How CFO Simplified Was Formed ...

In 2008, CFO Interventions, LLC (now CFO Simplified) was formed to work with privately held, family owned businesses, helping them improve their operations, their cash flow and their bottom line.

Initially working in business turnaround, the company was receiving referrals from attorneys whose clients were facing severe financial difficulties. While working with banks to support their clients during those difficult months, the company developed a reputation for getting the job done with high integrity, hard work, and by finding creative solutions that met the needs of not only the client owner, but the employees and the lender as well.

Soon banks started calling on CFO Simplified to verify assets and financial statements of their portfolio companies. Not too long after, banks added the company to their short list of business consultants who were suggested to help shore up a company’s financial operations, and strengthen their financial statements. Clients started to ask our consultants to stay on after the bank engagement had ended, and the company began providing Part Time CFO services to its clients.

During this time, the company affiliated with other experts in business support, providing Succession Planning services to many clients, including Tax Planning, Social Services, Financial Advisory, and Corporate Valuation services. But the core of CFO Simplified’s focus remained working with small to mid-sized businesses in cash flow improvement, financial reporting, strengthening internal controls and improving profitability.

In 2015, with the addition of other team members, CFO Simplified was able to serve more companies in the SMB space throughout the Chicago Market, from Joliet in the south, to Rockford in the north. With the increased capability provided by a larger team, and the concentration on serving businesses from Start-up to successful businesses with sales of $30 million annually, the company continues to fulfill its motto, Part-Time CFOs, Full Time Results, by concentrating on helping all businesses improve their operations, cash flow, profitability and financial reporting.

What sets us apart?

Our people are unique CFOs. They are all operationally based financial executives.  As business detectives, they know how to slice and dice financial information to get to the detail, examine the variances, the exceptions, and then follow those numbers back up the line to the operations floor where they can have a real impact on your business.  It is there that they identify the changes that need to be made to drive more money to your bottom line.

First Financial Consultant

logo for Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center

Early in 2014, CFO Simplified was named by the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center – IMEC – as the first financial consultant on their list of authorized subcontractors.

Words of Wisdom

Whatever happens in a company flows down to the financials

Everything that your employees do for your company either creates an expense or revenue situation. But in either case, every action has a financial impact. Properly generated financial statements can tell you things about how your company operates, and can guide you to making your company more efficient. We work towards bringing greater efficiency to your company’s operation, and greater profitability to your bottom line.

You can't manage what you can't see

The reports that are generated on a regular basis in your company, whether they come from operations, finance, or if they’re part of your daily, weekly or monthly dashboard, hold the information that you need to operate your business. If the information isn’t on a report that you’re reading, how can you – or your management team – make decisions that help your company run better. If you are not continually looking for new ways to improve your business, then new opportunities, whether for improved profitability or new sales, just can’t happen.

You can't drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror

Your Income Statement tells you how your company did financially last month, last year, or for any other period in the past. But how do you evaluate your company’s performance over the coming months? You develop not just a budget, but a Cash Flow Forecast. If you believe that Cash is King, and it is cash that allows your company to function, then it’s important for you to plan for your company’s use of cash. How much money do you have coming in? How much do you have to spend? Do you have any “discretionary money” left after your committed monthly expenses are paid? You need to know the answer if you’re going to operate your company successfully.

The one thing that bankers hate more than bad news is surprise

The bank is a critical supplier for your company. They have made a bet that you will succeed and be able to pay them back the money that they have loaned you. The more comfortable they are with your ability to succeed, the less they will bother you, and the more freedom you will have to operate in your business. If they are surprised by your decisions, by the things that happen to your business, or by the financial results that you deliver to them on a monthly basis, you will get greater – much greater – scrutiny. So, don’t surprise your banker.

Continuous improvement is everyone's responsibility

Even though using Continuous Improvement within your company is a decision made at the top of the company, the philosophy needs to be instilled throughout the organization. If everyone works to make his job better, more efficient, or more cost effective, then your company will become more successful.

Small improvements lead to big returns

Profitability improvements come in small doses. Every $100 that an employee takes out of weekly production costs brings over $5,000 to the bottom line each year. You don’t need an accountant to calculate that if each of your 50 employees found $100 in weekly production savings just once during the year, that ends up being over a quarter of a million dollars that drops right to the bottom line. And it all started with that first $100 idea.

Financial statements should tell your unique story

Since every company is different, why do most financial statements look alike? You should be looking at the particular costs and revenue streams that are unique to your company, or unique to your core business. Your company is different, and provides your customers with exclusive benefits that differentiate you from your competition. By analyzing your company’s financial picture in an individual fashion, you will be able to identify the particular numbers that mean the most to you, and that help you succeed beyond the average.

If you're not improving, your moving backwards

You cannot stay the same day in and day out. And it’s true for your company as well. You’re either getting better, or getting worse. It is important that your employees continue to strive to improve – every day, every hour. If they are working to improve, then your company is moving forward, because no one ever just stays the same. If they are striving to remain the same, to maintain the status quo, then they are just moving backwards, as the world moves past them – and you.

You don't know what you don't know

Your company has been operating smoothly.  But, are you missing something?  You look at the things you know about.  But is your experience complete?  Do you know ALL the right things to look at?  Sometimes, an experienced person looking at the same situation, processes and results will see a totally different picture – maybe leading to more profits.

If it ain’t broke, go ahead and fix it!

Based on your experience, everything is working well.  Sometimes changing things up will bring a different, more favorable result.  Don’t be afraid to try something new.  The best innovations are the result of someone looking at a situation that they knew nothing about.  Without a preconceived notion, they could explore without limits – and to a great result.

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