Managing finances is a crucial activity for any business. However, with all the other responsibilities a business owner has, not every entrepreneur has time to sift through receipts, bank statements and invoices, and outsourcing these tasks to a consultant may not give you the consistent support you need. That’s why we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
“What is one key thing to consider before deciding whether hiring a part-time financial manager makes sense for your organization?”
Ask Before You Hire a Part-Time Financial Manager
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
1. Am I Unclear About My Finances?
“A financial manager can help to clarify your financial situation and help you make better decisions about taxes and help you understand your books. Not every organization needs this kind of help. A major clue is if you are spending lots of time trying to figure things out and you’re never sure if you’ve made the right decision. In this case, a good financial manager can save you time and money.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
2. Can I Learn How to Do This Myself?
“With the internet today, you can learn anything. So before hiring a part-time financial manager, consider whether you can get the information you need by learning it yourself for free. Make sure to look at resources that are available to you first, before spending the money on hiring a financial manager.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
3. What Can a Finance Manager Bring to the Table?
“You can have the money in place to hire a part-time financial manager and you might be aware of your own limitations, but if they can’t bring anything new to the table or offer a different perspective on how to improve your financial situation, you’re not going to accomplish anything. You have to know what you or your team is already capable of before you decide to hire a financial manager.” ~ Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP
4. What Is the End Goal?
“Before making any key hire, it’s important to understand why you’re doing it. Is it to solve a problem? If so, what specifically is going to make this person successful? If it’s to provide strategic direction, how will this be measured? With a financial manager, there are a few different goals that could be the reason they are being hired, such as increasing profits, creating efficiencies, etc.” ~ Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
5. Could My Time Be Better Spent Elsewhere?
“Managing a startup’s finances and bookkeeping is time-consuming. Founders do this work in the early days of their business, but it’s often not the best use of their time. A part-time CFO can do the same job better and faster, leaving founders and executives to focus on growing the business. If you’re in a position to afford it, delegating to a pro is a sensible choice.” ~ Vik Patel, Future Hosting
6. Should I Hire a Tax Professional Instead?
“Apps like Quickbooks and Xero have taken all of the friction out of bookkeeping, but there’s no substitute for a qualified tax professional. Unless your business is growing fast enough that you require a dedicated CFO, a tax professional will help ensure your business is taking all of the necessary steps to not only be compliant, but to maximize any available tax savings.” ~ Thomas Smale, FE International
7. Do I See Potential for a Long-Term Partnership
“When it comes to a financial manager, you aren’t going to want someone on a seasonal basis. Make sure that you choose someone, even if they’re only working part-time, that you can see yourself sticking with over several years. They need to be reliable, well-organized, and they should have a positive impact on your business’ image and culture.” ~ Bryce Welker, Accounting Institute for Success
8. Would a Transition to Full-Time Be Possible?
“A lot of the time we can take on part-time assistance without knowing what we are really getting into. In the best case scenario, the person can become such an asset to the company that we will want to take them on full time. In this case, you’ll need to see beforehand if that is even a possibility.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
9. What Do Others Think About the Decision?
“Part-time financial management is such important work that it often requires more thorough vetting than other roles. I want to see good testimonials from other clients before I commit to outsourcing this role. I also consult with my leadership team to see if they have a better option in mind.” ~ Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.
10. Does the Benefit Outweigh the Cost of Hiring?
“We recently hired a part-time CFO and the decision came down to the benefit we’d receive versus the expense. For our workload, and what I initially needed, a part-time CFO did the trick. This also helped keep costs down because bringing someone in at that level can be expensive. The guidance you get should impact your business in a way that it becomes a nominal and wise investment.” ~ Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting
Photo via Shutterstock
Early stage entrepreneurs wear too many hats, and often get bogged down in areas that are not part of their core expertise. This takes them away from their passions and what they do best. If you are the CEO, you should not be the CFO as well.
If the financial planner can save you more than they cost, go for it.
Part time is good in terms of variable and fixed costs. This will lower your fixed cost which looks better in your accounting statements.