Today, Consero reported results of a survey of 100 PE-backed CFOs, done in partnership with Wakefield Research. The results found CFOs aware that private equity firms invest in their companies with the expectation that finance and accounting (“F&A”) teams won’t just deliver fast, accurate numbers but become value-drivers of the business as well.
However, new CFOs are feeling the demands that come with building an F&A team and adopting enterprise grade software. In fact, 88% of respondents said they underestimated the time to migrate F&A processes to an enterprise-grade ERP and necessary software stack, and 9 out of 10 firms underestimated the time to migrate F&A processes to an enterprise-grade solution.
A third of respondents found that building the F&A team takes up a third of their workweek, even as respondents agree that the majority of their time should be spent on strategic planning. As one respondent noted: “You have to be a game changer, not just money maker.” Respondents argue that ideally 53% of their time as CFOs would be spent on strategy.
This doesn’t mean that CFOs don’t value the basics, only that they are table stakes for PE-backed businesses. The three top ranked skillsets in the survey were: functional skillsets from the finance team (20%); ability to deliver timely and accurate financials (20%); and ability to deliver KPIs (17%). The issue isn’t that these activities aren’t important, merely that CFOs find themselves working hard to maintain quality while also offering the strategic insights that can help fundamentally improve the business for all stakeholders.
The consequences for a poor performing F&A team were top of mind for respondents: 44% cited it could lead to an inability to make strategic investments, 44% cited potential delays in accounts receivable/ accounts payable, 38% cited an inability to raise capital or debt going forward, and 37% cited reduced company valuation. Furthermore, respondents were aware that striking a balance between the basics and more strategic thinking isn’t some utopia, but rather what investors and boards demand today.
Consero conducted the survey of 100 CFOs in tech and business services, with annual revenue between $10M and $200M. The goal was to learn from this study what the optimal state, size, and organizational structure for a F&A function is, especially as a business scales. And to that point, 68% of CFOs say the cost of an F&A function as a percentage of revenue should be lower or constant for companies between $10M and at $200M.
This means that even as a company’s revenue grows, 50% of the respondents say the percentage of revenue ration should decrease, while another 17% say it should stay the same. This leaves them hunting for ways to optimize their F&A function, so that it continues to meet and exceed investors’ demands while accounting for a smaller percentage of revenue growth, without taking up the lion’s share of the CFO’s time.
“I think the survey makes a compelling case for the Finance as a Service (FaaS) model we offer,” says Consero’s CEO and co-Founder, Scott Tynes. “We’re here to offer a reliable, cost effective solution that will reduce the time and trouble of building the team and the technology, so that CFOs have the time exceed the expectations of their CEO and investors.”
To read the report in full, simply visit: https://conseroglobal.com/2022-cfo-survey/
Founded in 2006—by Scott Tynes, Bill Klein, and Kiran Jagannath—Consero disrupts the way businesses build and maintain their finance and accounting function. Through a cloud-based platform, Consero delivers the financial clarity and efficiency needed to drive a business forward. Strategic CFOs are adopting Consero's cutting-edge Finance as a Service model to free up time and understand how the business is performing. Serving more than 250 clients and their portfolio companies, Consero, backed by BV Investment Partners, provides the control and insight needed to steer businesses toward success. Contact Consero for more information about gaining greater control of your financial operations. More info at www.conseroglobal.com.