I manage another coaching practice called Free Agent CFO™, and before taking on a client, I ask prospects to interview one of three B2B CFO® professionals because I want every prospect to have counted the cost of how to start a CFO practice.
However, I’ve never addressed this topic at G3CFO, where I offer similar services as a B2B CFO®. Why not?
But you may be asking, “Aren’t you competitors?” If I had two of these professionals in my own backyard here in Columbia, Missouri, they’d be close friends, and I’d be one of their biggest supporters and referral sources. They’d be the same way.
Much like a financial writer states whether they own the stock they are writing about for the purposes of objectivity, I used to be a partner for B2B CFO®. However, every word I write is based on facts and professional opinion. Admittedly, I’m biased toward some of the names I mention in this article, but it’s hard to hold back when some of the CFOs I’m referencing are the best in the business.
The Short Answer
If you are seeking a strong financial sounding board, yet you don’t need them full-time, by all means, you should consider hiring a B2B CFO®.
Unlike many small CPA firms who claim they provide CFO services or young 20-somethings who are self-anointed fractional CFOs (whatever that term means), most B2B CFO® partners have worked as CFOs in mid-sized to large organizations. A few have public company experience. A handful has deep controllership experience (a role that is vastly underrated).
Between the entire partnership of more than 200 partners in the U.S., there are no gaps in industry experience or financial technical expertise.
In the past ten years, they have smartly positioned themselves as the leading CFO firm for guiding small businesses through the exit of their business. Most of the partners are also experts in acquisitions, ERP implementations, SLT growth and improvement, and the list goes on and on.
When Not to Hire a B2B CFO®
I have written a post that most businesses do not need a CFO as it’s overkill in many cases. Growing businesses first need a strong accounting manager and a financial analyst who understands every aspect of the business–marketing, sales, and operations.
In this case, you do not need any part-time CFO until the need arises. Accordingly, this reason has nothing to do with B2B CFO®. The reason not to hire them applies to any other CFO firm.
What Do They Charge?
During my time as a partner, I was the only one billing fixed monthly rates. That’s how I started doing business in 2001, and I wasn’t changing that practice except in rare circumstances when I joined the partnership.
If hourly billing intimidates you as it does me, let them know when you do a discovery call with one of the partners. Your concerns will not put them off. Plus, they will find a way to alleviate your billing issues should you add them to your leadership team.
A Few Names to Reach Out To
If B2B CFO® looks intriguing, here’s a way to shortcut the due diligence process. I’ve listed my five favorite CFOs at their firm. Pick one, two, or more to find out how they could help your growing business. Links to their contact pages are included with the names below:
- Rick Perrin is the MacGyver of financial operational excellence. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered someone as technically savvy as he is. Rick is based in Madison, WI.
- Dennis Niven is smart, funny, and witty. I don’t have many bad days, but if I did, and if he lived nearby, he’s the guy I’d hang out with. Dennis is based in Phoenix. If you need an icebreaker question, ask him about his motorcycle trips.
- Grant Brisacher probably has the best tan and golf score of this group. He’s the guy I’d want on my strategy and growth team. Like the others, he’s super-smart, friendly, and very humble. Grant is based in San Diego. During my last years at this firm, Grant was probably my go-to sounding board on complex projects.
- Shane Campbell is someone I hold in high esteem. His integrity is off the charts for reasons most people will never know about. He’s based in the San Francisco area.
- Marc Shirley is based in Kansas City, and I’d like to know him better. He may not remember this, but he’s referred a CFO to my coaching practice, and Marc is always top-of-mind when a KC opportunity comes up.
If you are a B2B CFO® who knows me, and I’ve left your name off the list, please forgive me. Say the word, and I’ll add it.
You might think, “These CFOs are not in my city.” Call them anyway. They might be able to help. I only have one client in my hometown, and it’s been this way since about 2006. Likewise, I’m sure they are good with remote relationships.
Go ahead and start a conversation with them and learn what you can. They will decide if it’s in your best interest to have a local CFO serving you.
For Additional Insights
As much as I like to make fun of the term fractional CFO, you’ll want to scan this list in my article, 10 Interview Questions for a Fractional CFO. And if you are new to the concept of CFOs, you might enjoy What is a CFO? and Do You Really Need a CFO in Your Small Business?
As a bonus, I recommend this conversation with my friend, Jack McCullough, on CFO Bookshelf, where we talk about the best attributes of a CFO: