Does Your Growing Business Need a CFO?
“I have a bookkeeper. And a controller. Isn’t that enough?” In a word, no.
If you’re looking to grow your company, a CFO is a prudent choice.
A CFO differs from a bookkeeper or controller in the scope of tasks. A bookkeeper records past transactions. A controller oversees the entire accounting operations of a business, including staff management. But a CFO focuses more on financial strategy and often holds the chief financial position in a company, having a skill set that goes far beyond taxes and basic finance. Many CFOs have experience as CPAs, and a background in economics, go-to-market strategies, and IPOs. and commercial lending. Not only do CFOs track cash flow, but they also manage financial planning, analyze fiscal strengths and weaknesses, and propose strategic direction.
You may want to consider hiring a CFO if you’re going through a merger or acquisition because a CFO generally has a deeper level of experience than a bookkeeper or controller. Any big change requires a strategic, executive leader. In addition, a CFO can provide financial forecasts, utilizing past data to create future projections; examine the company’s financial efficiency and suggest improvements; oversee the capital structure; and investigate investment opportunities.
Having a CFO on your team if your profitability is declining can be especially helpful or if you’re changing business strategy or entering a new market; you need to raise capital; the company is going public; or you’re running low on cash, a CFO can provide the needed experience to help navigate your company through challenging times.
It is advisable that companies with annual revenue of more than $25 million keep a CFO on staff. Some businesses with an annual revenue of between $1 and $10 million may start out with a controller or a fractional CFO to help out as needed, but even expanding startups would benefit from a CFO—they offer a lot of support when creating a company strategy and business systems. Having a CFO in your corner can make the difference between growth and just getting by.
Is All Interest Tax-deductible?
Interest is the amount of money paid to a lender to borrow money. In some circumstances, the IRS allows taxpayers and businesses to deduct specific types of interest to reduce tax liabilities. Not all charged interest qualifies, but what types of interest are tax-deductible?
Interest paid on business loans qualifies for a tax deduction if the loan meets certain criteria. Funds must be obtained legitimately from a qualified lender, meaning the well-intentioned family member who loaned you some cash and you’re paying it back with a little interest as a thank you won’t qualify for a tax deduction. The same applies to money borrowed from friends. There must be a true lender-borrower contract in place for you or your business, indicating how the debt is contractually being paid off.
For a SBA loan or other business loan, the principal amount paid is not tax-deductible, but business owners can write off the interest paid on the loan. This is considered a business interest expense if the funds are used to maintain business operations or pay for business expenses.
Taxpayers can’t write off interest from personal expenses they put on credit cards, but business owners who use credit cards specifically and solely for business expenses can deduct those interest charges. As well, any credit or debit card finance charges for business-related items are considered tax-deductible, so while the interest rates on a credit card are higher than those from most business loans, the interest is deductible as long as you have documentation like credit card statements and invoices.
Interest that is not tax-deductible includes mostly personal use expenses. Interest paid for personal mortgages, personal expenses (whether paid by loan or credit), or car loans are not tax-deductible. If the car or credit card is used specifically for business, however, then yes—the interest may be deducted. There may be certain situations like a home office which could qualify for interest deduction tax benefits, but it’s always best to check with your company’s tax advisor.
Being aware of how to leverage debt and equity can be a real asset to your business.
Financial leverage is an important investment strategy that relies on borrowed capital as a funding source. This capital can help to expand your company’s asset base and generate sizeable returns. Business owners need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of taking out loans or seeking additional investors. Many factors come into play when deciding the best long-term solution for your business.
Tune in for tips and strategies to help evaluate what kind
of financing would best fit your business.
• How to leverage your debt as a tool for growth
• Risks and potential returns of taking on debt
• The benefits and disadvantages of equity financing
• How to maintain ownership of your business without giving up equity
• Funding trends for the next 18 to 24 months
About. Seth Block CPA
Seth Block is a founder and board member of ThermoCredit, LLC. Seth has been working with the management and development of service based companies for more than 30 years. In his time with ThermoCredit, Seth has coordinated the funding for hundreds of companies in the Communications and Technology verticals. Prior to starting ThermoCredit,
Seth was a cofounder at Smoke Signal Communications,
one of the largest pre-paid competitive telecommunications carriers in the US. At Smoke Signal, Seth was CFO for two years and Senior Vice-President for 5 years. Seth’s areas of expertise are corporate development, consulting, regulatory affairs, provider relations, start-ups, and delivering funding solutions for hard to finance companies. Seth holds a degree in Accounting from Southwest Texas State University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Seth is a well known and respected speaker at industry events, sharing insights about funding and funding options. During his career Seth has been involved in hundreds of business funding opportunities, with a total value in excess of one billion dollars. He is also the author of the soon to be published book about business finance.
“I’ve been in the world of finance for a while and I’ve acquired the business acumen to be able to share what I’ve learned. Most companies have financial leadership that understands accounting, but not the nuances of funding. There are significant differences between Banks and Credit Unions when it comes to financing. The SBA has 11 different programs. How do you know which one to utilize or even if you should utilize them? Schools teach about debt and equity, but I created The Funding University to teach companies how to leverage debt and equity in the real world, using easy to understand methods. There’s a big difference between what we learn in school and how the world of finance really works. The Funding University is here to close that gap.”
—Seth Block, Founder and Host of The Funding University