Surviving and thriving through COVID-19 with the help of a Virtual CFO

17 November 2021

As we near the end of 2021, the SMB community continues to face an unprecedented degree of uncertainty. An ongoing lockdown in Auckland, staffing issues, new requirements around vaccinations in the workplace and a disrupted supply chain are just some of the many issues business owners in Aotearoa are dealing with – and that’s all on top of managing your day-to-day business requirements.

At a time like this, it becomes even more important to have a trusted advisor with the industry experience to provide you with practical solutions that are tailored to your unique business circumstances. As COVID-19 brings fresh challenges, particularly when it comes to finances, a CFO figure can do much to help you not just weather the storm but continue to achieve your goals and dreams.

A fully functioning finance department – without employing someone

BDO’s Virtual CFO service can do just that, enabling you to experience all the benefits of a CFO and dedicated finance department without the need to permanently employ someone. Virtual CFOs are totally scaleable, meaning you can use them as much or as little as you want. You could use a Virtual CFO to act as your Chief Financial Officer or outsource (and streamline) your entire finance and accounts function.

One business that has benefitted significantly from BDO’s Virtual CFO service is Rayners, a HVAC company based in the South Island.

When Rayners moved to the cloud, it quickly became apparent that the traditional in-house administration model was neither sustainable nor useful. Particularly during lockdowns, the old paper-based method of doing things simply couldn’t work anymore. Timesheets, purchase orders, invoicing, payroll… it all moved online, and that meant day-to-day financial management could move online too.

Moving to a Virtual CFO model meant that all of these administrative tasks could be completed and reviewed digitally – as Wayne Harpur, Managing Director of Rayners says, “all I have to do now is approve or reject items at the end of the day.”


Rayners provides heating, cooling and ventilation solutions to customers across the south island

There’s always an expert who can help

For Wayne, it’s the flexibility of a Virtual CFO that really helps him: “I have access to five or six different people from BDO, so no matter what I’m doing there’s always someone who is an expert in that area to help me. That has been so powerful – even the other day I was drawing up a technical letter and I could ask BDO to dial in and quickly check it before sending – they provide a second pair of eyes on so many aspects of the business, and connecting with them is always seamless.”

A Virtual CFO has access to a wide range of resources and people that most businesses do not have on hand - from business specialists to strategic and financial analysis tools. These skilled individuals can resolve situations before they become issues, or speedily work on problems that business owners or management simply don’t have the capacity to solve – a key advantage during a period of upheaval such as COVID-19. 

In many ways, Virtual CFO combined with COVID-19 has created a whole new way of working for Rayners. “We no longer have to spend so much time travelling to different sites, we can have someone on the ground with a camera,” explains Wayne. “We’ll have our BDO adviser on the call too, and all of us can share ideas without ever having to go down there.”

For Wayne, having a trusted adviser that can take care of so much means he has more time to focus on the things that really matter to his business – his customers and the outputs he provides to them. “It really makes the time more focussed and productive.”

“The net result has seen us move to a Virtual CFO relationship with our accountants where a company of our size can routinely access a collection of extremely talented specialists at our disposable at all times throughout the monthly cycle. We would never go back!”

Virtual CFO has proved critical in helping Rayners not just survive through COVID-19 but thrive. Any business that does not currently have a CFO function can take advantage of a Virtual CFO, no matter what stage you’re at in your business journey or your industry or size. Could it make the difference in your business? Get in touch with your local BDO advisor today.


Learn more about how a Virtual CFO works and could help your business here.