What is a virtual FD and how can we help your business?
First of all, hiring a virtual FD doesn’t mean that everything happens online. In fact, for many businesses, working with a virtual FD means engaging in a very approachable and personal working relationship that gives businesses the access to top-level finance advice without breaking the bank. At the crux of it all lies one of the biggest business debates: what is the value of a virtual FD and what do they add to your business?
Are you guilty of falling into the trap of sending your paperwork into your accountant as a reaction to a filing deadline coming? Do you often find out 9 months after your year-end that you either achieved good profits last year and now have a huge tax bill to sort out in the coming months? Or did you actually lose money last year and are you trying to react to this in a period where your losses could be getting bigger?
In this blog, we hope to showcase some of the main responsibilities of Finance Directors, as well as showing how companies are increasingly looking to get the benefit throughout the year by working with a Virtual FD.
What does a virtual FD do?
Essentially, a virtual FD does everything a ‘regular’ Finance Director would do. This mainly revolves around the core tasks of providing financial advice and strategic support wherever necessary. Oftentimes, this creates a unique position where almost any important management or business decision must be verified and checked by the Financial Director, who will be able to assess the ramifications and impact this has on the present and future financial situation of the company.
Most FD’s have years of experience, and therefore their salary and time comes at a bit of a premium. This is because of various reasons, not least because they normally occupy senior roles within a company and have an impressive looking CV. Not only do they have the financial expertise, but they also usually have board-level decision-making powers, managerial duties, possess a vast array of interpersonal skills, and have considerable experience leading a finance team. It’s much more than just balancing the budget and overseeing accounts; in fact, future growth and business progress almost always starts with financial calculations, projections, and planning. As a result, a good FD can be the difference between stagnation and success.
Oftentimes, Finance Directors are amongst some of the best paid people in any given business. Their place within the business, but also their understanding of the fiscal and economic climate of the marketplace, is invaluable when looking to make tough financial decisions.
By having on-going management, you can see patterns in your profits and spending. You can then use this information to be proactive to your business industry and ensure that your business decisions are in line with your aims and profit expectations. So for example, if you know how much profit your business is making, you can also determine future tax bills much earlier and plan your cash flow for these events.
A focus on financial & strategic planning
Is business booming, but cashflow remains a constant worry? In any high growth organisation, working capital will be tight. A well developed and structured financial plan will help, and a good FD will have several suitable financing options to call upon to steer through these times. This may be through drawdown on invoice discounting facilities, arrange longer term finance or implement costs control plans.
Keeping your business afloat is difficult, but there’s so much more to do. At times, it can be more than just a little overwhelming. Having money and resources at your disposal is always good, but you will need to look to the future with strategic plans that will allow you to achieve your long-term business goals as well. A virtual FD provides the ultimate sounding board to discuss future plans. Strategic discussions will allow you get valuable insights into your business that will aid in any vital decision-making process. Furthermore, this will allow you to understand your business on a more granular level, giving you the opportunity to see how the decisions you take will impact your financial future.
Is hiring a virtual FD a cost-effective solution?
Many businesses find that a virtual FD is the most cost-effective solution to get access to top-level financial expertise. This is mainly because you can get a virtual FD service for the amount of time that you require, whether that be a day a month, a quarter, or a year. You’ll still get the valuable experience of an FD without having to take on a full-time hire when your business isn’t ready for it yet. It really is a great way of having your cake (your virtual FD) and eating it (keeping your salary budget in check).
The main benefits of hiring Defacto FD
Defacto-FD acts as an independent, external part of your team, which will allow us to analyse your business using our tried and tested methods. The main benefits of our service include:
- Financial support and advice from experience accountants who help take your business to the next level.
- Access to personable and approachable accountants, allowing you to choose an accountant that fits within your company culture.
- Improving reliability when it comes to the way financial institutions, stakeholders, and board members view your business.
- Investing in specialist services without breaking the bank.
- Experienced accountants who can help guide any existing finance staff.
- Provide advice when taking difficult business decisions.
- Reviewing your cashflow and business systems and modernizing the way you do recurring tasks, like payroll, etc.
- Updates on regulatory changes, problems with HMRC ambiguity (trust us, this will always come up), and other financial legislation. With years of experience in the finance and accounting sphere, we know exactly what changes will affect your business and how we can anticipate these.
- Financial forecasts, planning, and strategic advice.
- Face to face or telephonic contact whenever necessary.
Each business is different, so each service we provide is also unique and specialised. As with everything we do, being approachable and transparent is at the core of our services. That’s why you will never be in the dark about what we’re doing and what you’re paying for.
The fact that you can, even on a budget, get a highly-trained, specialist Finance Director, is a huge value add for businesses. Furthermore, the fact that you’re only engaging with your FD when you need them, rather than on a full-time basis, means you can keep the costs down while still getting access to the financial expertise you need.
The most important thing is to find a Virtual FD with a personal touch. That’s where we come in. With years of experience in stuffy and traditional accounting offices, we know how businesses don’t want their accounts to be run. Instead, we provide a service that you can understand, and explain things in a way that make accounting a vital component of your business, and not just a last-minute afterthought. Above all, we’ll provide you with a watertight financial strategy that can back up the rest of your business strategy.
Contact Defacto-FD for more questions about this or if you need specialist financial advice for your business.