SME Success Secrets: The Role of Virtual CFO Partner

Posted On 2023-12-27

Author Ramnarayan V

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) significantly influence India's economic growth. SMEs need expert advice for strategic and financial planning, careful resource handling, and business risk management to succeed with limited resources. Recognizing these challenges, the Virtual CFO emerges as an innovative and affordable solution for medium-sized Indian businesses.  A part-time, remote, or hybrid service provider, the virtual CFO, allows SMEs to outsource financial leadership, accessing experienced professionals without the cost of a full-time CFO. 

Understanding SME Challenges

SMEs are clubbed with Micro Enterprises for reporting in India. As per a 2022 Assocham-Crisil report titled 'MSMEs back to the grind,' MSMEs employ about 111 million persons in India and contribute to approximately 50 percent of overall exports. MSMEs account for 27 percent of India's GDP and serve as the backbone of the economy.

As of June 2023, there were 20.09 million MSMEs registered on the Udyam portal, including 19.4 million micro-enterprises, 554,000 small enterprises, and about 52,000 medium-sized enterprises, as mentioned in the India Briefing update. The Government of India classifies Micro, Small, and medium-sized businesses based on the annual turnover and the investment in equipment.

  • Micro Businesses: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment not more than INR 10 million (Rs 1 crore) and annual turnover up to INR 50 million (Rs 5 crore) are defined as micro units. 
  • Small Enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment not more than INR 100 million (Rs 10 crore) and annual turnover up to INR 500 million (Rs 50 crore) are defined as small units. 
  • Medium Enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment not more than INR 500 million (INR 50 crore) and annual turnover up to INR 2.5 billion (INR 250 crore) are classified as medium-sized units.

SMEs Need for Expert CFO Advice

GOI supports MSMEs with various schemes, which might be adequate for the day-to-day functioning of micro businesses. Still, small and medium enterprises need more tailored financial advice, especially if they want to expand their business operations.

Indian SMEs Face Threefold Challenges


The promoters and leaders of small and medium need more knowledge in strategic areas such as marketing, expansion, growth, and innovation. 


Small and medium enterprises may have limited resources to hire the services of financial experts, who can guide them on financial planning and reporting, ensuring access to capital and compliance with legal and tax formalities.


Adopting the latest digital technologies and certifications is necessary for SMEs to become competitive in the Indian and global marketplace. Many times, SME leaders need more awareness and the technology vision.

Virtual CFOs can Help Resolve SME Challenges.

Virtual CFO for SMEs

The emergence of virtual CFOs has been transformative. A virtual CFO operates remotely, leveraging digital tools and cloud-based systems to provide financial guidance and support without a physical presence in the office. 

This remote setup allows SMEs access to experienced financial expertise that might otherwise be financially prohibitive on a full-time, in-house basis. These virtual CFOs bring a breadth of industry knowledge and can cater to the specific needs of SMEs, offering tailored financial strategies and insights.

How Does VCFO Boost SME Success?

The significance of a Virtual CFO in a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lies in their versatile role, handling vital financial functions pivotal for the company's growth and stability. Here's an overview of their crucial responsibilities:

  • Improving Financial Precision: A virtual CFO ensures precision in financial reporting, enabling more intelligent resource allocation and insightful decision-making. They analyze profitability, guaranteeing an accurate reflection of the company's success.
  • Strengthening Internal Controls: A virtual CFO undertakes the role of an auditor and helps establish robust internal controls, minimizing risks and boosting operational efficiency.
  • Overseeing Multiple Functions: Virtual CFOs don multiple hats, managing various functions and becoming a guide for decision-making in areas from HR payroll to digital technology selection. 

Why Hiring a Virtual CFO Leads to SME Success?

SMEs find it unaffordable to hire a full-time, in-house CFO (Chief Financial Officer). Companies such as CFO Bridge, SuperCFO, MyCFO, and others offer an affordable solution to SMEs through shared/ outsourced or on-demand CFO services. Virtual CFOs can boost SME success by handholding and guiding them through financial and strategic challenges.

  • Access to Specialized Expertise: Virtual CFOs provide SMEs access to specialized financial knowledge and experience that might not be available with in-house accountants. Virtual CFOs bring diverse industry insights and expertise, acting as valuable resources for strategic financial planning and execution.

  • Affordable Solution: SMEs often struggle with the cost of hiring full-time CFOs. Virtual CFO services offer cost-efficient solutions by providing access to high-level financial expertise on a flexible and affordable basis, enabling SMEs to allocate resources more efficiently.

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Data-driven insights provided by virtual CFOs empower SMEs to make informed decisions. By analyzing financial data in real-time and offering predictive analytics, these services enable SMEs to pivot swiftly, seize opportunities, and mitigate risks effectively.
  • Scalability: Virtual CFO services adapt seamlessly to SMEs' changing needs. As businesses grow, these services can easily accommodate increased complexity, offering the necessary financial strategies and support for sustainable expansion.

Building Successful Partnership with Virtual CFO - Tips for SME Owners

  • Understanding Business Needs: Communicate your business goals, financial challenges, and areas where you seek expertise. A virtual CFO can better assist when they comprehensively understand your company's nuances.

  • Aligning Vision and Strategy: Work collaboratively to align Financial Planning with your long-term business objectives. A virtual CFO should be an integral part of the decision-making process, contributing insights on financial implications.

  • Regular Communication: Foster an environment of open communication. Regular check-ins and updates on financial performance help maintain transparency and enable proactive decision-making.
  • Utilize Their Expertise: Leverage the diverse skill set of a virtual CFO. They bring expertise in financial planning, risk management, cost optimization, and growth strategies that can significantly benefit your business.

Common Pitfalls SMEs Should Avoid in Virtual CFO Engagement:

  • Lack of Clear Expectations: Ensure both parties understand roles, responsibilities, and expectations from the engagement. Misalignment in expectations often leads to inefficiencies.
  • Ignoring Recommendations: Value the recommendations and insights provided by the virtual CFO. Refraining from considering their advice might hinder the full potential of their expertise.
  • Short-Term Focus: Avoid focusing solely on short-term gains. A virtual CFO's value extends beyond immediate financial results to fostering sustainable growth.
  • Limited Collaboration: Encourage collaboration between the virtual CFO and your internal team. Integration and collaboration enhance the effectiveness of financial strategies.
  • Not Evaluating ROI: Regularly assess the return on investment (ROI) of engaging a virtual CFO. Measure the impact of their insights on financial health and business growth.


Are you facing any financial challenges? Book a free consultation to learn how our Virtual CFO partners can help you boost your company's performance.

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