Virtual CFO: Resource to call on during times of disruption

Omicron continues to cause disruption to workforces across Aotearoa, while border requirements set out for the coming year, which still require people to isolate on arrival, mean we’re unlikely to see large numbers of new workers coming to our shores very soon.

In this uncertain environment, where SMEs continue to have all sorts of competing priorities for their time and resources, a virtual CFO to help you with your finances can make a huge difference. BDO’s virtual CFO service is entirely scalable, meaning you can use it in different ways depending on your current circumstances.

Steve Miezenbeek and Jay Templer, Directors of Scope IT Limited in Invercargill, recently used BDO’s virtual CFO service to undergo a systems implementation.

Gaining stronger visibility of the business

Steve and Jay decided Scope IT needed new systems in order to provide the company’s directors with stronger visibility of what was actually going on in the business.

“BDO’s been our accountants for forever, I’ve known Greg Thomas for over 20 years now, and when we decided to move from our current accounting system, we knew BDO would be able to help,” says Steve. “We ended up deciding to change our payroll too, and it was a bold move to do everything at once, but BDO were really familiar with Xero, which we were transitioning to, and the integration went as smoothly as it could have gone.”

The new system offers Steve and Jay a much stronger understanding of the company finances and they can make much better business decisions as a result.

“BDO helps us build out our reports on a monthly basis, and they’ve also helped us rehash our whole general ledger, so it’s now much more accurate and granular, and really enables us to drill down to a very detailed level to see where our income is coming from. We now know where we’re making our money and where we’re not, and though it’s still early days, I’m really pleased with what I’ve seen so far. Going forward it’s going to be a great change.”

Mentoring is a central part of the virtual CFO service. “Businesses can either outsource all finance functions to BDO, or we can meet in-person or through technology such as Teams to help get their accounts people learning how to use the new systems and processes we implement,” says Justin Martin, Advisory Partner, BDO Wellington.

Justin Martin has mentored a number of Virtual CFO clients to help them better understand the new systems and processes implemented through the service. 

Scope IT chose the latter approach: “BDO was instrumental in creating a smooth integration – they’ve even been coming into our office and sitting down with our accounts person to help her get up to speed with the new system.”

Keeping closer control of costs

Barry Stewart, Director of Barry Stewart Builders in Invercargill, also underwent a systems implementation using the virtual CFO service. Seeking a better construction system that would enable the business to keep closer control of inwards and outwards costs, and help with general project management, Barry went to BDO for help.

“BDO played a big role in helping us identify the right system and making it work for us. We’re now able to report on a monthly basis and have been able to better manage the whole end-to-end process of our construction company. It will also enable our people to work from home more easily, which is a real bonus given the continued uncertainty caused by COVID-19. BDO has been a great asset and I’ve really enjoyed working with both Michael Flynn and Greg Thomas.”

Greg Thomas emphasises the stability that can be provided to a business through the Virtual CFO service, which is particularly important during times of disruption. 

Greg Thomas, Advisory Partner, BDO Invercargill, emphasises the role that a virtual CFO can play in providing continuity, especially during difficult times. “It’s great to be able to work with clients over a number of years,” says Greg. “We build up a huge reserve of knowledge about the business and can be a stable point for them through disruption and change.”

If you’d like to learn more about how the virtual CFO service can work for you, contact your local BDO office today.