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Fractional CFOs and Remote Accounting Teams

Author: Larry Chester, President

How Does a Fractional CFO Work with a Remote Accounting Team?

Technology and the business climate have dramatically affected how businesses function. But even with all of those changes, the accounting function has remained essentially the same. Its purpose?

To record, on paper, the financial transactions that reflect the operation within a business. To do so successfully, there are three things a fractional CFO must do. Successful management of:

  1. Records
  2. Activities, and 
  3. Personnel

So, in a remote environment, which we’re all used to by now, how does a fractional CFO work with a remote accounting team? By taking a look at these three elements, we can understand how a department can be managed remotely.

Let’s discuss this with Larry Chester, President of CFO Simplified.

Managing Records Remotely

There was a time when companies had rooms full of large, floor-to-ceiling file cabinets, sliding on rollers back and forth. These file cabinets were necessary to maintain all of the physical records a company needed to function.

Long gone are these days, however. Today, everything is stored in the cloud.

For those who are a part of an accounting team, whether you’re looking at bank records, invoices, receipts for merchandise, the list goes on, all of this information is in the cloud.

There is no longer a need to be in close proximity to the physical documents themselves because they’re either sent to you as an electronic document or electronically scanned and stored.

Managing Activities Remotely

From an activities perspective, it’s important that every team member understands what needs to be done within a company, especially within the accounting department.

Putting together a calendar of accounting activities is just as critical as it was before. But especially now, having an electronic calendar makes it easier for everyone to understand what their individual roles are in the management of a department as well as the completion of the total activities within the accounting department.

Managing Personnel Remotely

Years ago, we used to sit down in person around a conference table for meetings. We’d discuss what needed to be done and who would complete which task; now, we do the same thing but over Zoom, Teams, or GoToMeeting.

Regardless of whether your accounting team is remote or in person, the key thing is that people are communicating with each other.

So, if an individual is working as a fractional CFO on a remote basis for a company, the question is, “Are you able to manage that business remotely and manage the accounting function remotely?” At CFO Simplified, our answer is absolutely yes.

How could it be any easier than to have a meeting electronically with an entire team on the screen, so that everyone knows who’s involved and what their individual roles are? 

Infographic of "Fractional CFOs and Remote Accounting Teams"

Managing a Remote Accounting Team

At CFO Simplified, we find that managing remotely is even easier than managing on a direct basis—especially for companies that are far flung, where you have offices in different cities, and manufacturing facilities in different states and even internationally.

Being in a position where you can put all those people on a screen together—where they can all share the same data and same calendar—makes it even easier than ever before to manage an accounting function and the finance function in a company on a remote basis.

Interested in learning more? Read on to understand the top three skills your CFO should have.


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