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Not every company is a candidate for a virtual CFO.

How do you benefit by using a virtual chief financial officer (CFO)?

Not every company is a candidate for a virtual CFO. If you have a large company with complex reporting and control needs, you will likely need a full-time CFO. But if you have a smaller company, you can receive a number of the following advantages:

Bullet 1 You save money. Since you are only using a fraction of the time of the professional CFO, you save money. You are able to fill the position with the caliber of a professional your business requires but at a third to half the cost of a full-time employee.

Bullet 2 You gain flexibility. The virtual CFO's services can be adapted to your needs. As those needs change, you can change the level of service you receive. You may need the CFO on site a good portion of the time while you are establishing controls and creating systems. When that work is done, you can scale back your need. With a full-time employee you have him on site and on the payroll even when he has to fill his time with very low value work.

Bullet 3 You have access to more experience and skill. A virtual CFO will generally come to you with much more experience and skill than you can afford if you have to hire someone full-time. You have access to the training, perspective, contacts and know-how of a professional with many years experience, but at a price you would pay for a bookkeeper or new accountant.

Bullet 4 You have the advantage of independent perspective. As CEO the one thing you need in a CFO is someone who can see what is happening and tell you the truth. It doesn't take long for full-time employees to realize they are in a political environment and their job, progress and future are dependent upon how you and others within the company view them. This can't help but diminish the independent perspective that is so valuable to you.

Bullet 5 You have the power of a mediator. Since the virtual CFO is not jockeying for a position in your company, he has a much easier time getting cooperation and help from people who may try to block the same effort coming from another employee who may be viewed as a competitor to future promotions.

Bullet 6 Your solutions come faster. The virtual CFO has likely seen the same problems you are facing many times before. He comes ready to solve the problems and you get results much faster.

Bullet 7 You have less risk. Since the virtual CFO is not an employee, you can terminate the relationship if it doesn't serve you well. It is clean and simple and there are few feelings to cloud the issue. Terminating a key full-time employee can be challenging, expensive and emotionally draining.

Bullet 8 You get fresh ideas. Because the virtual CFO is working with multiple clients, he is being exposed to many different ideas and solutions. You benefit from that exposure by having a constant influx of fresh ideas for solving your problems and profiting from your opportunities.