The #AskaCFO series is a weekly Q & A with CFO James Vanreusel. James answers questions ranging from corporate finance, FP& A, Investor Relations, Professional Development, Business Growth, Fundraising, M& A, and more.
CFOs are a thinking partner to the CEO. I have said it multiple times. When you are dealing with fundraising of any kind, you must have support in your back pocket to assist with your financial functionality. Ideally, you want to start getting help from a CFO at least six months before your fundraising efforts, BUT most times, it’s better late than never. Investors need complete visibility and 100% of the CEO’s time. If you do not have your due diligence in order, your numbers straight, your finance team is working together as one….you will find yourself with friction that is strong enough to slow your growth momentum.
A CFO can help growing companies professionalize their financial structure in anticipation of explosive growth and fundraising (Series A or Series B). Many times at this stage, you may not be able to afford an entire finance team, but perhaps you have an accountant. That’s great! But they cannot do it alone, and they do not replace a CFO. A CFO will ensure that your finance infrastructure is upgraded and ready for the hard questions that investors will ask. They focus on the behind-the-scenes strategy, help fix what is broken, and ensure that your financial processes are in top condition. Raising your first round of funding is a pivotal point in your growing for-profit business, and you must have the expertise and mentorship available to you for optimized growth. A CFO and a Finance team will jump in and develop an advanced level of financial planning and reporting that will help you secure your future much faster as a team.
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