Budget Season

Charles River CFO works as the outsourced accounting and finance function for over 100 companies. That is a lot of experience and insight.


The CRCFO team leader, the CFO, not only manages their internal team but is the key liaison to their client’s leadership. We are the fractional CFO to such a diverse client group. As we head into the 2020 planning and budget season, here are a few leadership tips we’d like to share with you. High tech CFO


Get Your Culture Right


Culture needs to lead and strategy should follow. Peter Drucker is known for this quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Pretty straightforward. Culture is a key element to your company’s success, without it, all that strategic thinking and initiatives are irrelevant. For more visit Outsourced CFO and Accounting Services 


What are your cultural traits? Integrity, employee satisfaction, encouraging intellectual curiosity, attention to detail…there is a long list of traits, try ranking both what you want as your culture..but also force yourself to look at the reality of your culture, what do you have? The CFO is part of leading your culture and frequently your change agent. As a corporation it is easy to focus on strategy, particularly when under stress. Take Peter Drucker’s quote to heart. Get your culture defined first, work with your CFO to not only define your culture but lead with it! For more visit Non-Profit CFO Services


Defining Problems/Opportunities


It is not unusual to hear a company declare they have a problem/opportunity and its leadership team is often quick to jump in with their suggested solutions. It’s in the DNA of the leadership to solve problems but step back. Is this your problem/opportunity, or is it a symptom? So how do you define your problems/opportunities? 


There are several thought leaders, David M. Kelley and Hal Gregerson come to mind, with their approaches to asking open-ended questions to both define the problems and discover its solutions. From our work with a diverse group of clients, this trait of asking open-ended questions is key to the CRCFO Leadership. Try it at your next leadership team meeting. Keep asking questions! For more visit Finance and Accounting Outsourcing

Strategy versus Tactics


We often see these two converge, and they are very different. Once you define your culture and problems/opportunities, a strategy can be discussed. But beware of jumping into tactics before you set a strategy. The strategy is the overarching plan with governing policies. Tactics are the execution. I like to think of the budget as the bridge between the two. If you spend more money on marketing versus research what does that mean for your organization? Do you need to keep innovation in the forefront or is brand awareness key to your success for more visits Part-time CFO and accounting services


Design your 2020 overarching plan based on your corporate culture and the opportunities you see. If you throw a budget out to your leadership team without doing this first, don’t be surprised to see a cookie-cutter exercise of % increases across the board. We are working on 2020 budgets with our clients, getting the client’s culture. Well defined problems and their corporate strategy are the first key ingredients in building the budget. Tactics become the roadmap to achieving your plan. Reach out to one of our outsourced CFOs for more insight.

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