Frequently Asked Questions

What does a CFO do for my business and me?
The CFO is the business owner or CEO’s (Chief Executive
Officer) strategic partner, not only analyzing information and
numbers but also providing valuable counsel on running the

What is the role of the Controller?
The Controller is responsible for ensuring the integrity and
accuracy of management reports and maintaining business
control systems.

Why doesn’t my Controller do that?
Your “Controller” is not really a Controller. Many companies
have someone who they call their Controller. Often these
individuals are involved in bookkeeping tasks (i.e. paying bills,
running payroll, etc.). If your “Controller” is not involved in
financial analysis, budgeting, overhead control and cash flow
planning, then your “Controller” is more of a bookkeeper.

What if I already have an accountant? I have a CPA do
my tax return.
Most business owners have a CPA. CPAs are important to
your business for tax planning and preparing tax returns and
preparing financial statements for your banker. That’s not
what we do. We work out of your office and become part of
your team. We are involved in understanding the day-to-day
issues of your business. We then help by managing internal
functions and providing key management information.
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What size company does Total CFO Solutions work with?
Generally, we work with companies ranging from startup to
$25 million of annual sales. We have many clients who have
revenue in the $1 to $8 million range. At whatever point the
business owner needs a strong, internal resource, we can
help. Every business, no matter what the size, can benefit
from a CFO or Controller.
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What type of information should I have to effectively
run my business?
We recommend that you have access to the following:

- Detailed cash-flow planning and forecasting of cash or
borrowing needs
- Regular internal management reporting and key financial
- Financial analysis of critical business areas such as
customer pricing, overhead costs, profit margins and capital
- Development and analysis of performance indicators,
benchmarking and ratio analysis
- Detailed budgeting of sales and operating costs including
trend analysis and pro forma (or “what if”) scenarios
- Overhead analysis and cost control initiatives
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What “back office” functions do you help with?
We generally provide help with the oversight of traditional
back office functions including: customer billing and accounts
receivable, accounts payable, bank reconciliations,
administration of employee benefits, internal office and
administrative functions, payroll support and business
insurance oversight.
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What is your objective in helping a business?
Our objective is two fold – (1) to provide you with TIME to
focus on what is critical to your business, and (2) to provide
INFORMATION to allow you to run your business proactively
and efficiently.
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What is your experience with small business owners?
We have found that many business owners and
entrepreneurs are either (1) frustrated with back office
administration, in that they spend too much time on it, or (2)
they don’t have good management information to help them
run their business. We help business owners with internal
management information in the areas of cash flow, sales,
profit margins and costs. Most of the time, small business
owners need help with financial and operational issues.
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Why can’t we handle it ourselves? We don’t need any
help. We have a bookkeeper who takes care of our
As long as your in-house people are providing you with
budgeting, cash flow planning, overhead analysis, action
oriented reporting, cost control – proactive business tools –
then you have what you need. If you are not getting these
things, your business needs them.
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Why would we use your services?
Many companies find themselves at the stage where they
need strong in-house resources, though they can’t afford to
hire the level they need. In addition, the need is not full-time.
They end up settling for a person without the appropriate
skills. We will allow you to spend time where it is most
important – on sales, marketing, operations and production –
not on your back office administration.
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What computer systems do you use?
We try to work with your existing systems. If you have
outgrown your current system, or if you do not have one, we
will make a recommendation. We have individuals within Total
CFO Solutions who have worked with a variety of systems
applications including MAS 90, Timberline, Macola, Solomon,
Great Plains, QuickBooks and Peachtree. We want you to
have the best system to meet your management needs.
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How much does it cost?
We usually bill by the hour so you can control your costs. We
have some clients who use us for two or three hours a month
and spend $200 a month. Others use us for 20 to 25 hours
per week and spend $4,000 or $6,000 per month. It just
depends on what you need. We customize a solution to meet
your needs and your budget. The bottom line is that you gain
financial expertise for a fraction of the annual salary of a full-
time hire.

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