It’s Not Quite as Lonely at the Top

It’s Not Quite as Lonely at the Top

by: MP Mueller In my last post, I talked about joiningVistage, the business group for chief executives. At first, I wondered if I would find the monthly investment worth it, but after three months in the group, I’m feeling pretty good about the decision to join. In my one-on-one coaching sessions with our group’s chairman, Bill LaRosa, there have been a number of “aha!” moments. At the start of our one-and-a-half-hour monthly sessions (which always seem to last two hours or more), I identify my most pressing challenge and score how I’m doing in three categories: in business, in health and in my personal relationships. During one session, I told Bill about my frustrations trying to get our team to fill out time sheets regularly. It may sound like a minor issue, but time sheets are the foundation for estimating jobs accurately. We stand behind our fixed estimates for projects, so if we are off, we lose money. Now, our employees at Door Number 3 are dedicated, talented and committed to doing great work for our clients. But, historically, there’s been an aversion to the time-sheet thing. I attribute it to people not always embracing the importance of both art and business. In the aftermath of the recession, tracking hours has been essential. Are we giving away work? Or are we on target with our estimates? How well are we utilizing the staff? And at what point do we truly need to hire additional people to handle new work? But trying to fill out time sheets two and three weeks after the fact is like trying to judge a lip-syncing...
B2B CFO Has Record Growth

B2B CFO Has Record Growth

SOURCE: TRI-COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL AUDIENCE: 7,000 DATE: 12/29/2011 HEADLINE: B2B CFO has record growth, 200 partners B2B CFO has record growth, 200 partners B2B CFO’s record growth is pushing the firm to become the world’s largest CFO services firm with more than 200 partners, including Ron Baker, CPA. MBA. serving in the tri-county area.  B2B CFO has presence across 39 states and more than 800 clients across North America. B2B CFO surpassed the 200 Partner mark in...
How to Outsource Your Finance Department

How to Outsource Your Finance Department

AllBusiness.com By: David Worrell Few positions in a company are as easily outsourced as those in the finance department. That’s great news for small companies looking to add strategic skills, and for larger companies looking to cut full-time staffing costs. Outsource the Right Positions You probably already outsource your tax preparation, either corporate or personal or both. Because taxes are generally a once-a-year event, having an expensive accountant on staff year round is usually not cost effective. The same might be true of a chief financial officer, an analyst, a controller, and even a bookkeeper. If you don’t need these people every day, you can easily outsource these positions.The extent to which you outsource your finance department depends on the volume of transactions, the complexity of your finances, and the amount of management information (decision support) you want. Find the Right Firm Firms offering outsourced finance personnel are quite common, from large national firms such as B2B CFO and Tatum to teams of just a few consultants working virtually. Search the terms “fractional CFO ” or “part-time CFO ” to get a good selection. Before bringing on a virtual finance team, be sure you have defined your needs. There is a huge difference between a good accountant and a strategic finance professional. If you have, or will have, a need for more than one role, consider hiring a firm that can provide more than one person on an as-needed basis. Splitting duties between unrelated contractors is likely to cause more confusion than it’s worth. Even a small firm with three to five professionals will be able to provide the skills...
Best Gifts for Your Clients

Best Gifts for Your Clients

B2B CFO  partner Wendy Nelson shares tips about gifts that may be tax-deductible. SOURCE: Inc.com DATE: 12/06/2011 HEADLINE: To Gift or Not to Gift? Are you trying to play Santa on an elf’s cash-flow? Make your client gifts stand out this holiday season, regardless of budget. With the economy still in recovery, many small business owners are trying to decide whether they should give gifts to clients, what they should buy, and when they should send the gift so it stands out above the rest. Sometimes a simple, yet personalized, card is an appropriate solution to your budget woes. If you have a little more money to spend there is always the standard gift basket. But is “standard” really good enough for your best customers? “When choosing a holiday gift for clients, it is important to be thoughtful,” says Laurence Briggs, president and CEO of Republic of Texas Company Store. “When customers use our corporate gifting concierge service to add personalized touches to gifts, we always ask them to give us more information about their client. What holiday do they celebrate? What are their hobbies and interests? What is their industry?” Briggs reminds us that it is important to show your clients that you care by paying attention to the details. “You would be surprised to learn how many people who celebrate Hanukkah receive Christmas cards from their clients,” he says. That’s certainly not a good way to demonstrate your attention of detail and appreciation of a client. But not everyone can afford a corporate gifting concierge and high-end gifts. If you don’t have a budget for holiday gifts,...
Jerry Mills: Breakthrough CFO Model

Jerry Mills: Breakthrough CFO Model

The company’s upcoming 25th anniversary and a recent string of awards are solid validation of the pioneering concept on which Jerry Mills, founder and chief executive officer of Phoenix-based B2B CFO, founded his company. By Alison Stanton| October 31, 2011 The company’s upcoming 25th anniversary and a recent string of awards are solid validation of the pioneering concept on which Jerry Mills, founder and chief executive officer of Phoenix-based B2B CFO, founded his company. Back in the mid-1980s, while he was a manager with Arthur Andersen & Company, Mills came up with the idea of creating a company that would provide CFO services to small and mid-market companies, offering business owners solutions that would help improve any cash flow issues as well as the overall organization of the company. To support his theories, Mills developed a model of micro- and macro-economics that looked at the concept of “typical consulting” as it related to the point of diminishing marginal returns. His idea was to help alleviate the stress levels of business owners while simultaneously improving their sales and profits through the services of a part-time CFO. But when he pitched the concept of CFO services to his co-workers, he recalls, they weren’t as excited about it as he was. “It just wasn’t what they did at Arthur Andersen,” Mills says. “They concentrated mainly on audits and tax returns, and so this just didn’t fit in with the type of work that they did.” Undaunted, Mills decided to launch his own company based on his theories and research. “I thought it was a great idea, so I did it solely on...