The roles of a virtual CFO in a disruptive economy


In these days, we are constantly talking about the digital disruptions that affect many businesses across a range of industries.

As a business owner, what are your options?
Are you equipped for the challenge?
How will you stay ahead of the game?

Here is a good tip: Talk to a Virtual Chief Financial Officer (Virtual CFO)
Virtual CFOs are more affordable than you think

Most owners of small and medium-sized businesses say they want to implement changes but do not know where to start.

Although the term virtual CFO has been in use for a number of years, many people still believe that this skills set is only necessary and affordable at the top – end of town. However, this myth has been debunked over the last decade due to the growth of the internet and the virtualisation of the workforce.

Some virtual CFO work can be done off-site at a cost saving over hiring a full-time or part-time CFO. Many businesses have been successful in securing their unique engagement with a virtual CFO.

How can a virtual CFO help your business to survive the disruption?

  • Manage your business costs
  • Drive rapid value creation
  • Recalibrating the balance between reducing costs and investing in growth to respond to a market climate
    Virtual CFOs in the past have tended to focus their efforts on reducing costs, however, with this modern shift in the economy, the focus should be more on the investing side
  • Restructuring, merger and acquisitions (M &A) to keep pace with accelerated growth expectations from investors and Boards
    Virtual CFOs can help reduce the risks associated with M&A by working through due diligence processes, providing realistic competitive advantages and analysing cultural fit as well as preventing financial losses
  • Evaluate growth opportunities 
    Virtual CFOs can work closely with businesses to form the strategic mindset, financial analytics and judgment to realise growth opportunities viewed from multiple angles and can help to answer some of the following questions:

     What are the opportunities and risks if the market shifts?

     Could competitors catch up and take the lead due to the fact that they have developed a more sophisticated data centre
  • Digital disruption
    What are the risks posed by the digital disruptor?
    What is the impact of disruption on new market players?
    How is consumer behaviour affected by disruption?
  • Applying a new operating model
    The virtual CFO can guide the CEO by analysing the various operating models that support growth strategies
    The best-operating models tend to be flexible and responsive to a range of growth strategies
  • The virtual CFOs can help businesses to gain new technologies and/or new products and services

In conclusion

The pressure from the disruptive economy has created huge challenges for CEOs to make high-stakes decisions quickly. Without the support of a virtual CFO, these crucial decisions are not data-driven. This trap can be avoided by choosing a virtual CFO with good analytical skills and industrial experiences; a broad business mindset covering finance, technology, human resources, legal and management capabilities. Your virtual CFO should always anticipate what may go wrong, updating & discussing their planning for these contingencies with the business.

Quyen Ngo is a member of the Virtual CFO Association.
The Virtual CFO Association is an elite peer network, advocating the emerging VCFO sector within the accounting profession.