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Archived Newsletters

 NEWSLETTER 

November 2022

Beyond the boardroom: The Evolution of the CFO

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The role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is evolving. Conventionally, a CFO has been responsible for overseeing a company’s financial operations and working with the CEO to develop financial strategy. While CFOs are responsible for identifying investment and growth opportunities—and often managing mergers and acquisitions (M&A)—their remit has tended to be the short-term financial health of a company. 

However, today’s business outlook is changing from short-term revenue performance to long-term value creation. The role of a CFO is no longer limited to financial oversight and has expanded to cover nearly every aspect of a business. 

CFOs are automating numerous financial and logistical functions company-wide, using sophisticated software, data analytics, visualization tools, system integration and AI. As a result, they’re able to spend less time solving and avoiding financial crises or issues and more time on long-term strategy and value creation.

CFOs are becoming data scientists. With the advent of Big Data, CFOs have a wealth of real-time information at their fingertips. Already experienced at finding and interpreting financial data, they’re using the same skill set to find patterns and trends in Big Data. This allows CFOs to become more predictive about markets and customers.

Today’s CFO has to manage “horizontally” across the business—similar to a CEO—and collaborate with other business units. Their role is becoming an essential part of the leadership team, CFOs increasingly work in partnership with CEOs on business development and strategic decision-making. This helps company leadership respond better to market changes, disruption, and opportunities, including M&A, to drive company profits. CFOs often work closely with Human Resources to source, incentivize and manage company talent, linking talent with long-term business strategy and vision. CFOs are increasingly relating KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to core business values.

There are other ways in which a CFO’s job is changing. The number of roles which directly report to the CFO has increased. CFOs can also be Chief Digital Officers: managing the technology functions of a company, instead of having technology as a direct report.

 


Resources

Billtrust: The DNA of Future CFOs: Link

CFO University: The Digital CFO Skill Shift: Link

CFO University: The Evolution of the Chief Financial Officer: Link

Consero: What is the evolution of the CFO?: Link

McKinsey: The evolution of the CFO: Link

The Value of the Contract in Multi-Party Funding

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Why do you need contracts in multi-party funding? Business lending can be risky. Lenders are risking their investment and a company is risking fulfilment of their financial obligations. Company leadership may need to source funding from more than one lender at the same time and utilize more than one type of financing for the success of their business.

A multi-party agreement shares and apportions risk and benefits between lenders, outlines the borrower’s obligations and ensures all parties fully understand each other’s expectations. Having a clear, multi-party agreement is especially important if lenders have different terms and conditions. A solid contract protects everyone’s rights—and business interests—and enables good working relationships.

However, contracts often fail to meet expectations. While contracts are usually good at preparing for failure (such as protecting assets), they’re not as good at planning for success. This can include addressing issues around performance, change in management, governance, roles, and responsibilities. As business contracts become increasingly complex, they place greater importance on allocating risk, ensuring control, and compliance than they do on operational performance.

Multi-party contracts can increase value for all involved by adding planning for successful outcomes, using clear, accessible language, and incorporating operational guidance. It’s always good practice to have attorneys involved in creating a multi-party contract to protect the rights and interests of all concerned, However, a contract doesn’t require convoluted legal terminology to be enforceable and if management doesn’t understand contractual specifications, they may fail to comply with them.

Contracts can be good tools for forging stronger, lasting business relationships, creating mutual financial success, ensuring effective communication between relevant parties, and improving risk management. Smaller companies often view contracts as helping to promote their own corporate brand and values.

Resources:

IACCM: The Purpose of a Contract-  Link

Investopedia: What is a Funding Agreement? Link

Juro: The Purpose of a Contract and Why are Contracts Important: Link

Smart Loan Options for the Small Business: Finding the Right Type of Funding

Finding the Right Funding for Your Small Business Can Be Essential to Survival

Obtaining the right type of capital to fund your small business can be a much-needed lifeline on your path to success. One of the top reasons that small businesses fail is due to lack of funding.

Friends, family, banks, online lenders, SBA loans, credit cards, investors and private grants, federal/state grants, and crowdfunding—It’s overwhelming! Where is the best place to secure funding? What is the length of the approval process? What are the interest rates? Each option has its pros and cons, and small business owners need to be armed with the most up-to-date information.

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As credit markets have tightened, the funding landscape has changed, which means understanding the options available to your small business is even more critical than ever before. The Funding Strategies Conference brings together leaders from every segment of the financial industry to provide objective guidance and insight, so you know the best place to acquire funds.

In the Smart Loan Options for the Small Business: Finding the Right Type of Funding webinar, our panel can help you learn how to find the right type of capital for your company, what you need to know when seeking funding, and funding trends for 2023 and beyond.

 

The Funding Strategies Conference:

Smart Loan Options for the Small Business:

Finding the Right Type of Funding

Thursday, December 8, 2022

2-3 PM ET

Online Learning: Boost Your Productivity and Reduce Expenditures

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Employee training has a major impact on business production and efficiency but can also be costly. Traditional classroom training sessions and conferences require employees to take time out of the office, plus the added expenses of transportation and accommodations. In-person trainings are typically more expensive than online options. Choosing online training courses can save your business the cost of in-person training while maintaining the benefits for employees. Studies show that online learning can improve productivity at a much lower cost than traditional training courses, which will yield cost savings for your business while still helping employees grow.

​Another benefit of online training is the flexibility it offers employees. The ability to complete training online grants employees a significant amount of flexibility in how, when, and where they learn. Employees with children may not be able to attend a three-day conference but could likely find an hour or more each day to continue their professional growth. An employee might be more willing to commit their time to training if they can do so from their own home. 

Online training has also been shown to reduce stress levels for businesses and employees. The burden of organizing and paying for traditional training sessions is eliminated, giving staff more time to focus on other areas of business, while feeling confident their employees have the training they need to be successful. 

Employees have a vested interest when they can see a future at a company and online training is an investment which leads to higher retention rates, fiscal savings, and improved morale. Additionally online learning can be differentiated and tailored for each employee instead of all employees getting the same basic training.

The business world is moving toward online platforms and by not participating, your company runs the risk of having an undertrained, non-competitive workforce. Online learning is an easy and effective way to reduce expenditures, offer flexible learning solutions for employees, lower stress levels, as well as improve employee growth and retention. If you haven’t considered online training, you should see what you’re missing.

Professional development is essential for the continued growth of your business. Conferences and conventions were the industry standard for a long time. Now, everything you need to learn and grow can be found online. Online learning offers numerous opportunities to improve your business: it yields cost savings, employee time flexibility, reduced stress, and the potential for employee growth and retention. 

 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.

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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 

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