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Stepping Stones

Sherry D. Knight, CPA
CPA, CFO and Controller Services

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CFO and Controller Services

CFO page graphsEvery successful entrepreneurial business will reach a point some time in its growth pattern when just getting informal financial reports is not enough. A gap will grow between what a good bookkeeper / accountant can provide to the business owner and what is needed for better growth and control. This requires a higher level employee, usually a Controller or CFO (Chief Financial Officer), who can become involved in strategic planning, institute the full budget process, establish good cash management policies, and structure reports specific to the needs of management.  Additionally, a CFO will be responsible for overseeing the finance departmentís policies and procedures: very important in this age of corporate oversight and Sarbanes Oxley compliance.

The problem is that at this key stage the company cannot afford to pay the six-figure salary that a full-time CFO is paid.

Thatís where Stepping Stones comes in. When you are growing and starting to need a higher level of financial oversight, but not yet ready to hire a full-time Controller or CFO, that is a good time to hire a part-time expert. This is the best way to get the guidance and management to continue growing, at just a part of the cost.

Stepping Stones has helped many companies through this tough stage, when you need to put in place new controls and procedures, add more structure to your accounting system, maybe even upgrade the software to a higher-level package. We can advise you on how to do effective budgeting and project management, how to control your expenses and cash-flows, and if needed how to restructure your chart of accounts.

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As you grow, it is very important to establish a strong accounting foundation, because management / borrowing / lending / funding decisions will be based on the financial reporting that the company produces.  These reports emanate from that foundation. Your chart-of-accounts is an essential component of that foundation, as is your accounting software and the procedures you put in place to carry out the accounting process. Once you have a really solid foundation, you will find that a lot of growth will then be relatively painless.

We have over twenty years of experience in helping growing companies set up accounting systems, structuring and implementing new controls and procedures, adding structure to accounting systems, improving processing, and implementing new accounting software. We can advise you on how to prepare and establish effective budgets and budgeting tracking, project management, how to control your expenses and cash-flows, and if needed how to restructure your chart of accounts.

The professionals at Stepping Stones are especially good in the design and implementation of sensible, comprehensible management reporting systems. These systems produce reports that are laid out in a format that is easy to read and understand, and tailored to your unique needs.  And we can pull together the information from disparate systems into a single report rather than several separate reports -- very important for the "big-picture" view that is needed for smooth growth.

 

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