Enjoy Benefits Of A Full-time CFO For A Fraction Of The Cost
As the business idea is crystallized and the company starts growing, entrepreneurs definitely require financial and accounting services that are either developed in-house or outsourced. These functions in the young company are sometimes paid very little attention and are treated as a “bookkeeping” necessity. As the company grows, the operations portion (billing, collections, payables, payroll, etc.) of the accounting function becomes more defined and structured. But this is about big and established companies. What about small businesses. How will they afford a full-time CFO?
PAPRIKA Consultants serves as a good introduction to the changing landscape of client’s financial services and how you can shift your focus to more profitable one.
Description of the business
We started Virtual CFO Services for SMEs and Startups with the aim of freeing the Founder’s time from Financial operations and providing Strategic inputs by acting as the Right hand to the CEO. Our “iCFOs” work closely with clients in ensuring all compliances are in place, funds allocation is optimized, cash flow is smooth, and derive analytical reports and Dashboards which feed into strategic discussions of the board.
The iCFO also represents the company for all investor/banking relations, vendor management and ecosystem creation. Our Transaction Advisory vertical assists companies in their fund raising efforts by representing them, negotiating with Investors and closing the transaction.
What kind of clients/industry you have worked in the last 6 months? Name a few
We have worked with Startups and SMEs across numerous Industrial verticals. Our most recent clients have been from IT/ITES, Education, Pharma, Manufacturing, Engineering, ecommerce and Mobile technology.
While each client and each industry faces a unique set of challenges, our focus has been to first ensure that proper Financial Hygiene of the accounts is put in place. And then, draw relevant inferences/recommendations depending on the requirements and challenges for that particular client / Industry.
What were the business hurdles when you started the company, and how did you improve the turnover?
The biggest hurdle we faced, and still face, is in educating clients about the importance of proper financial planning and its contribution towards the growth of their business. Most business owners limit their Finance function to basic Accounting and Statutory Compliance, and are not aware about how Financial Strategy and Planning can improve the performance of their business.
We still face this hurdle, which results in a low conversion rate. But we ensure that we deliver what we promised to our existing clients, which enables us to retain them for extended periods of time. Thus, helping us improve our turnover with each new client that we acquire.
How did you transform your business from start-up to a successful one?
In our industry, people matter. The ‘iCFO’ who works with the Client has to deliver. We have placed tremendous importance on, and invested in, developing our team and trained them to deliver. We have created Standard Operating procedures and tools which are used across the board and across companies and industries. This has helped us gain customer confidence and has contributed to our success. Most of all, we have gained trust and confidence of our clients because of which they let us be a part of their journey and allow us to manage Finances – an integral and confidential part of their company. The only way to do this is by adhering to the highest levels of professional ethics and dedication towards the assignment.
Second is, to never be afraid to give clients unpleasant news. While they may not like it at that moment, but if it is for the benefit of the business, it is our responsibility to bring it up, and incorporate it in decision making.
Describe why this company is the best example of business excellence. Do mention if you engage in social activities/CSR as a part of your business.
For us Business Excellence comes from Consistency in Delivery. We have successfully done so over the years and across industries. Our teams have accomplished the uphill task of gaining trust of our clients and it would not have been possible had we been lacking in our deliverable. We not only deliver what is promised, but we also build relationships which help the business grow faster.
What makes your products or services excellent? You can list few USPs
A few USPs which make our Service excellent are:
- Team Mix – Our team is made up of CAs and MBAs who come from a start up ecosystem which gives them the edge of working in unorganized environments and delivering under extreme pressures. We therefore fit in very easily with client teams
- On Demand Support: Our Consultants are available to assist the clients as and when they are required, just like an in house CFO would be.
- All Financial Solutions under One Roof: As we offer the entire gamut of financial solutions to our clients it saves them the effort required to hire and co-ordinate with various people/service providers for their financial needs.
- Affordable: We understand that startups and SMEs have budgetary constraints. So while our services are premium, our prices are not.
How well does this company communicate its mission or vision?
We communicate our Mission and Vision by abiding by it in everything that we do, whether it is at the Client end of our operations, or internally with our employees.
Have you made a positive impact within your industry? If yes, how?
Yes, we have made a positive impact within the Industry that we serve. We have successfully installed financial structures in places which were till now operating by “Gut Feeling” when it came to matters of Finance. This has resulted in better decision making for these firms. Each of the firms where we have operated as iCFOs are in their Series A discussions with PEs. This is the level of readiness that we bring to the table.
Do you offer a superior level of customer service? If yes, how?
As mentioned under the USPs, we offer a superior service to our clients in the following manners:
- Independent and Unbiased Inputs
- On Demand Service
- All Financial Services Under One Roof.
All these aspects make life a lot easier for the client, as it frees up their time, while still giving them confidence that they can rely on us.
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