What Is An Outsourced CFO?
February 12, 2020
Dave Plaskow and Tim Schuster are joined by Lindsey Gross from EisnerAmper’s Outsourced Finance and Accounting services group to discuss what an outsourced CFO is, when would you want to outsource your CFO and how this can impact the Great Transition (silver tsunami).
DP: So, we've touched on this in an earlier podcast about outsourced accounting services, what they were, how they could benefit a business looking to transition to that type of model. So what are your thoughts?
TS:Yes, and as I have been meeting with clients and prospects discussing business strategies and working on five- to 10-year plans, an interesting statistic I would like our listeners to know is there's going to be a huge transfer of wealth, right? So over $10 trillion of assets will be transferred over the next decade. This is massive and one of the largest transfers in human history. And as businesses are going through their transition from one generation to the next, deciding what the makeup of the organization will be going forward, a topic conversation I've been having is honestly, "Hey, what are you doing with your accounting and financial reporting? What's going to be transpiring with this?" So I wanted to bring Lindsey back in. She works in our Outsource Services Practice and also works as an outsource CFO and I just want to have her discuss what this service is.
DP: Okay. Well, Lindsey, welcome back to the program.
LG:Great to be back here, Dave.
DP: So tell our listeners what is an outsource CFO, what you're hearing from clients, your perspective. Give us an education.
LG:All right. So our first Outsource and Accounting Services Groups looks at the outsource CFO and controllership role as a similar service. We are able to help the company enhance their expertise in finance and accounting, as well as fill the gaps in the company's management team. The firm is able to assist a company with anything from technical accounting for transactions; and liaising with auditors, attorneys or bankers preparing financial reporting packages that will be used by a management’s board of directors, investors; and we've also participated in board meetings and audit committee meetings on behalf of the company. We also can take a look at the company's system of internal controls.
DP: Okay. Now can you boil it down for our listeners with an example? Obviously not using any kind of client names. But something that demonstrates problem, solution, outcome.
LG:Yeah, sure, Dave. A good example is a public company client I have. We first got involved with this client a few years back when they were just starting and they only had a bookkeeper and a CEO. EisnerAmper initially was brought in to help them with their SEC reporting requirements, and as they've continued to grow over the years, our role's changed and gotten bigger. Since the company's aggressively fundraising right now, we've helped them with their accounting and whitepapers for these complex transactions. Additionally, the client recently uplisted to the NASDAQ, so we helped them with doing all the filings that related to the uplisting.
DP: Okay. Now there are wrinkles regarding nonpublic clients as well. Why don't you talk about those?
LG:Yep. Some of the nonpublic clients we work on, we typically get engaged to implement and oversee their financial reporting process. For any company that lacks a CFO, we prepare their financial reporting that ultimately is used by management’s board of directors and any investors in the company. This helps them keep abreast of the financial status of the company. While we're doing that, management is actually able to focus on the company's core business.
DP: Okay. Thanks Lindsey. That gives us a good ying-yang for what's going on. Tim, anything to add?
TS:Oh, of course. So, Lindsey's group is great when handling outsource and or CFO services. It's always a great option for any company that's either just starting or in the midst of a transition. One last matter I really want to bring up is I was working with a prospect who's now a client, who was interested in hiring a controller. And when I was discussing outsourcing as an option, the fees associated with this practice honestly actually tend to be lower than hiring a full-time controller. So this is actually something that any company really should be considering.
DP: Yeah, it's worth some time looking at a cost-benefit analysis.
DP: Well thanks folks. Tim, hit us with one of your New Jersey Historical Society fun facts.
TS:Oh, this is another odd one and a little bit ironic. So the original patent for the fire hydrant was lost in a fire in the Patents' Office in D.C. in the mid-1930s. What a shame.
DP: I would call that ironic.
TS:I would agree.
DP: Well thanks again to you both for this valuable information. And thank you for listening to “The Bottom Line” as part of the EisnerAmper podcast series. Visit Eisneramper.com for more information on this and a host of other topics. And join us for our next EisnerAmper podcast, when we get down to business.