Four Key Areas Where a Virtual CFO Can Help Businesses of ALL Sizes

1. Financial Management for Success

Many small and medium-sized business owners lack the financial skills and/or time required to maintain and expand their businesses. SMEs require the assistance of a knowledgeable and trusted advisor to steer them to success. For the most part, virtual CFO services are relatively inexpensive – especially taking into consideration the technical financial know-how which a business owner would not typically have (remembering outsourced CFOs are fully qualified accountants with many years of experience in public accounting).

Through my years working in public accounting in Australia at a global firm, and overseas in the UK as a financial controller for large, multinational corporations, I truly believe a Virtual CFO service should be a mandatory function for all SMEs to instil strong financial control, financial literacy, and financial management within all aspects of the business’s operations. With this, I also believe that the SME failure rate will likely decrease as a result.

2. Businesses that have outgrown their accountant

Many businesses have accountants; some have traditional accountants only see once a quarter/year – after the period – only real tax advice provided is how much tax to pay and when to pay it as it is after the fact. Having a Virtual CFO will mean you will have a finger on the pulse with regards to numbers, cash flow, tax liability and retained profits at a particular point in time to facilitate better decision making.

3. A Mindset Shift for Growth

Business owners need to move away from the standard owner-operator mindset to scale their business operations and grow. Adopting an owner mindset is easier said than done, which is why a business adviser and consultant such as a Virtual CFO can guide you on this transformative journey. Since technology can make compliance less of a problem through a good step-up and monitoring (governance and controls), a virtual CFO can set things up in best practice from the start or identify defective or deficient areas of the business controls and management where errors and oversight may be costly.

4. Strategic Thinking and Goal-Setting – Managing Your Business Like an Enterprise

We all must start somewhere, setting goals for your business is just the beginning as the adage goes, “a goal without a plan is merely just a wish”. From corporate governance to business management strategy and operational excellence – setting goals, targets, KPIs, and benchmarks for the coming year to improve on are just a handful of the things a Virtual CFO can do for you. If you’re not looking at the numbers regularly, and you don’t know how your organisation is tracking then how are you going to plan for the future? For most businesses, doing better than the previous years is a solid goal to follow – but how exactly are you going to do that?

Speak with Phil Khao from Solve Accounting on 0412651779 or at philip@solveaccounting.com.au to find out more about Virtual CFO services.

Phil Khao is a Chartered Accountant (CA), Virtual CFO professional and Director at Solve Accounting with many years of accounting and business services experience at global accounting firms and multinational corporations. 


“My business is too small to need a CFO!” - A Common Misconception

As an accounting professional, I’m here to provide clarity on the misconception of CFOs only being for big corporations and banks. A “CFO” in this context should be thought of as a business consultant or adviser. It’s fully accepted that many small businesses can’t afford full-time CFO/C-suite and continue with this thinking that Virtual CFO’s will be too expensive, or they’re too tiny of an operation for it to matter.

The advantage here is that you can outsource your financial management to a local accounting firm (such as Solve Accounting) to receive the right advice; with no need to hire, manage, or train an in-house finance manager. The concept of a virtual CFO is a relatively new way of working which has been made possible through development and innovation of technology freeing up time for accountants to focus on providing advice and delivering value. With a virtual CFO, you have access to everything a CFO can do, but only to the extent which you require.

So, What Will You Actually Do for My Business as a Virtual CFO?

A CFO oversees all financial matters in your organisation. From a managerial standpoint, the CFO typically manages the teams in charge of operational matters such as keeping accurate, timely accounts and ensuring you meet your tax obligations and financial goals. On the strategic side, your CFO will monitor the company’s performance and provide advice to help your company meet its business goals.

As your virtual CFO, we handle all financial matters of the business to instil financial control, ensure we have a finger on the pulse when it comes to the numbers, and openly share our findings and advice with you. Services we provide and assist with include but are not limited to:

  • Goals setting & implementing business strategies
  • Cash flow management, budgeting, and forecasting
  • Financial reporting & advisory
  • Monthly performance & accountability meetings
  • Systems and business process audits, including business automation services and technology
  • Provide advice to improve your financial position
  • Provide access to our professional network

A Virtual CFO would perform the same strategic function, but rather than joining your business as a company director, they will operate on a contractual basis with your organisation. Virtual CFO services (also known as fractional CFO or outsourced CFO services) are accessible on an affordable hourly or monthly subscription basis.

Final Thought

A “virtual CFO” or an “outsourced CFO” may be one of the most valuable assets to a small firm since it eliminates the need for extra staff while still providing all the benefits of someone with that level of financial expertise. I would love to see the government make a Virtual CFO a compulsory requirement for all business owners to have before opening their small business.

Speak with Phil Khao from Solve Accounting on 0412651779 or at philip@solveaccounting.com.au to find out more about Virtual CFO services.

Phil Khao is a Chartered Accountant (CA), Virtual CFO professional and Director at Solve Accounting with many years of accounting and business services experience at global accounting firms and multinational corporations. 


What Is A CFO and Why You Need One

Future-focused financial strategy and sound financial management for small businesses is something that should be top-of-mind for budding entrepreneurs and long-standing mum-and-dad businesses alike. It’s an all-too-common story that I’ve seen with my own eyes and heard from colleagues within the industry, where mismanagement of a business’s finances (from cash flow to tax obligations) leads to its downfall. It doesn’t take a Virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to know that, but it may take one to figure it out for your business before it’s too late.

In the same way, a mechanic looks under the hood of a car to inspect the engine, a Virtual CFO or an Outsourced CFO does the same when reviewing a business’s finances and operations from the lens of an expert business adviser.

Official reports from the 2020 Small Business Count from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) states there were 2,314,647 small businesses, 56,835 medium businesses, and 4,271 businesses in Australia as of 2020. With a 15.2% jump in registrations for small businesses over the past financial year, it is important to understand what steps new organisations can take to manage the financial direction and strategy of their newly found career, and how an Outsourced CFO in Sydney can help.

When a typical person hears the word “Chief Financial Officer” or ‘CFO”, one may think of a high- flying, highly paid executive of a Big 4 bank, a major telecommunications company, or even an international tech company. In essence, it’s not something a typical small business owner may think about in the first instance, but if you find yourself asking questions such as:

  • Are my financial figures accurate?
  • Can I afford to hire more people?
  • What can I do to increase revenue?
  • How do I take my business to the next level?
  • I need help with setting a long-term plan for my business.

When you own a small business, you’re probably aware of the concept of hiring an accountant to prepare your taxes or dealing with a lender or finance broker to enquire and obtain financing. However, for many small business owners, a Virtual CFO service may seem excessive, especially if having a full-time CFO on board isn’t something you'd consider financially.

In today’s reality, a Virtual CFO may be one of the most valuable assets to a small firm because it eliminates the need for additional staff while still providing all the benefits of someone with that level of financial skill. A virtual CFO will most likely have the answers you need, as a fully qualified (CA or CPA) accountant, business consultant, and adviser who can put you in the best position to succeed.

Even if they may not have all the answers, their extensive, validated professional network will provide you access to individuals who can help you structure, secure, and grow your business.

I believe Virtual CFO services are a commodity to small businesses. I would advocate that government support is needed in the form of education, grants, and resources for small businesses to set themselves up for success. If there was a mandatory requirement for small businesses owners to have a Virtual CFO in their business for the first 12months, we would see a big drop in the number of small businesses that fail.

Philip Khao is a Chartered Accountant (CA), Virtual CFO, and Director at Solve Accounting with many years of accounting and business services experience at global accounting firms and multinational corporations.