

By following these tips, you’ll find the right virtual CFO for your business.

How it works at Liston Newton Advisory

Liston Newton's virtual or outsourced CFO services can help bolster your business's growth by helping you carefully mitigate risk while discovering and leveraging every opportunity available to you and your business.

We work with business owners to develop strategies for increasing revenue, reducing costs, and improving cash flow. We also provide ongoing support to help you implement these strategies and make sound financial decision-making. We can help your business with:

1. Financial Modelling

Our tailored financial model allows us to deep dive into your financial data to see how the business has been performing in its past and then project what it could look like in future months and years. The insight into cash flow levels can help you decide on a number of business decisions, including whether or not hiring new staff would be feasible by knowing where your money goes every month.

Get in touch for a wide range of financial modelling, including:

  • Review Of Your Financial Reports
  • Identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Cashflow Management
  • Profit Projections & Forecasting
  • Scenario Analysis
  • Risk Management

2. Monthly or Quarterly Meetings

We can help you set up regular Board of Director or management meetings as required, and, if you already have monthly board meetings, we can attend as your CFO and provide the coordination and running of these gatherings. We act in both capacities - providing financial guidance and strategic direction during proceedings while supporting your clients’ needs by facilitating communication among all stakeholders involved within the organisation.  

At Liston Newton Advisory we have a fully trialed and tested board meeting agenda, however, no two companies are identical so this agenda is fully customisable to your business needs and structure.

Our experienced team can assist your business with:

  • Management Meetings
  • Board Meetings
  • CFO advice

3. Financial Controller

We design and refine the accounting function in a business. We help our clients get accurate financial data to run proper functions independently without any hassle or problems from day one.

Outsource your CFO services to Liston Newton for:

  • Design & Refinement of Internal Accounting Systems
  • Xero Setups & Conversions
  • Accounting Functions 
  • Business Education and more

4. Bookkeeping & Management Reporting

Think of us as your virtual financial department providing you with every aspect of accounting and financial support your business requires to keep moving towards achieving your company goals. From working with your bookkeeping team to maintaining the basics of the business functioning, Liston Newton provides the finance function that helps ensure you keep on track and up to date on your business’s financial performance.

Contact our friendly team for assistance with:

  • Weekly/Monthly Bookkeeping
  • Management Reporting
  • Company Secretary Duties

Ongoing cash flow analysis and management

There are a million and one things to think about when you're running a business. From product development and sales to marketing and customer service, it's easy to let the day-to-day grind consume all of your time and energy.

But if you want to see your business grow and be successful in the long term, it's important to take a step back to look at the big picture every now and then. This is where a virtual CFO can be a valuable asset.

Virtual CFOs are experienced financial professionals who can provide high-level strategic advice on all aspects of your business, from cash flow management to budgeting and forecasting. 

Here are just a few ways that Liston Newton's virtual CFO consultants can help growing businesses with their cash flow:

1. Review your current financial situation and identify areas of improvement

2. Develop a cash flow forecast to help you plan for future expenses

3. Help you develop and implement strategies to improve your collections process

4. Educate you on financial best practices so you can make more informed decisions about your business's finances

5. Serve as a sounding board for new ideas and provide objective feedback and business advice

If you're looking for ways to take your business to the next level, Liston Newton's Virtual CFO consultants can help you see the big picture. 

Virtual services for businesses of all sizes

Liston Newton Financial Services offers a comprehensive suite of CFO services for businesses considering outsourcing the management of their company’s financial affairs, including cash flow management, budgeting and forecasting, business planning, raising capital, and more. 

From startups to established enterprises, Liston Newton offers a range of financial services designed for business growth. Our team of experienced professionals provides financial insight and tailored solutions to meet each client's unique needs.

We work with businesses of all sizes at all stages of growth to provide the guidance and support they need to make sound financial decisions.

Outsourced services upskill your team

Our team also work closely with our client's internal and external stakeholders, bankers, investors, and other advisers to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the business objectives.

A successful CFO will have excellent interpersonal, communication and leadership skills to collaborate with your internal and external advisors. We can fulfil a virtual CFO role in your operational functions and collaborate effectively with your upper management, finance and accounting teams and other key stakeholders to provide guidance and strategic recommendations to get your business on the path to success. 

Flexible, tailored financial services

Whether you need a full-time, part-time, or interim CFO, Liston Newton has the resources and expertise to provide the highest quality financial management services. We also offer temporary, contract, and shared CFO services for businesses that require more flexible arrangements.

Each business is unique, from your company and financial goals to your staffing arrangements, skillset, experience, operating hours and availability. Therefore, it only makes sense that your financial management solutions are equally as unique.

At Liston Newton Financial Services, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide customised and comprehensive CFO solutions designed to meet each client's specific needs. 

Ignite your passion and own your future with Liston Newton Advisory

Liston Newton's virtual Chief Financial Services Officer (CFO) consultancy is a comprehensive financial management service that helps business owners improve their company’s growth and financial position. 

We provide expert advice on financial management, from bookkeeping and budgeting to tax and compliance obligations and cash flow management. Our goal is to help businesses grow and succeed by providing them with the tools and resources to make sound financial and strategic decisions.

Related articles