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Why You Should Consider Virtual CFO Services as Part of Your CPA Firm’s Future

Sep 15, 2021

Virtual CFO Services
As the world continues to adapt to life during a global pandemic, many businesses have shifted to offering products and services online. Virtual CFO services thread together client accounting, advisory work, and virtual engagement. It contains an advisory component that allows you to provide the client with advice that they can use to remain sustainable and grow their business. These are the things that businesses are looking for from their chosen accounting firm to weather the current economic storm and eventually scale.

While offering Virtual CFO services is a decision that will ultimately reap a CPA firm’s business, we must recognize the hesitancy around pulling the trigger. Some of the reasons why firms delay the decision or decide not to offer the service include:

They're hitting or exceeding financial targets. If you head a firm that's making a substantial amount of money, you may not see an incentive for adding another service to your offering list. This reason references the adage: if it's not broken, don't fix it. You also probably have long-standing client relationships that you feel may be jeopardized if you were to introduce said clients to a new service.

Even if you're profitable, now's the perfect time to do offer virtual CFO services because now you have the time to invest in new ideas, innovations and steer the ship more towards what the future will hold versus what you're currently doing now. Offering Virtual CFO services at your firm will help keep your firm competitive within the accounting industry. These services also help you foster a rapport with your clients, ultimately making you an indispensable asset to their financial team. Focusing on services beyond accounting staples helps position your firm as a necessity.

They're scared of change. Any kind of change requires some retooling of the equipment that's already in operation, which can dissuade someone who is reluctant to leave behind the tools and technology with which they're familiar. Offering a new service also requires a significant amount of investment, which can deter someone who already has a limited amount of time and few resources. There's also the feeling that this change could be a negative one, in that the service launch may fall flat or be rejected by current and prospective clients.

Look for someone within your firm, or find someone for your firm, that can champion change. Not only in offering additional services, but for adapting to the changes within the industry. As the industry shifts and changes, you will find that some of the best people on your team are not solely accountants. They're people who have insight into how a business operates and how an owner/operator thinks through the business challenges they’re experiencing.

A virtual CFO's characteristics include someone who has that knowledge base and can achieve the previously mentioned action. The truth is, you can teach someone to do accounting, but you can't instruct some of the soft skills needed to excel in an advisory role. Leveraging the talent currently at your firm or out in the workforce helps provide a service that will put your company a cut above the rest.

It may take time to build the confidence and assure yourself that your team has the skills needed to launch this new service and that your current clients will accept it. The key is to package your Virtual CFO service properly by naming and defining it in a way that will inform and attract new clients, as well as appeal to your old ones. Position yourself as business advisors first and accountants second. Once you've figured out how to advertise this service, you'll be able to successfully launch this new offering and watch as your business scales in size.

About Summit CPA Group
Summit CPA Group is a fully distributed accounting firm and leading provider of Virtual CFO Services in North America. In addition to providing VCFO coaching, CPA firm augmentation, Summit CPA Group is building a community of CPA firm owners who want to learn how to provide or enhance their existing VCFO service offerings. The CFO Community includes free monthly CPE webinars, a Slack network, The Virtual CFO Playbook – a course dedicated to teaching CPA firm owners how to build and scale Virtual CFO services, and more. Join the community today and start getting the support you need to grow your firm!

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Jody Grunden
About the Author

Jody Grunden is the Co-Founder and CEO of Summit CPA Group, the leading provider of Virtual CFO Services in North America. He started the company in 2002, bringing more than 23 years of public and corporate accounting leadership, tax expertise, and executive management experience to his role with the company. He is a member of the Forbes Finance Council, AICPA, and the Indiana CPA Society, as well as the author of Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud.