Contract CFO Services in Calgary, Alberta

The Role and Purpose of the Contract Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in Calgary, Alberta

Many local business owners get to a point where they have achieved moderate success and need a Calgary contract CFO to help them with the next steps in the evolution of their model.  This can come about for a number of reasons but usually involve the need for the owner/manager to step back from the day-to-day minutiae of the company and take a more strategic approach to the future path of the enterprise.  As part of this process a contract CFO, in Calgary, would provide input, support, and guidance in the following areas:

  • Business Plan Implementation and Measurement
  • Strategic Financing
  • Cashflow Management
  • Tax Planning & Legal Compliance
  • Financial Reporting – Internal & External
  • Managing the Banking Relationship
  • Risk Management

Business Plan Implementation and Measurement

The development of a business plan is a key step to establishing the framework for the future growth and direction of the business.  An experienced full-time or part-time CFO can provide valuable insight and guidance into both the financial and non-financial aspects of putting this plan into place, as well as putting in place a framework to measure the outcomes against the strategy.

Strategic Financing

Capital is the life blood of any business and the ability to access that capital on the most favourable terms is one of the keys to the success of any organization.  A knowledgeable Calgary CFO can provide significant value by providing timely advice and an appropriate message for accessing funds from a variety of investor groups as well as traditional financial institutions.

Cashflow Management

An often repeated platitude in business is that “cash is king”.  However, It is important to acknowledge that it is one thing to say this but completely another to understand the underlying implications to the business.  A business that expands too rapidly or without a solid plan can find itself in just as many issues as a business that is failing from a lack of revenue.   Local CFOs bring a crisp delivery of the financial implications of a growth strategy and the ability to articulate a vision for funding the plan.  They understand the risks and bring a variety of resources and strategies to bear in order to minimize the possibility of disruption to the business from unforeseen events.

Tax Planning & Legal Compliance

Smaller organizations always seem to have multiple priorities and resources that are continuously stretched in a variety of directions.  Unfortunately, because of this, the tax and legal implications of a particular strategy may not have been investigated with the diligence necessary to flag potential issues at the outset and this can lead to time consuming and costly solutions having to be implemented after the fact.  A CFO, in Calgary, with the required depth of knowledge and experience will be able to proactively advise a company on the tax and legal implications of a proposed transaction or structure while it is still being contemplated thus allowing a strategy or structure to be optimized prior to being implemented.

Financial Reporting – Internal & External

Financial reporting both internal and external can be a starting point for a number of conversations relating to the financial health of an organization.  A great CFO understands that there are nuances in every set of financial statements or internal reports and the real value is understanding the range of possible outcomes that could impact a set of financial statements depending on how a transaction is recorded.  Sometimes there isn’t just one right answer as to how a transaction is accounted for and it often takes the insight of a knowledgeable Calgary contract CFO to give you the range of options and the implications depending on which one you choose.

Managing the Banking Relationship

Businesses often underestimate or undervalue the nature of the banking relationship.  A clear, crisp and transparent communications strategy is the key to a successful relationship with a lender and the contract CFO is the primary point of responsibility for this relationship.  A great CFO understands how to communicate with a lender and will anticipate what the lender will ask for even before it has been requested.  This builds confidence and with that confidence comes trust.   A lender that trusts its client is one that will support growth initiatives and go to bat for the business even when times get tough.

Risk Management and Mitigation

Risks today are pervasive and incredibly difficult to quantify and contain.  A great CFO, in Calgary, will bring a holistic approach to risk management and understand that risk is something that needs to be managed at the entity level and not just from a finance perspective.  This involves bringing together various stakeholders both internally and externally to devise a comprehensive strategy that addresses risk using a variety of tools and strategies.