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When do you need a Virtual CFO (VCFO)?

(Scroll down to read the Chinese version 请向下翻页阅读中文版)

Computer and cellphone and notebook

One of my friends asked me recently "Carol, what's a virtual CFO? We have already hired an accountant and an accounting clerk. But I am not sure whether we need a CFO or not as we just started our business. " A good question! Let me explain in a simple way as follows:

What is a Virtual CFO (VCFO)?

A virtual CFO, also called CFO on-call or outsourced CFO is an experienced financial expert that can function as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to help you grow your business but on a part-time basis.

Why do you need a Virtual CFO?

  • Save your staff cost

You hire a VCFO to do a CFO's job but you only pay a fraction of a full-time CFO’s cost. It's very cost effective. It's a management consulting service so you don't need to worry about any HR issues.

  • Instant access to financial expertise which you and your team don't have

Location is not a barrier nowadays as long as you are using a cloud-based accounting system. A VCFO can remotely access your financial information to support you on a timely basis.

  • Flexible arrangement

You pay when you need the service at an hourly or a daily rate or fixed monthly or yearly fees as per the scope of services which are tailored to your needs.

When do you need a Virtual CFO?

  • Set up a new business/project - suitable for most start-ups at the business planning stage

  • Enter a new market

For example, a VCFO like me with deep knowledge about China can assist foreign companies to underpin strategic planning for getting into China market. A bilingual VCFO like me is able to assist NZ businesses to deal with Chinese investors or guide Chinese investors to acquire businesses or set up businesses in NZ in an efficient way.

  • Engage or supervise special projects such as merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, or independent review financial or internal control process etc

  • Monitor and supervise your finance team

You need a VCFO to regularly supervise existing finance team and manage corporate financial performance and strategic planning.

Common Mistakes

  • Finance manager or accountant ≠ CFO

I tell my friend that you cannot expect an accountant or a finance manager with 3 to 5 years accounting experience to perform a CFO's role as he or she doesn't have the relevant experience and skill-sets.

I notice that some Chinese companies tend to hire junior staff with limited experience to save staff costs but expect them to deal with complex issues such as M&A transactions or setting up new business. The consequence is that the business owners suffer and end up paying expensive tuition!

  • No financial expert involvement at the business planning stage

Small business owners tend to do everything themselves at the business planning stage without consulting a financial expert. However, you don't know what you don't know. Sometimes you just need a fresh pair of eyes to look at things from an independent perspective. Are there any risks or opportunities that you are not aware of?

You can avoid paying expensive lessons if you get a VCFO at the planning stage.

Do you want to improve efficiency and reduce costs? Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more about our VCFO services.

中文版 (Chinese version)



最近我的一个朋友问我“Carol,什么是“在线首席财务官”?我们已经雇了会计和簿记员工。我们业务刚开始,我不知道是否还需要一位财务总监?” 好问题! 我来简单说明一下吧:

什么是“在线首席财务官” (VCFO)或者是外包财务总监?



  • 节约人工成本


  • 即时获得您和您团队没有的财务专业知识

如今只要您使用基于云计算的会计系统,地点和距离不再是交流的障碍。 VCFO可以远程查看公司财务信息,进行专业财务分析,为您出谋划策,提供及时支持。

  • 灵活的安排



  • 创建一个新的生意/项目 - 适用于大多数初创企业,尤其在做商业计划阶段

  • 进入一个新市场


  • 参与或监督特殊项目如并购(M&A)交易或独立审查财务或内部控制等

  • 管理和监督贵司财务团队



  • 财务经理或会计 ≠ 首席财务官

我对我的朋友说 “您不能指望拥有三到五年会计经验的会计或财务经理承担首席财务官的工作,因为他或她没有相关的知识,经验和技能。”


  • 在商业计划阶段没有财务专家的介入





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