As more SMEs set their sights on “scaling up” their business operations to increase turnover, profitability and the value of their business, there will be an increasing awareness of the benefits that experienced accountants, performing virtual Chief Financial Officer Services, can offer to an SME Chief Executive Officer by performing an “accountability partner” service.
An “accountability partner” is someone who is taking responsibility for ensuring that key aspects of the business are operating efficiently so that the CEO has confidence that that segment of the business is being properly managed and supervised.
Some of the duties that a virtual CFO, performing an “accountability partner” role, could undertake include:
- Monitoring of the company’s relationship with three major government regulators:
- Australian Taxation Office
- Workplace Health and Safety
- Fair Work Australia
Each of these regulators have significant rules and regulations that apply to virtually every company and it is important that the CEO has confidence that the required processes have been implemented to ensure that the company is not exposed to any significant risks from incompetence in these activities.
- Systems for individual business operations, as if they represented a “standalone business” rather than placing everything into one business operation. This will enable accurate evaluation of that business unit’s performance, rather than been swallowed up in a larger business operation.
- Chart of Accounts developed to take into account the peculiarities of individual business unit.
- Dissection of financial accounts information so that it is meaningful and conveys information to the direct leadership team, as well as the company’s overall leadership team and directors.
- The instigation of a job costing system, if it is warranted, for this type of business operation.
- The instigation of an inventory system for the control of stock, if this business unit has an investment in stock.
- The development of a work in progress system, if it is appropriate for this type of business. Monitoring the transactions within the work in progress system to ensure that progress claims are being made and that jobs are processed out of the work in progress system as soon as they are completed.
- Monitoring and review, as required, the company’s debtors system to ensure that the person responsible for debtors has a clear understanding of the debtors’ system that is being utilised, including an awareness of the requirements for prompt dispatch of tax invoices, statements to customers and registration of a company on the Personal Property Securities Register etc.
- Understanding of the Personal Property Securities Register and ensuring that the appropriate team members are aware of the lodgement deadlines that apply to the utilisation of the Personal Property Securities Register.
- Ensuring that appropriate key performance indicators are being prepared daily, weekly and monthly and that the direct leadership personnel and the senior leadership team members have a clear understanding of the information being supplied by the key performance indicators.
- Implementation of a business health check system which ensures that the key performance indicators, whether they are calculated daily, weekly or monthly, are being appropriately recorded so that they can be subject to analysis and comparison of the performance in one period against a previous period.
- Implementation of pricing and/or charge out rate calculations to ensure that all of the direct costs and overhead costs, relating to the business, have been reflected in the calculation of the charge out rates or product sales prices that have been targeted, to ensure that the business will achieve its predetermined profit target.
- Implementation of Budgets for the individual business operation and the calculation of key performance indicators.
- Preparation of Cashflow Forecast based on the Budgets for future accounting periods.
- Reflecting the Budgets and Cashflow Forecast in the calculation of Projected Balance Sheets that will highlight the projected financial state of the company in the future, thus ensuring that the information pertaining to the financial operations of the business, as contained within the Business Plan, are then able to be reflected in the Predictive Accounting Reports.
- Assisting the CEO in the development of strategies for the business, relating to every aspect of the operations of the company, especially risk management.
- Ensuring that monthly detailed financial accounts are prepared for each business unit each month, together with a Comparison to Budget Report.
- Monitoring government grants so that the company has an ongoing awareness of any government grants for which the company may be eligible to apply and, if the decision is made to apply for a government grant, coordinating the preparation of the grant application.
- Coordinating the preparation for the business review meeting to be held each month with members of the leadership team so as to ensure that every aspect of the business is subjected to a detailed review to identify improvements that might be reflected within each individual business unit.
- Preparing the minutes and action plan from each business review meeting.
- On an annual basis, assisting the CEO and leadership team members to prepare and/or update the company’s Business Plan to reflect the company’s aspirations for the next three years.
- Preparing an annual valuation of the company in accordance with accepted methodologies for the valuation of a SME private company and submission of that report to the Board of Directors.
CEOs of growing SME companies need the support of a virtual CFO who can perform a wide range of duties similar to what that person would have performed as a full-time CFO in a larger organisation. In this way, the virtual CFO will be performing an “accountability partner” service.
If you are interested in having a discussion relative to the types of services that Towers Business Development can supply to your business, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Towers, Managing Director, Towers Business Development, former Company Secretary/Chief Financial Officer of a listed public company at or telephone 1800 232 088.
Recording Recent Webinars/Posts
- “Virtual CFO Performing an ‘Accountability Partner’ Service for your Business” - Friday 10th September 2021 at 2.00pm AEST. To register (click here).
- “Preparing Business Plans for your Business” - Friday 17th September 2021 at 2.00pm. To register (click here).
Towers Business Development Services
Towers Business Development does not give taxation advice but offers consulting services for small/medium sized enterprises and accountancy businesses, including:
- Business Basics Grant Applications
- Export Market Development Grant Applications
- Corporate Governance Mentoring
- Mentoring/Training Company Directors
- Assistance with Due Diligence for Early Stage Innovation Company Status
- Assistance with Company Being Accredited as a Crowd Source Funding Equity Raising Company
- Assistance with Capital Raising Utilising Section 708 of the Corporations Act
- Assistance with the Preparation of an Application for an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant
- Government Grant Advice for SMEs
- Preparation of Business Plans
- Predictive Accounting – Budgets, Cashflow Forecast, Projected Balance Sheets
- Virtual Chief Financial Officer Services
- Succession Planning
- Establishment of Research and Development Systems
- Business Review Meetings – Monthly or Quarterly
Want to know more about the services that Towers Business Development can supply to assist your business in its business growth? You are invited to visit the Towers Business Development website; or contact Peter Towers:
Have a great day!