Being the chief executive of Back Office Betties, a legal receptionist service for law firms, means that I wear a lot of hats. It’s not always easy to stay on top of everything myself! I have the best team around, but when it came to finances, I didn’t have a solid grasp on my numbers and wasn’t even sure that our books and processes were fully in compliance.
I realized that I needed someone more experienced to step in and help with the financial side of things. That’s when I first connected with Cathedral Capital, a fractional CFO service for law firms. Our fractional CFO has become an instrumental part of my team and I can’t fathom how we ever functioned without her!
These are the three shocking lessons I learned after hiring a fractional CFO.
You will be challenged to become a better manager
I wasn’t sold on the value of a CFO at first. I already had a bookkeeper, why did I need a CFO?
The truth is, I quickly learned that our CFO plays a more strategic role in the company, whereas the bookkeeper acts more as an executor of predefined tasks. Our fractional CFO challenged me to ensure profits from our client base and pushed me to evaluate my staffing choices.
I’ve created KPIs, reviewed payroll expenses to earnings, and learned how to better hold my team accountable. My bookkeeper doesn’t do those things!
Our fractional CFO always knows the right questions to ask, where to push me as a leader, and when to raise a red flag. I no longer feel stressed that I’m making mistakes because I know she is overseeing this role for my company and developing strategies to ensure success for years to come.
You will have to check your assumptions
My fractional CFO opened my eyes to quite a few financial practices I thought I was doing right. She pushed me to think more strategically about profitability and challenged me to reframe some of my assumptions about growth.
For instance, our CFO challenged me in these ways:
- How to think through a long-term pricing structure rather than flying by the seat of my pants.
- You shouldn’t prepare an annual budget without looking back and historical data.
- Cookie-cutter solutions don’t work, and you need a customized approach for your business.
Without the help of a fractional CFO, I would have kept doing “business as usual” instead of “business that’s most effective.”
You will not have to break the bank
I’ll be honest…I was worried about the cost of a fractional CFO.
As it turns out, these were misplaced worries! Our fractional CFO’s expertise has empowered Back Office Betties with strategies to save money and give me clarity about our financials. I realized that there are varying levels of services available for getting CFO help and that it didn’t have to be a wallet-busting commitment.
Is it the right time to hire a CFO?
Working with a fractional CFO has taught me that you’re never too small or too early in your growth to get a grasp on your numbers. Once I did, I finally felt the weight of “getting it right” for my finances lifted off my shoulders.