Why SMEs Must Focus On CFO Consulting In 2024?

Posted On 2024-01-17

Author CFO Bridge

In 2024, the role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) is rapidly transforming from mere execution to becoming experts in data analytics. For Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) facing uncertain financial landscapes and rapid technological advancements, the main question arises: How can they thrive in this evolving financial terrain? The imperative solution lies in strategic CFO consulting. This blog delves into why, at this crucial juncture, SMEs must prioritize CFO consulting to navigate complexities, leverage data-driven strategies, and secure their financial success in 2024.

Exploring the Dynamic Role Of CFOs in 2024

Currently, the job of CFOs in small and medium-sized businesses has become more critical than just handling financial matters. CFOs now help SMEs make smart decisions in their own field. Instead of only dealing with finances, they help make things run better, manage risks, and use new technology.

According to the PWC's upcoming report on the CFO’s 2024 agenda, “43% of financial leaders have highlighted that establishing finance as a key partner to the business ranks among the top three priorities for the finance function in the upcoming 12 months.”

By giving wise advice and clever financial plans, CFOs help SMEs make good choices, use their resources well, and compete better in today's challenging markets. CFOs working with SME business leaders and their teamwork show how crucial CFOs are and why they should be considered for the success of small and medium businesses in 2024.

Why Should SMEs Prioritize CFO Consulting in 2024?

Three-pronged Challenges - Talent, Capital, and AI

  • Talent Concerns: SMEs often need help finding and keeping good employees. A CFO consultant can help create innovative hiring plans and ensure employees want to stick around. They use calculations and predictions to ensure the business has the right talent without spending too much money.
  • Strategic Cash Flow Management: Efficient funds management is a critical success factor for growing small businesses. A CFO consultant helps create robust financial plans, manage cash flow, and decide where to invest. They ensure the SMEs use money wisely to grow and stay financially safe.
  • Rise of AI-enabled Tools: AI or artificial intelligence can boost an SME, but it must be done correctly. A CFO consultant helps determine if investing in this tech is a good idea, assesses the financial implications, and plans how to use it. CFO consulting ensures SMEs get smarter without spending too much or causing problems.

In today's fast-paced business world, having access to a skilled CFO (Chief Financial Officer) can give SMEs a winning edge. 

Technology and AI In CFO Consulting 

Technology and AI tools have become facilitators for the CFOs offering virtual or outsourced consulting services to SMEs. These tools have become exceptionally beneficial and make financial work much more manageable. 

  • AI and technology help CFOs quickly analyze financial data, giving them instant insights to make smarter decisions. 
  • By automating repetitive tasks, like number crunching, AI frees up time for CFOs to focus on strategic plans for the future. 
  • These tools also help predict and avoid financial problems before they even happen. 

2024 will likely witness more finance tools with artificial intelligence and RPA capabilities. 

Prominent corporate leaders are already ready to invest in these tools. However, SMEs have more difficulty investing in AI technology because of limited resources or knowledgeable people. This is where advice from CFO consulting brings added value. It's like getting help from experts who know how to use technology smartly to help small companies do better.

CFO Bridge, a leader in offering CFO consulting for SME and start-up businesses, realized this business need and launched one such tool, Reconcify, which helps reduce the time taken to do complex and voluminous reconciliation transactions from months to a few days or even a few seconds in some cases. 

About one-third of CFOs are getting ready to invest in AI. 

Navigating Environmental and Social Governance (ESG)

For CFOs engaged with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), getting through Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) has become an increasingly important aspect of financial strategies. 

  • In the context of these SMEs, ESG considerations involve assessing their operations' environmental and social impacts. 
  • CFOs are crucial in integrating ESG principles into financial decision-making, ensuring the company's financial strategies align with sustainable and responsible practices. 
  • CFOs guide SMEs in measuring and reporting their environmental footprint, social contributions, and governance structures, enhancing transparency and accountability. 
  • Getting a hold of ESG isn't just about doing good; it's also about making sound financial choices that resonate with socially conscious investors and customers. 

CFOs are important now because they're helping put sustainability into business planning. They're also checking how climate change might affect a company's money.

For smaller companies, understanding these new rules for reporting can be scary. This is where CFO consulting services become helpful. They're like experts who can guide and help small companies follow the rules and make smart environmental and societal plans.

The Increasing Demand for Specialized Financial Talent

  • Tailored Expertise: SMEs now seek CFOs with specific skills matching their unique challenges. These skills include planning for the future, managing risks, understanding technology well, and knowing the rules of their industry.

 

  • Beyond Traditional Roles: Companies want CFOs who don’t just handle finance but also implement the plans and use new technology. They need someone who can guide them through complex financial strategies.
  • Diverse Skill Set: CFOs also need a broader range of skills, like understanding data, keeping things safe online, and making businesses more sustainable.

CFOs need to equip themselves with advanced skills in their domain of finance and also new-age skills, especially in 2024. Understanding data, predicting what might happen, and knowing how to use technology are necessary. But, finding such skilled CFOs at affordable costs is challenging, especially for smaller companies.

This is where CFO consulting comes in handy. CFO consulting firms typically have experienced CFOs with diverse industry exposure and are ready to consult and offer implementation support to SMEs at a reduced price. 

Conclusion

As we enter 2024, paying attention to CFO consulting for SMEs isn't just a popular thing—it will be crucial for making a resilient business model. The business world is constantly changing, and it needs people who can move quickly, see what's coming, and understand money and technology well. That's where CFO consulting services come in. They're like helpful experts ready to give smaller companies the knowledge and competent advice they need to deal with the tricky parts of today's business world.
Need financial help for your small business? Partner with CFO Bridge for tailored strategies, customized advice, and immediate support – all without the stress of full-time hiring commitment. Ready for better decisions and success for your SME?

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