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How to Make Your CFO Love You (And Vice Versa)


Here at Seller Accountant, we provide outsourced bookkeeping and CFO services to e-commerce sellers. We love our clients and count ourselves fortunate that so many e-commerce sellers trust us to advise them on their business’s finances. But we’ve noticed that some business owners who have never worked with a bookkeeper or CFO before aren’t clear on what to expect. That’s where this post comes in.  Despite the name, this post is about how to make your CFO love you, but also how to ensure that you love the CFO who you trust to partner with your business!

Get and Stay Organized

Your CFO will need certain information from you in order to work with you. And just like you wouldn’t dump a box of receipts on your accountant’s desk at tax time, don’t forward your CEO a bunch of random financial statements without any context.

The good news here is, your CFO will tell you exactly what info they need to work with your business. Sometimes this may mean learning the basics of an accounting software, or at least keeping up with certain paperwork, but being organized will help your CFO help you meet and exceed your financial goals.

Tell the Truth (Even about the Tough Stuff)

It’s important to understand that your CFO is on your team. Part advisor and part therapist, they are in the business of helping you solve problems (sometimes they help you find problems you don’t even know about!)

Whether you are deep in debt, suffering under unfair loan terms, or have some other tricky situation in your business, let your CFO know. We have seen it all, and better yet – we can help!

Here at Seller Accountant, your information is confidential and protected. Your business is nobody’s business but yours.

Choose the Right Financial Institution

Most of these other tips could apply to any relationship with a business professional, but this one is particularly relevant in the world of bookkeeping and financial advising. Choosing a financial institution that integrates directly with your bookkeeping software (such as QuickBooks Online) will make your and your CFO’s life about a million times easier.  Direct integration keeps you from having to manually enter transactions or upload pesky .csv files. Don’t worry – you CFO is here to help you choose the right bank and bookkeeping software, too!

Agree on Administrative Details

Set expectations for the relationship up front. Do you like to communicate often or just every once in a while? What do you expect to happen each time you meet?

Do you prefer to do business by phone in the mornings? Then hiring a CFO who live three time zones away and only communicates via email probably won’t make for the most satisfying relationship for either of you.

Again, your CFO will have recommendations here, and they will depend on the stage of your business and other considerations. To create a mutually satisfying relationship, be clear up front with what you expect and how much you can expect to provide in return.

Listen & Engage

Nobody hires a CFO so they can then turn around and ignore their CFO’s sage (if we do say so ourselves) advice. However, it can be easy to put off implementing advice, especially if following that advice is difficult. We get it. Firing your slacker nephew can be wrenching, even if he’s the one element of your business that is tanking your bottom line!

Your CFO will love you if you listen and implement your advice. However, you are ultimately the captain of your business ship and if something doesn’t feel right, speak up!

Ask Questions

Your CFO is on your team. They’re here to share their expertise with you and work together to create a profitable, successful business. The more engaged you are and the more you understand why your CFO is advising you the way they are, the better your relationship will be.

Believe me, your CFO is a big money nerd who can talk about these concepts all day and into the night. Mine us for our expertise. We are more than happy to share! That’s why we’re here.

Do you need a CFO? Let’s talk! Contact Seller Accountant for a free e-commerce CFO consultation.

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