Virtual CFO services give you access to a chief financial officer (CFO) who can help your business grow by implementing ways to raise capital, set key performance indicators (KPIs) and review and analyze financials to identify risks and big-hit opportunities. We looked at several companies and narrowed it down to the top five based on costs, services and customer approval.
If you don’t need high-level financial advice but instead are looking for someone to keep your books, then you should consider hiring a full-time bookkeeping services company like Bench. Bench will manage all of the income and expenses for your business and provide monthly financial statements. Contact Bench for a free consultation to get started.
Top 5 Best Virtual CFO Services 2018
|Best Virtual CFO Services|
|Summit CPA Group||(Best Overall) Businesses that want a CFO working on their business every day but don’t want to hire a full-time executive|
|ABusinessManager.com||Businesses on a tight budget and want bookkeeping, tax, payroll and virtual CFO services for one low monthly price|
|IgniteSpot Accounting||Businesses that want a virtual CFO services provider that will scale with their business|
|Virtual CFOs||Businesses looking for a good alternative provider of virtual CFO services to Summit|
|ValueMetrik CFO||Businesses looking for an alternative to ABusinessManager.com who can offer bookkeeping, tax, and payroll with their CFO services|
How We Evaluated Virtual CFO Services
An outsourced CFO services company offers many different opportunities to take your business to the next level. From helping you understand the financial health of your business to providing you with valuable financial projections and giving your entire team strategic advice as your business grows. We evaluated the best-outsourced CFO companies by the services they offer, how much they cost and how much their customers found value in what they offered.
Listed below are the services we looked for when evaluating the best part-time CFO companies:
- Explain your financial position: Walk you through your financial statements and discuss profits (or losses), any assets you own and outstanding liabilities as well as your cash flow
- Set up an accounting system and tools: If you have an existing accounting system, then the virtual CFO evaluates the system and existing process that you have in place and make recommendations for improvement
- Forecast cash flow: Create a 12-month cash flow projection to ensure you have the cash that you need to cover future obligations
- Manage cash flow: Understand where your money is coming from and where you are spending your money
- Create budget-to-actual reports: Set goals for the year and evaluate periodically to see if you are on track to meet your goals; if not, dig into why for example your expenses are higher than you projected
- Work directly with lenders and investors: Act as your liaison by communicating directly with financial institutions and potential investors to provide the financial documents required to show that you are a good credit risk
Based on this criteria, the best overall virtual CFO services for small businesses is Summit CPA Group. The company not only met but exceeded our list of criteria to include company-wide key performance indicators (KPIs) and detailed reporting by department, team members and projects. Unlike its competitors, all pricing plans include unlimited meetings with you and your team.
Best Overall Virtual CFO Services for Businesses: Summit CPA Group
Summit CPA Group provides detailed performance reporting by project, department and team member. While pricing is a bit steep starting at $3,000 per month, it offers more outsourced CFO services than some of the other competitors, which makes it similar to having a CFO on staff at a fourth of the cost. Summit CPA is ideal for businesses with at least $350,000 in annual revenue because you should have a real need for high-level financial support.
Summit CPA Group Pricing & Features
Summit CPA Group offers three pricing levels between $750 and $1,500 per week. The number of employees you have determines which pricing tier you fall into. All three tiers include financial statements and unlimited scheduled meetings. Beginning with the Controller tier, you get additional CFO features like company-wide KPIs, forecasting and revenue recognition.
Summit CPA Group Tiered Pricing & Features Table
(Fewer Than 10 Employees)
|Performance by Project|
|Team Member Performance|
|Customized Department Reports|
The Transactional tier is on average $750 per week and includes financial statements, unlimited scheduled meetings and an initial onboarding process. The onboarding process consists of the Summit CPA team looking at your past books, building a forecasting model and set of KPIs. In addition, they audit your financial statements and chart of accounts to gain an understanding of the status of your books.
During the onboarding process, fees could be as much as double due to the additional staff hours required in the first few weeks. The Transactional tier is ideal for a business that has fewer than 10 employees and annual sales are between $300,000 and $1 million. This service is not ideal for a business that has fewer than 10 employees and whose annual sales are below $350,000.
The Controller tier is about $1,000 per week or $52,000 annually. On top of the features included in the Transactional tier, the controller tier also includes company-wide KPIs, forecasting and revenue recognition. Similar to the Transactional tier, the fees could be double during the onboarding process which will run on average $2,000 per week for the first few weeks as they audit your books.
The Controller tier is ideal for a business with 10 to 20 employees and between $1 million to $20 million in annual sales. This service is not ideal for a business that has fewer than 10 employees and whose annual sales is below $1 million.
Virtual CFO Tier
The Virtual CFO tier is the elite tier at $3,500 per week ($182,000 per year), which is more than three times the annual cost of the Controller tier. This tier includes several features that you won’t find in the Transactional and Controller plans. For example, an evaluation is conducted to determine performance across all projects, team members and departments and custom reports for each department are supplied.
In addition, all bank relationships are managed for you, and there is a periodic in-person director’s meeting. The Virtual CFO tier is ideal for a large business with more than 20 employees and anywhere between $20 million and $40 million in annual sales. If you have several departments and/or locations, the departmental reporting is going to be a huge plus for your business.
What Summit CPA Group Is Missing
When it comes to the number of features included for the cost, I think that Summit CPA Group is leaving out a very large group of small businesses with its steep price points. Many of the services that it has included in its top tier like bank relationships and director meetings are available in ABM and some of their other competitors at a much lower cost.
Summit CPA Group Reviews
Similar to some of its competitors, there were no customer reviews available online for Summit CPA Group as of the writing of this article. However, they do have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and no complaints have been filed.
Where to Find Summit CPA Group
You can sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with Summit CPA Group by logging onto its website. You will have to complete a short form with your name, email address, business name and telephone number. Someone will reach out to you to schedule an appointment.
Best Virtual CFO Services for Small Businesses on a Budget: ABusinessManager.com
ABusinessManager.com (ABM) is a company that provides you with virtual CFO services as well as bookkeeping, payroll and tax return prep all under one roof at an affordable monthly price starting at $250 per month. ABM is ideal for businesses that are not quite ready for the full CFO package that includes cash forecasting and regular meetings but still could use some financial help.
ABM Pricing & Features
ABM offers four pricing tiers between $250 and $3,500 per month. All four tiers include bookkeeping services, monthly financial statements, tax planning and business tax return prep. Outside of monthly financial statements, the starter tier does not offer any other CFO services. Both the Established and the Large Corporate tiers are priced much higher but also include many more CFO services than the lower pricing tiers.
ABM Tiered Pricing & Features Table
|Monthly Financial Statements|
|Business Tax Return|
|Cash Flow Management|
|In-person Director’s Meetings|
The Starter plan is $250 per month ($3,000 per year) and the most affordable out of the four plans. With this plan, you will get a monthly financial statement package that will include a balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and a budget to actual comparison. In addition, your business tax return and tax planning are included.
The Starter plan is ideal for a business that is comfortable with their day-to-day bookkeeping process and needs someone to prepare the financial statements and file the required tax returns. If you’re not quite ready for fully outsourced CFO services, this is a great plan to start with, and then you can always upgrade to one of the other three plans that include additional CFO services.
ABM Moving Up
The Moving Up plan is the next plan after the Starter plan. It costs $750 per month ($9,000 per year), three times the cost of the Starter plan. However, in addition to having all of the features included in the Starter plan, it also includes one virtual meeting per month and cash flow management, which involves forecasting future cash flow demands.
Unlike the Starter plan, this plan includes full-service payroll processing for both employees and contractors as well as payroll tax payments and filing payroll tax returns. The Moving Up plan is ideal for a business that is still trying to grasp its financial position and gain a better understanding of its cash inflows and outflows but not quite ready for strategic planning and forecasting.
The Established plan is the third plan which costs $1,200 per month ($14,400 per year). For the additional cost of $5,400 per year, you get many more outsourced CFO services. With this plan, the CFO is the central point of contact for all banking, credit line and loan accounts. The Established plan is ideal for a business that is ready to position themselves for growth. Budgeting and forecasting for a 12-month period give you the opportunity to set goals and track them on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
On top of the services included in the Moving Up plan, you also get two virtual meetings per month vs. the one meeting with the Moving Up plan. In addition, the CFO will do an on-site director’s meeting twice per year at your office. You can utilize both the virtual meetings and the in-person director’s meetings as strategy sessions to ensure that you stay on track (or to get back on track) of meeting your goals.
ABM Large Corporate
The Large Corporate plan is the top-of-the-line plan; it costs $3,500 per month ($42,000 per year). While this might sound a bit steep, it’s really less than a third of the low-end average salary of a full-time CFO. The main differences between this plan and the Established plan are the virtual meetings take place on a weekly basis and the in-person director’s meetings take place four times a year as opposed to just twice a year.
The Large Corporate plan is ideal for a business that wants to have one firm to provide CFO services, bookkeeping, taxes and payroll all under one roof. With this plan, there is no need to hire a bookkeeper or a tax preparer as ABM can take care of all of these services for you.
What ABM Is Missing
While ABM is a great choice for virtual CFO services, it does fall short in a couple of areas. When compared to Summit CPA Group, it doesn’t offer the performance reporting by project, department and team members. In addition, ABM puts a limit on meetings whereas Summit CPA Group allows an unlimited number of meetings as long as they are scheduled in advance.
As of the writing of this article, I could not locate any customer reviews for ABM, so I am unable to share with you what customers think about ABM at this time.
Where to Find ABM
To sign up for one of the four ABM plans we’ve discussed, you can give the provider a call or complete a short questionnaire on its website. In addition to basic contact information, you need to provide an estimate of your monthly expenses and select the type of services you need like CFO services, bookkeeping and payroll.
Best Virtual CFO Services for its Scalability: IgniteSpot Accounting
IgniteSpot Accounting not only offers part-time CFO services, but it also provides bookkeeping services if you need to outsource all of your accounting functions. Hire IgniteSpot to manage your books and, when you are ready to implement tools that will grow your business, you can upgrade to the virtual CFO Services plan. Unlike most of its competitors, IgniteSpot has one pricing plan for outsourced CFO Services.
IgniteSpot Accounting Pricing
According to its website, IgniteSpot Accounting believes in getting paid for performance, which is why its fees are calculated as a percentage of your gross revenue as opposed to charging by the hour. On average, this is 1 percent of your gross annual revenue and no less than the minimum monthly fee of $1,500. For example, a company whose gross annual revenue is $350,000 would pay $3,500 per month.
IgniteSpot Accounting Features
IgniteSpot Accounting includes similar features as its competitors; cash flow forecasting, budget-to-actual reporting and labor cost management are just a few of the features included in CFO Services. One feature that stands out is debt planning and reduction. If your business struggled with keeping its doors open and racked up a lot of debt as a result, IgniteSpot Accounting can help you create a debt reduction plan.
Below are the features included in the virtual CFO services offered by IgniteSpot Accounting:
Cash Flow Forecasting
One of the tools a virtual CFO will use is cash flow forecasting; having a good understanding of how the decisions that you make today will affect your cash position in the future is essential. Looking at your cash inflow vs. outflow three, six or even 12 months ahead helps you determine if you have enough cash to meet your current and future obligations. If not, knowing this in advance allows you to come up with a strategy to secure the funding you need.
Your virtual CFO helps you to create budgets and track your company’s performance against it. At a minimum, you review your budget-to-actual reporting on a monthly or quarterly basis so that you can make any adjustments necessary to meet your intended goals.
Having a good understanding of how much work must be delivered by your sales and productions teams to keep the lights on is important. Your virtual CFO can help you to do a break-even analysis and provide ways that you can control expenses.
Labor Cost Management
Payroll costs are one of the highest expenses for a business. A virtual CFO can help you to determine whether or not your staff is operating efficiently. Your virtual CFO helps you determine the impact of giving someone a raise, overhiring or being understaffed since these tend to have a negative impact on the bottom line.
Variable vs. Fixed Expense Reporting
Fixed expenses remain the same regardless of the output a company produces whereas variable costs like labor and materials increase and decrease with production. A CFO can analyze variable costs and find ways to reduce them or at least keep them from getting out of control.
Debt Planning and Reduction
Your virtual CFO will help you to optimize your liabilities so that they support your overall goals. In addition, if you have incurred a lot of debt trying to keep your business afloat, then they will work with you to create a plan to get you out of debt.
What IgniteSpot Accounting Is Missing
Similar to Virtual CFOs and ValueMetrikCFO, IgniteSpot does not include any type of bookkeeping services with its virtual CFO services like ABM offers. However, you can purchase bookkeeping services separately if you need to get your books in order.
IgniteSpot Accounting Reviews
As of the writing of this article, there are not many customer reviews available for IgniteSpot Accounting. However, it does have a great video that includes client’s talking about their experience working with IgniteSpot Accounting. To watch the video, check out our IgniteSpot Reviews page.
Where to Find IgniteSpot Accounting
IgniteSpot Accounting offers a free consultation. Visit IgniteSpot’s website to complete a comprehensive new client form. You will need to provide information about your business, such as the current accounting system used, how long you have been in business and other specifics about your business.
Best Virtual CFO Services as Another Good Virtual CFO Services Option: Virtual CFOs
Virtual CFOs is another good provider of part-time CFO services. One of the services that it provides is to convert your cash basis accounting records to conform with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This can be very beneficial if you have plans to obtain a business loan or line of credit from a financial institution since they prefer GAAP-compliant financial statements.
Virtual CFOs Pricing
Unfortunately, I was not able to reach anyone at Virtual CFOs that would provide me with the cost of its CFO services. Based on the information provided on the website, every quote is customized based on the specific needs of the client.
Virtual CFOs Features
Virtual CFOs, similar to its competitors, met everything on our list of criteria. In addition, it also offers a couple of bonus features like maintain accounting records in accordance with GAAP and assist with making adjustments to your existing organizational structure.
Listed below are the features included in the Virtual CFOs’ services:
Maintain Accounting Records in Accordance with GAAP
Unlike its competitors, Virtual CFOs makes the necessary changes to your accounting records to make them compliant with GAAP. Because most bankers and investors prefer financial statements that meet GAAP requirements, this is a huge advantage when seeking outside funding from an investor or financial institution.
Financial Analysis and Operational Results Analysis
Virtual CFOs analyzes your financial results by looking for trends to operate more efficiently and help you make decisions about the future of your business. In addition, it also analyzes your operations by identifying key operations indicators, tracking those indicators and measuring performance on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Similar to its competitors, Virtual CFOs will look for inefficiencies in people, materials and other areas to reduce any waste of resources. They will also set up systems to help measure productivity in these areas going forward.
Risk and Opportunity Assessment
Based on your industry and the overall business environment, Virtual CFOs looks at your business operations and compares it to help identify risks and opportunities that may affect your business in the short and long term. The goal would be to help you avoid the risks and to take advantage of the opportunities.
Systems Assessment and Development
Virtual CFOs assesses your existing systems to make sure that you are operating efficiently and able to provide accurate results in a timely manner. If it does find inadequate or nonexistent systems, it can develop them for you. This may include your financial accounting system, cost accounting system, purchasing/accounts payable process, operations process flow or system for measuring operations performance.
Virtual CFOs introduces you to the budgeting process or makes improvements to an existing budget based on your past results as well as incorporate your goals for the future.
Similar to the other virtual CFO companies we have discussed, Virtual CFOs creates financial projections for your business so that you know what to expect one month, three months or even a year from now. Financial projections can help you determine when you need more cash or when it’s time to hire more employees or make major equipment purchases.
Cash Flow Projections
Creating cash flow projections is something that all of Virtual CFOs competitors do. Cash flow projections help you to understand your current cash position and how to plan for your future cash flow needs. This ensures you are able to meet the obligations of suppliers, investors and employees.
Key Performance Indicators
KPIs can tell business owners what is happening today and can also predict what will happen in the future. KPIs are found in many aspects of the business like production, distribution, sales, cash collections and inventory levels. Virtual CFOs identifies the key factors and sets up a process for tracking and analyzing them.
Confidential Financial Projects
If you have a financial project that needs to be completed but don’t have the resources on staff to complete it or if it involves information that you don’t want others to see, such as researching a potential business you are looking to merge with; Virtual CFOs can manage these type of projects for you.
One of the unique services that Virtual CFOs offers is to help make changes to your organizational structure. If you don’t have a human resources professional on staff, this is a great benefit that you can tap into with Virtual CFOs that is not offered by its competitors.
One of the main purposes for hiring a virtual CFO is so that they can take the financial management off your plate and let you get back to growing your business. Virtual CFOs helps you to create a growth plan so that you can be prepared when your business needs more funding, people, training, distribution channels and more.
Virtual CFOs helps you to manage your accounting department. Staff members can be managed at the client’s location as often as needed. They train the staff and help them become more knowledgeable and valuable to the business.
Virtual CFOs can assist you with weighing all of the factors to determine whether or not you should acquire a new business. If you decide to move forward, they can assist with due diligence, negotiations and implementation of the newly acquired asset or system.
One of the benefits of hiring Virtual CFOs or any of its competitors is that you have someone with whom you can discuss strategies and issues. Whether it’s deciding what to do with a problem employee or whether or not to send a customer to a collection agency, your Virtual CFO is a partner that you can now bounce these type of situations off of.
What Virtual CFOs Is Missing
If you’re looking for virtual CFO services, Virtual CFOs exceeds the minimum criteria that we outlined at the beginning of the article. However, it’s difficult to speak to whether or not its services are worth what you’re paying because its pricing is unclear.
Virtual CFOs Reviews
Virtual CFO’s has a number of very satisfied customers. Many of its clients contacted Virtual CFOs to help them resolve one particular issue. However, once they started to work with Virtual CFOs, they received help in other areas of their business. The overarching theme of the customer experience can be summed up with the following quote from a Virtual CFO customer:
“What I hadn’t expected was the help I received in other areas — operational plans, sales and marketing strategies and incentive compensation plans. I was surprised by the creativity and insight into all aspects of the business.”
Check out more customer testimonials on the Virtual CFOs website.
Where to Find Virtual CFOs
Getting in touch with Virtual CFOs is easy. You can log onto the Virtual CFOs website and complete a short contact form that includes your name, telephone number and email address. It also asks you to answer one question; What is your biggest concern?
Best Virtual CFO Services as Another Good Virtual CFO Services Option: ValueMetrikCFO
ValueMetrikCFO is another good provider of part-time CFO services. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any unique services that stand out from its competitors. However, it has an average rating of 5 on both Yelp and Google, which means that it has happy customers. Similar to Virtual CFOs, ValueMetrikCFO offers outsourced CFO services without a bookkeeping bundle.
Similar to Virtual CFOs, I was not able to reach anyone at ValueMetrikCFO that would provide me with the cost of its part-time CFO services. However, based on the information provided on the website, every quote is customized based on what the specific needs of the client are.
Similar to its competitors, ValueMetrikCFO is not lacking when it comes to the features included in its virtual CFO services. One feature, in particular, does stand out and that is it trains your existing accountants and bookkeepers. The only other competitor that includes this in its virtual CFO services is Virtual CFOs.
Listed below are the features included in the ValueMetrikCFO services:
Strategic Business Planning
ValueMetrikCFO helps you to create a game plan to ensure your business meets its full potential. This includes analyzing information about the industry, competitors and identifying internal deficiencies that could hinder the growth of the company.
Similar to its competitors, ValueMetrikCFO assists you in identifying your options when it comes to raising capital. It also ensures that your financial statements and other pertinent documents are in line with the expectations of potential investors.
Financial Analysis and Reporting
Like its competitors, reviewing and analyzing financial statements are an integral part of what a part-time CFO does. Based on this review, key trends are identified in order to determine the appropriate level of action that needs to be taken to reduce waste and maximize profits.
Most of its competitors also look at the entire operations process to determine if changes are needed to reduce inefficiencies in areas like inventory control and labor costs management.
Cash Flow Management
Another area where a virtual CFO can have a huge impact is cash flow management. ValueMetrikCFO analyzes all sources of cash flow into your business and cash going out of your business. Based on this analysis, you can determine if you have enough cash flow to meet current and future obligations like pay vendor suppliers and meet payroll.
Business Improvement Strategies
ValueMetrikCFO looks at your entire business operations like sales, accounting, inventory control and management and assesses how well each area is doing in relation to goals and expectations. Based on its findings, it makes recommendations to improve upon or implement business processes in each area to minimize waste and maximize all available resources.
Training for In-house Accountants and Bookkeepers
As part of its part-time CFO services, ValueMetrikCFO also provides training to increase knowledge and the value of your existing accountants and bookkeepers. It also makes recommendations to relocate employees who are not in the right positions to ones that are better suited to their talents and expertise.
Mergers and Acquisitions
ValueMetrikCFO assists you with analyzing whether or not a merger with another company or the acquisition of an asset makes sense for your business. After the analysis, if you decide to move forward, it is there every step of the way to ensure a smooth transition.
As a business owner, you may be too immersed in the business to notice potential risks. This is another area that ValueMetrikCFO can assist in. ValueMetrikCFO identifies risks based on its expertise, your industry and various other data points. Its goal is to help minimize any risks that could be harmful to your business as well as those that could turn into opportunities.
What ValueMetrikCFO Is Missing
Similar to Virtual CFOs, ValueMetrikCFO doesn’t bundle bookkeeping services with its virtual CFO services. However, you can purchase bookkeeping services separately if you need to get your books in order.
Where to Find ValueMetrikCFO
Like most of its competitors, you can request a free consultation to see if ValueMetrikCFO is a good fit for your company. Just complete a short customer intake form with your name, telephone number, email address and a brief message describing the type of services you are looking for and someone will contact you to schedule an appointment.
Alternatives to the Best Virtual CFO Services
Some businesses do not need the full-service offerings of a CFO. You might need someone to handle your bookkeeping or accounting. This would be the right option for smaller businesses struggling to have accounting numbers that they can rely on for their business but aren’t large enough to benefit from a strategic financial advisor.
A full-service bookkeeping company takes care of the following for you:
- Track income and expenses: Organize and store all receipts and enter all bank and credit card activity into an accounting software
- Manage & pay bills: Keep track of and pay all bills by their respective due dates to ensure you maintain good credit with vendor suppliers
- Manage customer billing & collection: Create and send invoices to customers and follow-up to ensure payment is made on time
- Generate key financial reports: Provide you with monthly financial statements like profit and loss, balance sheet and statement of cash flow
If you need help managing your books, we recommend that you hire Bench. Bench is a full-service bookkeeping company that provides bookkeeping services between $135 and $335 per month. If you are behind with your bookkeeping, Bench specializes in catch-up bookkeeping. On average, it can complete a year’s worth of bookkeeping in three to four weeks’ time. Visit its website to request a free quote.
The Bottom Line
We have provided you with a range of companies that provide virtual CFO services. If you want to outsource all of the accounting duties like accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and tax prep work, go with ABusinessManager.com. Its all-inclusive pricing is affordable and provides you with one single source of truth for all of your business finances.
If you’re not quite ready for virtual CFO services but need help to get your books in order, give Bench a try. Bench has a dedicated team of bookkeepers that work with you to get your books up to date and to keep them that way. It also makes tax time a breeze by working directly with your certified public accountant so that you can work on other areas of your business.