How to Know When it’s Time to Upgrade from a Bookkeeper to a CFO

How to Know When it’s Time to Upgrade from a Bookkeeper to a CFO

As your business grows, financial management turns into an increasingly delicate task. To stay on top of the books (and stay ahead of problems later), you need a rising degree of financial intelligence.

But you’re also running all other aspects of your business. To focus on more critical duties, and—ideally—take a big step back from the business so that it can start to run itself, getting those time-consuming financial activities off your plate is crucial.

You probably already have a bookkeeper, whether remote or in-office, part-time or full. So, when do you know it’s time to delegate all your financial responsibilities to a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)?

Here, we’ll explore the key differences between a bookkeeper and a CFO to understand which will have the biggest impact on your business according to your needs, right now.


You probably already have a bookkeeper or use a bookkeeping service, and here we’re going to review what their responsibilities generally include.

A bookkeeper is generally employed by a small-to-medium-sized business to record and track transactions and reconcile accounts, including but not limited to payroll, invoices and expenditures.

That said, a bookkeeper’s role isn’t limited to entering numbers into spreadsheets. Especially if you contract a bookkeeping service, their expertise and knowledge also include leveraging key accounting software to take care of things like:

  • Training you or other staff on accounting software
  • Cleaning up mistakes and validating accounting data
  • And streamlining all bookkeeping tasks

These responsibilities take an enormous weight off a business owner’s shoulders. However, you’ll see that these tasks still require someone to manage the bookkeeper and step in when it comes to more complex to-dos.

Spoiler alert: if it is time to upgrade to a CFO, you’ll have more accounting needs than those listed above.


As your business grows, managing your finances becomes too complex for a bookkeeper to handle. And without the right pieces in place to keep finances managed well, this can become a strain for future growth, particularly when it comes to investments and strategic planning.

This is your first sign that it might be time to hire a CFO.

But back to basics: a CFO is brought into a business as the bearer of all financial activities. The CFO not only has the knowledge and skills to handle accounting independently, but takes ownership in the success of your business.

Ideally, a CFO ends up becoming a right-hand man or woman for your company, with responsibilities such as:

  • Strategic planning to assess the operational and financial impacts of strategic business initiatives
  • Annual budgeting and quarterly forecasting, including recommending adjustments, as needed, to properly manage the business
  • Operational and financial reviews with actuals vs. budget forecasts and operational efficiency metrics to make better day-to-day and strategic decisions

A CFO will be responsible for everything from general accounting to protecting the financial future of your company, keeping a pulse on how stable your company is at a given time.

Though, as you can imagine, hiring a CFO is a big decision for any business owner and has to be done at the right time.


We can outsource just about everything these days. With a tap of the smartphone, we can open apps to communicate with freelancers and contractors around the globe who are playing an increasing role in capacity building and scaling for small and medium businesses.

Outsourcing is common, too, with bookkeepers. Whether it’s an independent bookkeeper or a service you contract, working from the cloud gives businesses the financial controls they need without having to hire in-office.

Looking for a bookkeeper online today is easier than ever, too, with multiple certifications you can check for and validate. For example:

  • Certified Bookkeepers (National Bookkeepers Association)
  • Certified Management Accountants
  • Certified Accounts Payable Professionals
  • Certified Accounts Payable Associates
  • Certified Payroll Professionals
  • Tax Certification

But did you know you can outsource your CFO, too? This is most appealing for businesses without a physical office, and for those who are aching to get the help a CFO can offer but still aren’t sure about finding and hiring someone local full-time.


We’ve talked about the increasing complexity of business finances. So what are some of the triggers that might indicate it’s time to start thinking about hiring a CFO?

If any of the following are true, that will be a big flag that you’ve grown enough to start thinking about hiring this important team member:

  • If you have investors interested in supporting your business, they’ll want to see detailed financial statements and financial plans. This is something that almost always requires contracting a CFO, unless you want to be stuck doing all this work yourself.
  • If your company revenue has increased significantly or rapidly, it’s wise to look for a CFO to help manage your cash flow. Planning appropriate cash usage is another strategic “must” that a CFO can manage for you.
  • And, as your business grows, banks will start insisting on thorough audits of your financial statements when you come looking for loans. These types of audits can include digging into even the most minute details, and can be intimidating—not to mention a major time suck. A CFO would take care of this for you, also ensuring that financial statements are up-to-date without discrepancies before that audit even comes.
  • For any company that’s grown significantly beyond “what it once was,” understanding and managing risk becomes more difficult. Hiring a CFO gets you the insights you need for proper risk management, strategizing and protecting you against all the “what ifs” that are likely to occur.

Now that the wheels are turning on the “when” and “why,” the rest is up to your gut. You’ve made business decisions a million times before, and now you have some key considerations on a silver platter. So, what do you need? And what do you want? Do you have the time to handle finances on your own?

If it is time to hire a CFO, this will mean handing all that responsibility off to someone uniquely trained and positioned to not only handle accounting, but the necessary financial strategy to keep your business running successfully.


Hiring anyone for your company is a delicate matter. Even the entry-level representatives answering the phones act as the face of your business, so there is no “small” job in your business.

That said, a CFO will act as an especially important player. Looking for talent isn’t as hard as you think, and so if it is time to hire a CFO, start looking now.

And then, pat yourself on the back, because your business has grown so much that you’ve arrived to a major turning point. This will be another day you remember.

Have a financial situation you’re not sure about? Want to learn more about what a bookkeeper or CFO can do? Connect with us today!

3 Tips For Delegating The Correct Way

3 Tips For Delegating The Correct Way

Your business is “your baby” and nobody can do it like you can, right? WRONG! SO many business owners get caught up believing that they’re the only person who can do the work in their business to keep it running, and this thinking is what keeps them stuck, working around the clock.

Sure…you’re unique and no one is exactly like you. But doing everything yourself is a quick road to frustration, exhaustion and burnout. Not to mention business stagnation.

Delegating work effectively is absolutely crucial to your long-term success.

The prospect of delegating may make you cringe because of the amount of time and effort it takes up front. In the long term, however, it will save you exponentially more time and help you conserve exponentially more energy, allowing you to focus on bigger, more important aspects of your business.  

Not sure if you’re ready to “let go” and allow your team to help you? Here are three tips for delegating the correct way.

Decide What Needs To Be Delegated

To decide what you can delegate to team members, first start by examining yourself. You undoubtedly have many fantastic skills. You probably even have a few skills that are unique to only you and nobody else on your team. There are also things that make you jump out of bed in the morning, eager to get into the office. But what about the tasks that aren’t your expertise, your motivation or your passion?

Starting out by delegating things you aren’t the best at or don’t enjoy doing, is a perfect place to begin. If there’s a task or activity that you aren’t very good at, chances are there is someone on your team that is excellent at it, or that you can find someone who would be excellent at it and add them to your team. Delegating that activity or task to them will not only allow them to excel, it will also give you a much better end result.

Delegating those things you simply don’t enjoy (or maybe even dread) doing is also a great place to start. Just because you may not like a task or activity doesn’t mean everyone dislikes it. By getting it off your plate, you are getting rid of negative energy and are able to focus more positive energy and efforts on the work you love and excel at.

One pro tip here to consider is that while getting everything you are not great at or dislike off your plate all at once may be tempting, don’t go overboard. Start small to make sure the process runs smoothly and orderly and you’re satisfied with the outcome. As delegated work gets done and your systems get ironed out, you can then continue to delegate bigger and bigger tasks and activities.

Set People Up To Succeed

As you are delegating, remember that you want to give your team members every opportunity to succeed.

Part of doing this successfully is granting them the true authority to perform the work you are delegating. Do anything less, and you will place a potentially insurmountable obstacle in the path of your employees, requiring them to rely on you and causing yet another bottleneck. Examples of authority include monetary or personnel resources, decision making power, etc.

Equally important to empowering team members with the authority required to complete a task or activity, is making sure you are extremely clear when making the request. This includes communicating a deadline, providing a detailed explanation of the physical outcome you expect (what it will look like, etc.), conveying why the work is important (it’s purpose), and sharing any and all information, training, messages, etc. the person will need in order to have the background necessary to complete the work to your level of satisfaction. This is often where the delegation train goes off the rails. Take the time to plan your delegation, and err on the side of over-communication and overtraining.  

Evaluate And Refine

Another very important factor to take into consideration as you delegate work to your team members is to keep the lines of communication open and establish a structure to regularly discuss how tasks and activities are progressing. Doing so will allow team members to surface any breakdowns more quickly, and to share their recovery plans to address those breakdowns. This is the way that you stay in coordination with the folks doing the work, without needing to be involved directly in the doing.

As you delegate more and more, and you start to see common breakdowns or pitfalls, you’ll be able to establish practices, guidelines and procedures that minimize those same issues from surfacing in the future.

Delegating tasks and activities in your company may feel daunting, but the rewards and gains in productivity you’ll see from it will pay you back exponentially in business growth and scalability. At Kleriti Business Solutions, we partner with business owners to build the muscle of effective delegation, grounded in the processes and workflows that allow their businesses to operate consistency and with high quality. If you want to be able to delegate more, step away from the day to day of working “for” your business, and begin working “on” your business, contact us today.

The Way You Set Your Business Goals Guarantees Failure

The Way You Set Your Business Goals Guarantees Failure

We’re almost two months through 2019. How is your business doing? Do you have your goals written down and visible? Are you making progress toward accomplishing those goals? Are you tracking that progress?

No business achieves success without clearly defined goals to guide decisions and actions. And those goals must be grounded in a meaningful and intentional purpose to make them stick. Clear goals, such as “complete launch plan for new service line by the end of Q1” provide the direction that leadership and team members need to align, commit and act.

Yet so few entrepreneurs prioritize the time to set goals, and even fewer maintain focus on goals that have been set.

A  recent Gallup study showed that only 22% of employees strongly agree that their organization’s leadership has a clear direction, and only 33% of employees are engaged. Without goals, team members flounder, unsure what success looks like or how to achieve it. They show up, punch the clock, keep themselves busy during the day, punch out and go home. And organizations suffer as a result, never reaching the level of success they could reach. If your company falls into the category of lacking direction and employee engagement, have no fear. Now’s the time to reset your course and take a more strategic approach to business planning.  By setting realistic, clearly defined, measurable goals and having a more clearly defined purpose for your business, you can start down this path today. Here are steps to start the process.

Define Your Purpose

As mentioned above, you must have a purpose behind your business goals. Every person on your team, no matter their position in the organization, needs to be clear on why they’re doing what they’re doing. On why their role, their project, their piece in the puzzle is necessary to get the organization to where it’s going. This is what enables everyone in the boat to paddle in the same direction at the same speed like a well-practiced crew team.

How do you determine your purpose? Here are some questions to begin the conversation:

  • What do we care about?
  • What brings us meaning, value, satisfaction and fulfillment?
  • Why does our company exist?
  • What promises do we make to our team members? to our clients/customers/patents?
  • What results do our clients/customers/patients care about?

When everybody knows the purpose of your business, it sets a universal standard for the direction you are moving. It also guides every conversation, commitment and action that every member of your team makes. Every initiative you and your employees look at taking on throughout the year can be compared to this purpose to ask the question, “Is this in alignment with our purpose, and does pursuing it take care of what we care about?” If the answer is “yes,” it makes sense to pursue further conversations to define goals around it. If the answer is “no,” drop it.

Operating in this fashion will set your business up to not only reach its goals but to have the best year in business it’s ever had. For your convenience, we have a handy worksheet you can download and use to help you along this process.

Use SMART Goals

Once you’re clear on your purpose and the initiatives that align with it, it’s time to get into goal setting. We recommend quarterly leadership team meetings where you look back at progress made on last quarter’s goals and set goals for the quarter ahead. This framework ensures everyone is on the same page as it relates to business direction and focus for the next three months, and also gives members of the leadership team a forum to voice their aspirations and concerns, and break apart issues standing in the way of accomplishing goals.

During these sessions, be sure you’re setting SMART goals. Specifically, SMART stands for:

  • Specific: Goals must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction.
  • Measurable: Include precise amounts, dates, etc. in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. Without a way to measure success, you miss out on the celebration that comes when you achieve something.
  • Attainable: Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. Set realist yet challenging goals that require you to “raise the bar.” These bring the greatest satisfaction.
  • Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the direction you want to go in, and to your purpose.
  • Time-Bound: Your goals must have a deadline. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement comes that much quicker.

Using this technique when defining your goals allows you to frame them in a way that ensures they’re clear, actionable, trackable and attainable. And once the quarter’s goals are set, don’t change them. This shows that your leadership team has a clear direction and is not wavering from it.

Make Progress Visible To Everyone

Once your goals are defined, communicate them to everyone in your organization. Following each quarterly leadership team meeting, hold an all-staff meeting where you report out on the three most relevant data points for each of the following:

  • Where you’ve been — successes and progress over the previous quarter
  • Where you are — important headlines
  • Where you’re going — newly set company priorities for this quarter 

And don’t stop there, or else it’s easy for goals to fall into the“out of sight, out of mind” category. Instead, visibly track progress toward reaching each goal, holding team members to weekly to-dos.

Aligning your team on your organization’s purpose and making sure everyone is focused on your goals can be challenging. These elements are essential to the growth and long-term success of your company. If you are looking for assistance in defining and aligning your goals, contact us today for a free, one-on-one, no obligation consultation.

Attracting Top Talent To Your Business Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Attracting Top Talent To Your Business Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Ask any business owner and they will tell you how difficult it can be to find and retain top talent. Recruiting and retaining excellent team members is critical to the growth of your company. It’s remarkable how much extra productivity an organization can realize from having top talent on board. A recent study of more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes found that high performers are 400 percent more productive than average performers.

Studies of businesses show similar results, and also reveal that the increase in productivity continues to rise as a job’s complexity does. In highly complex occupations, high performers are up to 800 percent more productive. So it’s easy to understand why every company wants to scoop up top talent. Finding those high performers, though, can be the ultimate challenge!

The secret to attracting high-quality team members is differentiating yourself from other industry players, and showing those folks how joining your company can help them reach their career goals. Today I want to share with you a few tips on how to do this.

It All Starts At Home

Before you start posting your job openings on job sites, consider the fact that you may be able to source a great new employee simply by having conversations with your current employees and referral partners. The truth is that these folks know you, like you, and trust you, and may know others that would be a great fit for your company.

By letting your employees and referral partners know what positions you are looking to fill, and arming them with a card they can hand out to anyone they run across that might fit the bill of a great candidate, they’ll be able to help you on this journey.


Sometimes the best way to find top talent is as simple as hanging out where they do. Industry-specific events where top performers are most likely to be attending or participating offer fantastic opportunities. You’ll not only get a feel for what top talent is up to in your industry, but you will also get the opportunity to get some facetime in with potential candidates, learning more about them and in the process, familiarizing them with your company.

The biggest advantage of this type of recruiting is that the people you are coming into contact with more than likely aren’t actively looking for a new job. This means that there is less competition trying to recruit them and gives you a leg up should you decide to discuss with them the benefits of joining your company.

How Does Your Company Stand Out?

This is very important, and an often overlooked question. It’s important to remember that you are competing against other companies to try and woo top talent to come and work for you. One of the most important questions to ask yourself is what makes you different and/or better than other companies in your industry?

Having a strong and unique value proposition is critical to attracting top talent. People at the top of their game in your industry are not looking to be part of an organization that is simply trying to mimic what others are doing. They want to work for a company with a vision. One that they feel they can not only contribute to but that also will offer opportunities for growth and advancement. You have to be able to share how the company value proposition is lived every day, along with the vision and mission of the organization. You need to clearly articulate this so that they can put themselves in the shoes of an employee and get excited about the prospect of working with your team.

Attracting top talent for your company isn’t a walk in the park. Start by utilizing these three tips to be on your way to locating the next unicorn that is going to help you and your team realize your vision.

4 Reasons Your Business Needs To Be Self Sustaining

4 Reasons Your Business Needs To Be Self Sustaining

If you ask any business owner why they started their business, you are bound to get some flavor of, “I wanted more control over my life,” or “I wanted to be financially independent.”

While these are fantastic reasons to start your own business, the reality of the situation is that most business owners, eager to grow their businesses and make a future for themselves, end up in a different place than they originally expected, losing sight of that control and independence. They often end up getting overly involved in working “for” the business and become its key asset to sustainability.

Business self-sustainability should be a goal of every business owner, whether your business is large or small, no matter what industry you are in. There are many key benefits to running a self-sustainable business. Here are the top four:

Self Sustaining Businesses Are Worth More

If your goal is to build your business and one day sell it, know that businesses that are owner-operated traditionally net a lower sale price than businesses that are absentee-owned.

Why is this? It’s simple economics. A potential buyer isn’t buying your company because they think you are great. They are buying your company because they want cash flow. If the business survives only with you being in it, working for the business, buying your company would require more effort on their part. They will have to find somebody to replace you and/or get involved in the day to day operations of your business. And they probably don’t want that.

This added effort on their part makes the purchase less attractive and they, therefore, will offer you less money for your company. Designing your business to be self-sustaining takes this obstacle off the table, making your organization more attractive to buyers and ultimately getting you a higher price for your business.

Self Sustainability Decreases Risk To The Business

Another advantage to having a self-sustainable business is the lower overall risk it poses to your business’ success. If you run a business, and the majority of its survival and day to day operations depend directly on you, what happens if suddenly you were no longer there? What if you were to get in a horrible car accident on the way to work and were in the hospital for an extended period of time? How would your business continue?

Of course, nobody wants to think of horrible scenarios such as a tragic car accident, but it is something that should be considered. If your business cannot survive without you in it, you are putting your employees and their family’s lives in potential risk. How would they continue to be gainfully employed in a company that can’t function because you physically cannot go to work?

Even more realistically, what about when you need to secure additional funding? The fact of the matter is that banks and investors are much more comfortable with and willing to get into business with companies that have evolved beyond the owner-operator stage. Putting the time in to become self-sustainable will work to your advantage when you are ready to expand and need a loan or are looking to take on investors.

Self Sustainability Turns Your Business Into An Annuity

What if you have no intention of selling your business? If you are in this category, developing a self-sustaining business model is actually even more important.

The truth is even if you love working, you cannot work forever. Eventually, there comes a time in all our lives when we want to slow down, enjoy the life we’ve built and enter retirement. The problem with this is if your business isn’t self-sustainable, and you don’t sell it, it can’t survive. Without you doing the work to make the money, the business, and the money, dries up.

A self-sustainable business can easily become an annuity for you when you retire. You can be the hands-off owner, enjoying the cash flow the business brings you and essentially treating it just like another investment in your portfolio.

Self Sustainability Frees You From Your Business

Looping back to the reasons you started your company in the first place, one of the most important reasons to consider setting your business up to be self-sustainable is personal freedom. You started your business because you wanted to be your own boss and have more control over your life. Why would you stay stuck in the position of feeling like you are a slave to your company?

Creating a self-sustainable business allows you to take a step away when you want to, while your business does what it does every day, unaffected by your absence.  

Letting Go So You Can Build Your Business

Letting Go So You Can Build Your Business

One of the most common questions a business owner asks when reflecting on his/her company and its performance is whether he/she is too involved in the day to day dealings of the business. A very valid question. After all, when you started your company, you set out to build a business, not work for it. And the truth is that if you have asked yourself this question, the answer is ‘yes.’

That involvement, the neverending pursuit of excellent customer service, the non-stop tweaking of every marketing message and sales pitch, is what got your company to where it is today. But being overly involved in the day to day functions of your business could also be the reason why you are no longer growing as quickly as you once were. Not to mention the toll that operating in this fashion is likely taking on your personal life and your health.

While you may be too involved in the day to day dealings of your company, this is no reason to lose heart. Letting go isn’t easy, but if you want to continue growing your business, it is a necessity you are going to have to get used to.

Nobody Will Ever Do It Like You (At Least Not Completely)
The first hurdle you are going to have to overcome is resolving yourself to the fact that nobody else out there is going to do things exactly as you would. And that’s okay. First off, there is nobody else on this planet like you. Everyone will approach problems and opportunities in different ways. Secondly, the strongest teams are made up of individuals with different backgrounds, work experiences and ways of overcoming challenges. That diversity is essential to finding and implementing the best solutions. There are tons of talented people out there that can help you grow your business. Find the right ones and hire those people.

Hire Smart People
This all revolves around hiring smart people. You need to hire the smartest people you can possibly afford, in order to grow your company in the most optimized way. Too many times business owners get hung up on wanting to always be right or wanting to be the smartest person in the room. Some of the most successful companies on the planet were founded by people who knew they were nowhere near the smartest people in the room. Instead, those founders put together brilliant teams able to make their dreams a reality.

Hiring the most talented people you can find does require a little bit of courage and a fair amount of confidence. Again, you aren’t looking for a version of yourself. Hire people that complement your skillset. Hire people that are great at functions you need for your business that you are not great at. And most importantly, when you find those people, empower them to go out and excel in their positions. Let them do their jobs without getting in the way.

Be Prepared For Failure
Empowering people to go out there and get things done does have a downside. It all but guarantees that they will fail sometimes. Failing is a natural part of building any business. Failing means a team member tried and it simply didn’t work. What they take away and learn from that failure, and how you react to that failure, is going to be the difference between future successes and ultimate defeat.

You need to remember that your team members aren’t you. As a result, they aren’t going to go about things the exact way you would have. To set employees up for success, be very clear on your conditions for satisfaction – the outcomes you expect. And manage to those outcomes, not the way the person goes about getting there.

You also have to remember that team members are human, as are you, and that all humans make mistakes. Deal with a failure in a constructive way, possibly even sharing with your employee a failure of your own from the past. This will show them that you know there will be failures and that what’s really essential is how they respond and shift gears after the failure.

This approach will foster creativity, keep your employees pushing forward and help your business increase its bottom line.

It’s Never Easy, But It’s Necessary
Letting go so you can work “on” your company and not “in” it is never easy. The truth of the matter though, is that if you want to continue growing a long-lasting, profitable business, and one that operates effectively while you’re not present, it is something you absolutely have to do. Start taking the steps now to get back to building a business rather than working for it.

Get your Kleriti Assessment