Who Should You Hire: An Accountant or A Virtual CFO?
Making financial decisions can seem super daunting especially in business. Do you feel over your head with your business’s finances? Are you thinking about hiring someone to help you make those key money decisions? If you’re ready to outsource, but don’t know if you need to hire an accountant or virtual CFO, then let’s chat about it!
What does an Accountant do?
An accountant typically holds an accounting degree. Most commonly, an accountant prepares financial statements and reviews accounting transactions to ensure they’re recorded properly. One would also seek out an accountant prior to a particular transaction for help in structuring it for maximum benefit to you and your business.
Accountants often assist Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in performing their engagements and are very knowledgeable within their field of experience.
In summary, you’d hire an accountant to help you work through tough financial transactions, budget and plan tax strategy, and analyze your current financial picture more thoroughly.
What does a Virtual CFO do?
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) takes over the financial responsibilities of a company. Virtual simply means that the CFO doesn’t work for the company as an employee, but she or he is an outsourced entity. The CFO is a large part of the decision-making process in a business. This position typically works hand-in-hand with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company to set the strategy for revenue generation going forward. In addition, CFOs track cash flow, analyze the company's financial strengths and weaknesses, and propose corrective actions for future successes.
A CFO works in collaboration with a bookkeeper or an accountant.
In summary, you’d hire a Virtual CFO if you need someone to learn the ins and outs of what makes your business profitable and help you make strategic financial decisions to grow and scale.
Which will be best for you?
If you are looking for clarity on your current financial picture, an accountant is where you should start. If you are looking for someone to help you set strategy and grow your business without bringing on a new employee in your business, then I’d recommend speaking with a virtual CFO to find one who’s a good fit for you.
If you need a headstart on what you should ask an Accountant or Virtual CFO during those initial consultations, check out my Interview Checklist! It’s a free resource that’ll help you ask the important questions and make the best use of your time during discovery calls.