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Co-workers looking at a financial paper

Whether you’ve been in business for a while or are preparing to open your doors for the first time, owning your own business can be an overwhelming experience. There’s so much on your plate, and you’re ultimately responsible for it all.

You may have started as a company of one, gradually adding to your team as demand required (and cash flow allowed). But maybe you’re still operating solo or with a limited, part-time crew consisting of a bookkeeper, marketer, customer support representative, or other support personnel.

If you’re in business long enough, you’ll likely need to bring on a consistent, full-time financial professional to help protect what you’ve built — and further your firm’s expansion.

But when is this hire most effective? Here’s how to tell when it may be time to bring on that critical expertise.


1. You’re just getting started

When you launch a business, you’re usually on a very tight budget, making your dream team seem unattainable. However, having a financial professional on board from the get-go can set you up for long-term success.

For example, a chief financial officer can help you select the appropriate business structure for your enterprise, which could save you a significant sum in taxes over time. They can also help you create a business plan based on current and projected numbers, facilitating safe and steady growth.


2. You lack financial expertise

If you didn’t go to school for business management or accounting, you may not consider yourself a financial expert. That’s okay! You’re an expert at what you do.

However, you'll likely need some guidance on money-related matters — especially as your financial operations become more complex. Depending on their education and experience, a dedicated financial professional can handle a range of responsibilities from basic accounting to strategic financial planning geared towards growth. They may also be able to help you mitigate financial risk and stay in compliance with the financial regulations that impact your industry.


3. You’re growing rapidly

As your company expands, you or your team must process the accounts receivable and accounts payable transactions associated with that growth. While you’re happy about the uptick in sales, every moment you spend manually entering an invoice is a moment you’re not focusing on serving your customers or planning your next move.

Plus, your business growth means it has different financial needs than in prior stages. Hiring a financial professional with experience guiding companies of your size can help you take the proper steps in the correct order to stay on an upward trajectory.


4. You’re personally overwhelmed

When you’re a company of one (or very few), you’re likely wearing hats across product development, marketing, sales, human resources, and customer service. When you add roles like bookkeeper, accountant, tax preparer, financial analyst, and chief financial officer to the pile, it’s nearly impossible to keep up.

Unfortunately, important tasks can get overlooked, stifling growth and increasing risk. A dedicated financial professional can take a lot of weight off your shoulders — and help you complete more items on your never-ending to-do list.


5. You’re making mistakes

The more financial data you process, the more mistakes you’ll likely make, especially when you’re already overwhelmed. Unfortunately, these errors can cost you time and money — two commodities you’re short on. A finance specialist can help you streamline your processes, making them more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective.


6. You can’t see the big picture

You constantly have to make decisions about your business, but it’s tough to feel confident in your choices when you don’t have enough information. An experienced financial professional can help you organize your data and generate reports like cash flow statements and balance sheets. That way, you can see your company’s financial health and spot areas needing immediate attention, like extended billing cycles.


What to do before you grow your team

If you can relate to any (or all!) of the statements above, you may feel ready to hire a financial professional. But before you do, you should follow these steps to ensure you bring on the right resource:


1. Audit your operations

Take a hard look at how you manage money in your business today. What do you do well? Where do you struggle? Understanding your issues can help you decide what type of financial professional you need to solve them.


2. Consider the big picture

It’s not enough to think about the problems of today. You also need to consider where the company is heading — and where you want it to go.

Can the same financial professional you identified in the first step also handle strategic planning and other advanced responsibilities to drive your enterprise forward? If not, you may need to hire multiple people, prioritizing the role that would make the greatest positive impact.


3. Create a job description

Now that you can imagine the perfect financial professional, it’s time to imagine them on paper. Write down their key responsibilities. Identify the education, credentials, skills, and experience they need to be successful at your company. Be sure to include experience with emerging technologies, like cloud-based accounting and automation, so you know they can keep up with the latest technological advantages.

You can use your new job description to determine an appropriate salary range and advertise your open position. The job description can also help you gauge applicant fit and assess an employee’s performance over time once hired.


How automation can help

Don't lose heart if you can’t afford to hire a financial professional just yet. You can still solve your pain points by turning to a budget-friendly automation solution.

The right financial automation tool will be your mission control for cash management, enabling you to approve invoices, pay vendors, and receive payments quickly. It will also work seamlessly with your existing accounting software, like QuickBooks, Xero, or NetSuite.

Solutions like Plooto fit the bill and offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Streamlined operations
  • Fewer errors
  • Faster invoice processing times
  • Enhanced finance team productivity
  • Improved cash flow management
  • Cost savings
  • Better vendor relationships


Try Plooto with a 30-day free trial to see how automation can fill in the expertise gaps for your business.

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