How You can Benefit from Fractional CFO Services

How You Could Benefit from Fractional CFO Services

Growing middle-market businesses today face a number of financial challenges, from improving cash flow and profit margins to managing inflation and high interest rates.

Many are turning to fractional CFOs to help them meet these challenges.

A fractional CFO is an experienced finance professional who provides strategic financial guidance on an outsourced basis. This can be beneficial for businesses that aren’t big enough to employ a full-time CFO but need a higher level of financial expertise than a controller can provide.

A Cost-Effective Alternative to Hiring a Full-Time CFO

By obtaining fractional CFO support, middle-market companies can receive high-level CFO expertise at a lower cost than hiring a full-time CFO. This is especially critical for middle-market companies that may be too small to afford a full-time CFO but need a higher level of strategic guidance.

Strategic financial planning is critical for middle-market businesses that want to reach the next level of growth. But these companies often find themselves in a Catch-22: To grow, they need a higher level of financial expertise than they have on staff, but they can’t afford the six-figure salary, generous benefits package and other overhead it takes to hire a full-time CFO

To learn more about Consero and the benefits of using CFO Services, you can request an introduction here:

How Consero Clients are Transforming the Finance Function with Finance as a Service

Consero recently hosted a virtual event in which two of our clients shared their experiences and insights on how they transformed their finance functions into agile, cost-effective powerhouses using Finance as a Service (FaaS).

FaaS is an alternative to building an in-house finance and accounting team, delivering greater financial visibility and improved operational scalability along with a lower and more predictable cost structure. It includes a fully integrated software platform, transactional accounting, controller-level compliance and reporting, financial planning and analysis, and strategic CFO support.

FaaS Helps Synacor Transition from Public to Private

Investors: Centre Lane Partners

Industry: Software Development

Revenue: $65M

Employees: 109

Ellen Purdy is a seven-time Private Equity-backed CFO. When Ellen joined Synacor, a cloud-based software and services company, as CFO in 2021, the company was in the process of transitioning from public to private. During this process, they sold a product line that accounted for one-third of the company’s revenue.

A new CEO joined Synacor at this same time who had experience working with Consero and FaaS. “This required a scalable accounting infrastructure to continue growth as a private company, along with new revenue recognition to improve accuracy and efficiency.”

The decision was made to downsize Synacor’s finance and accounting staff from eight people to two people, plus the CFO, and outsource finance and accounting to Consero. “I had never outsourced finance and accounting or done FaaS but I knew it made sense for us and I wanted to learn how to do it,” says Purdy.

Purdy says Synacor had a plan for which functions and positions to retain and which ones to let go, but things didn’t go according to plan. “Some employees left sooner than expected and some who we wanted to stay left, including the controller,” she says. “Consero essentially trained me on the job and filled in all the pieces. The process has gone incredibly well.”

In year two, they are tracking for even bigger savings. “Now it’s just as much about optimizing, increasing efficiency and continuous improvement as it is about cost savings,” says Purdy.

For example, Synacor originally continued using the expense reporting system and contract module it was using before moving to Consero. But they’re now implementing a project plan to move these to the Consero module. “This will result in fewer human errors and also free up staff to spend more time on value-added tasks,” says Purdy.

To learn more about Consero and the benefits of using the Finance as a Service model, you can request an introduction here:

Beer with a CFO

Strategic CFOs Bubble up their Top Advice

ADVICE 1 – Steve Isom, CFO Bloomerang 3 Tips for Your Recession Survival Guide

ADVICE 2 – Chris Capprio, CFO Focus Technology Becoming CFO of the Year – Tips to Guide Your Path

ADVICE 3 – Bolanle Williams-Olley, CFO Mancini Diffy How to Build Your Career Boldly

ADVICE 4 – Phil Murray, CFO Camp Gladiator Cost Management Tactics to Survive Economic Uncertainty

ADVICE 5 – Jen Ford, former CFO Turnkey Vacation (acquired by Vacasa) 3 Tips for New CFOs

ADVICE 6 – Dave Dolmanet, CFO Brycomm How to Avoid Pitfalls in Your First 100 Days as CFO

ADVICE 7 – Jessica Hamilton, CFO Active Prospect SaaS KPIs: Give Investors Meaningful Data

ADVICE 8 – Rey Madolora, CFO Tips on Driving Digital Transformation


To learn more about Consero and the benefits of using the Finance as a Service model, you can request an introduction here:

Thriving in Uncertain Times

Strategic CFOs offer advice for dealing with economic downturns

“Uncertainty” might be an understatement when it comes to the current business and economic environment. With rising inflation and interest rates, geopolitical turmoil and ongoing fears of recession, many CFOs today are trying to navigate their companies through uncharted waters.

We spoke with several strategic CFOs to get their advice on the best ways to not just survive, but to also thrive during these uncertain times.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented tremendous uncertainty for Camp Gladiator, which offers outdoor group fitness experiences to clients. But the company retained 97% of its clients during the pandemic. While most indoor fitness centers were forced to close, Camp Gladiator thrived due to its safe and accessible outdoor fitness programs.

The company performed wide-ranging scenario planning exercises in which they game planned for how things might go for the business. This included potential revenue declines of 20%, 40% and even a massive decline scenario of 60%. Once you’ve modeled these scenarios, you can more effectively plan for them.

Times of uncertainty may reveal unexpected new opportunities. Camp Gladiator added a virtual class option so clients who were concerned about exposure to the virus could participate more safely. This presented an opportunity for the company to connect with clients and serve them on a different platform. The company’s performance exceeded its plans and they enjoyed a growth year in terms of new members.

Another key is maintaining flexibility since there’s no way to predict exactly where things are going to go. Be careful to not get locked into terms or pricing structures that are untenable over the long term. Plans for new product and service rollouts might have to be shelved for awhile if realizing viable margins isn’t realistic right now.

To learn more about Consero and the benefits of using the Finance as a Service model, you can request an introduction here:

A Recession Playbook for Managing Finances and Operations

Today’s economic environment presents CFOs with more uncertainty than many have ever faced in their careers. This makes it critical to devise a playbook for how your organization will move forward during these uncertain times.

Consero recently hosted a virtual CFO Roundtable in which several CFOs discussed how they are doing this. Participating in the panel were John Araki, CFO for RecoveryOne, a digital health company; Craig Fryar, COO for BankingON, a digital mobile banking firm; and Raj Lakhani, CFO for CORE Business Technologies, a payment solution and revenue management company.

The roundtable was moderated by Tony Esposito, Director, Private Equity and Venture Capital for Consero.

Facing Hurricane Force Winds and a Crucible Moment

Craig Fryar noted the “hurricane force” winds that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon referred to recently as well as recent comments from Sequoia Investments that we’re heading for a “crucible moment that’s unique in the history of modern business.” The companies that fare well in this environment will be those that are adaptive and agile, said Fryar.

“The response I often get from CFOs is that they really aren’t sure because they don’t know how to measure the optimization and utilization of their teams and resources in terms of executing the business objectives.”

Fryar establishes a framework CFOs can use to characterize key measures for efficiency and effectiveness as opposed to financial models” that would bluntly say we need to cut 15% because we’re short on revenue.” he said.

“Instead, I advocate looking at department or business unit metrics that reveal issues in customer support, or we’re not quite making it in converting our funnel. These can show you how efficient and effective you are and help you make progress on digital transformation.”

To learn more about Consero and the benefits of using the Finance as a Service model, you can request an introduction here:

Economic Downturn: Tech & Trends

The Critical Role of Finance as a Service (FaaS) in Today’s Finance and Accounting Marketplace

New data underscores the critical role that outsourcing plays in the overall finance and accounting market today. The global market for finance and accounting outsourcing — also sometimes referred to as Finance as a Service (FaaS) – in 2020 was estimated at $37.9 billion. This is projected to grow to $53.4 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% over this time. (

Finance is now the second most outsourced function among corporations, behind IT and ahead of payroll and customer service, with 44% of businesses outsourcing the finance function. (

The global economic crisis is one factor in the increased demand for Faas. Growing demand for cost savings, digital transformation, more transparency and increased regulations are driving companies to standardize their finance and accounting activities. This move toward standardization is also driving the incorporation of financial management best practices, which is a key factor in the adoption of Faas.

To learn more about Consero and the benefits of using the Finance as a Service model, you can request an introduction here:

How Venture-Backed Companies Can Remain Funding Ready

An e-book exploring the differences between private equity and venture capital along with steps VC-backed firms can take to be funding ready at all times.

Most start-up businesses need capital in order to grow

Capital comes in two main forms: debt and equity. Debt is money that’s borrowed from a lender or raised from a bond issuance that must be repaid with interest. Meanwhile, there are two different kinds of equity: private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC).

PE and VC investors have different objectives. Private equity investors want to invest in businesses that are profitable, while venture capital investors want to invest in businesses that are going to grow. There’s a big difference between the two.

“But doesn’t every business want to be profitable?” you might be thinking? Yes, but profitability isn’t always the main objective, especially during the early stages of a startup company.

Technology giants like Amazon and Google are good examples of companies that operated at a loss for years so they could invest all of their cash back into the business in order to grow.

These companies and their investors were taking the long view: They weren’t worried about becoming profitable right out of the gate. Instead,they wanted to grow as much and as fast as possible so they could eventually dominate their industries. They knew that if they could become the dominant online retailer and search engine, profits would soon follow. Of course, this strategy worked well for both of them.

Also, market capitalization — which is a main focus for VC investors — is calculated as a multiple of revenue, not earnings. So, the faster a company grows, the higher its sales and market cap will be.

Stages of Venture Capital Financing

Venture capital is usually raised in stages because successful growth companies always need more money to keep growing. Think of it like pouring gasoline on a fire: The more capital a business has, the more salespeople it can hire and the more it can invest in technology, research and development, and new product development to spur growth.

The first stage is called the pre-seed stage

Here, there may not even be a real business yet — it might just still be an idea or concept in an entrepreneur’s mind. Funding at this stage usually comes mainly from family and friends or out of an entrepreneur’s own pocket, not from venture capital investors.

The next stage, or the seed stage, is the first stage where venture capitalists might cet involved. There still might not be a lot of revenue but there’s strong evidence that the seeds of a successful business

have been planted. Real (not prototype) products and services are being delivered to the marketplace and a management team is in place that’s capable of executing the business plan.

The next stage of funding is called Series A

At this stage, VC investors want to see a real, Operating business with repeatable sales and marketing processes that can acquire customers on a consistent basis. The business should be utilizing financial modeling and long-range planning and have adequate internal controls, along with a fundraising project plan and investor presentation.

Series B, Series C and so forth

The subsequent funding stages after Series are called B, C, Venture capital investors will have specific expectations at each funding stage.

Four Tenets of Finance as a Service (FaaS): A New Standard of Service

With the proliferation of companies selling “Finance as a Service” (FaaS) options, it may seem as if FaaS is merely a new marketing term for outsourced accounting firms. But for Bill Klein, the co-Founder and President of Consero Global, FaaS is a discipline that lives up to four key tenets of client service.
Outsourcing accounting and finance duties have only grown more popular over the last few decades, with a clear value proposition of reducing HR burden, and ideally freeing up the in-house team to focus on more strategic priorities. The industry has been living up to that promise, as evident by that growth. Recently, a new practice within the sector, known as Finance as a Service, or FaaS, has been taking a greater share of the outsourced accounting industry.

But what exactly is FaaS? And how does it differ from other outsourced accounting and finance alternatives? Bill Klein, the co-founder and President of Consero Global, one of the fasted growing FaaS firms, defines it as something distinct from traditional outsourced accounting 
firm, because FaaS is a far more comprehensive approach to the business, with greater transparency and rigor. Klein believes that any firm marketing themselves as FaaS providers should meet four key tenets of this approach.

Tenet #1: FaaS solutions incorporate a full suite of experienced staff, proven operational processes and pre-integrated software to reliably manage all of a
company’s finance and accounting needs 

Klein believes that FaaS companies are different from traditional accounting services firms and financial software Value Added Resellers (VARs). “Many traditional outsource providers claim to offer all of the components of FaaS but rather than a pre-built platform configured for each customer, they pull from a grab bag of disparate solutions cobbled together on a customer-by-customer basis. For instance, they might offer custom software implementations and add on separate outsourced services for companies who want that. The problem is the outsourced services in that example are really just some accounting staff thrown on top of a grounds up software build combined with whatever process is being used by that customer. There is no way the customer can achieve the levels of quality, efficiency, and reliability of a FaaS solution where specialized team members work with the same baseline processes and software they utilize with every other customer.

Along with the efficiency and quality advantages offered by the FaaS approach, customers are also able to achieve these results must faster than by doing it themselves or by using a traditional outsourced services provider. The approach used by traditional outsource service providers is to effectively reinvent the wheel with every new customer engagement, rather than using the same pre-integrated processes and software every time and configuring it to the unique needs of each customer. “A lot of our customers can’t understand how we’re able to onboard them onto a new platform in thirty days, as they’re used to systems or software adoption dragging on for 9-12 months or longer,” says Klein.
“And that makes sense given what they are used to is a grounds-up build of an application stack either through a software VAR or through an outsourced provider.

“Our standardized set of pre-integrated processes and software allow us to devote even more time to configuring each customer solution to their unique needs and still have them up and running in a fraction of the time they could achieve otherwise.” which leads to the next tenet.

Tenet #2: FaaS provides a single, self-service software interface.

There’s no shortage of powerful software solutions for finance operations, but more often than not, outsourced accounting firms will implement multiple applications, which the client themselves will then need to understand at a working level. In Klein’s experience, this leads to a single person, either at the service provider, or within the Company, who knows how the navigate the different systems and get to the relevant information. “During a recent discussion with our sales team, one of our potential clients talked about how they relied on essentially a ‘Wizard in a Box’ to share financial info,” says Klein. “This wizard is a person who would be able to take any request, download the answer from any number of different systems in place and serve it up to whoever asked.”
“This made the “wizard” very impressive to most folks at the company, except for the CEO, who didn’t appreciate having one person in the entire company able to retrieve relevant financial information.” And even if that “wizard” happens to be the contact at the service provider, there’s the same risk of reliance on a single individual for critical financial data, which is essentially the oxygen for business decisions.
Klein explains that this complexity is a result of the powerful tech solutions available today. Many providers will mix and match applications, in an attempt to leverage best of breed software functionality. That also means if the client wants to see certain information, they have to know every system, and how each of them is used, which can lead to misunderstandings as these solutions aren’t integrated, so the client not only needs to know what information to look for, but also which system stores that information.
“In order to make information more accessible to our customers, we built a solution using a best-of-breed suite of 3rd party software applications, but then added a light unification layer atop this software stack, so our clients have a single login to access all of their financial data,” says Klein. “Our singe user interface is called Simpl® and it is laid out in such a way that even non-finance staff can easily access the information they need when they are granted permissions to different areas.” This is vital, given that a lot of software solutions merely export to Excel spreadsheets that need to be “interpreted” by someone on the finance team. With Consero’s solution, designated executives and business managers can login and quickly get what they need, becoming a self-service option for the client and enabling more accountability with business leaders.

Tenet 3: FaaS provides transparent and scalable service-based pricing for the client’s needs today and tomorrow

Typically, outsourced accounting firms will either charge by the hour, or by some total monthly fee based on some behind the scenes assumption of the level and number of staff assigned and required software components, . Consero used this model as well for some time, but it ultimately proved to be less than ideal for clients.
“Charging by the hour isn’t transparent, as it shouldn’t be the customer’s problem if it took the provider longer to do the same work one month vs. the prior month.” says Klein. “And if the pricing is based around a fixed monthly fee, what exactly is included in that monthly fee? At what point will the client grow into having to pay more and how much more? Those are questions that are difficult for a provider to answer when they just build price on a cost-plus basis for the current scope of work
This lack of transparency hinders the ability for a company to plan for its future growth. “How do they figure out what their financial operations will cost to administer when they grow from twenty employees to a hundred? No doubt there will be more transactions, more vendors, and the like, but what will that mean in fees? All too often that’s guesswork on the part of customer and the provider.” says Klein. “The reason for that guesswork is that inconsistent delivery across engagements leaves the outsourced provider lacking in confidence needed to have a price-per-service model.”
Instead, Consero charges by service, which allows clients to know exactly what they’re paying for and how much it will be as they scale up or down. “This shifts the burden on to us, to make sure we have the competence, staff and systems to deliver that service in an excellent and timely manner,” says Klein. It also drives Consero to automate as much as possible, with the increased rigor that comes with such efforts. “If a provider is charging by the hour, why would they automate anything, which would reduce their fees?” And in this era of labor inflation, pay-per-service helps insulate clients from the worst of those fluctuations, as a provider automates more and more in response.

Tenet 4: FaaS offers skilled finance and accounting professionals with the right expertise for the client’s needs and priorities

Much of financial operations are fairly straightforward, in processing transactions and producing financials, but there are elements that require strategic thinking and experience in the trenches. Consero has built up its team with an eye to these additional needs, whether it’s CFO support, or an M&A program.
“For example, the client is plotting a series of acquisitions, we’ll have a team well-versed in seamlessly onboarding new entities into a parent company’s finance platform ready to jump in without disrupting the core service team members already delivering core finance services to the parent company.” says Klein. Along with situational expertise like integrating acquisitions, FaaS providers also have team members with sector expertise which translates into, for example, understanding revenue recognition matters for software companies.
With FaaS, the most crucial element of this discipline is “service.” It’s what unifies the comprehensive offering, that single, easy to use interface, the transparency in pricing, and the expertise for the more complex issues facing the client. “That’s why FaaS isn’t just a new marketing term for an existing practice, but a new standard of service that we aim to live up to with every client. These four tenets are what customers should be demanding from anyone calling themselves a provider of FaaS,” says Klein.

5 Powerful Advantages of Finance as a Service (FaaS) for Investment Management Firms

Consero’s Finance as a Service(FaaS) is a comprehensive and fully-managed back office solution that blends leading financial technology and a skilled finance & accounting team designed specifically to help investment managers run their business efficiently and profitably.

This eBook explores the top five ways FaaS enables investment managers like you can overcome common challenges and accelerate your time to value.

Whether you’re growing your investment management business, launching a new fund, or launching your first fund, increasing your clients’ wealth is your passion. Your investors are the lifeblood of your business, and you know how to nurture those relationships. When you can focus on your clients and their financial success, your firm can also be successful.

But running a business is more complicated and time-consuming than you expected. From human resources to accounting tasks to compliance and security risks, it’s easy to get bogged down with managing the day-to-day instead of being able to focus on what you are best at—managing client investments.

The good news is you can streamline the entire back office of your investment management firm and scale on demand, effortlessly. Consero’s Finance as a Service (FaaS) is a comprehensive solution that blends leading financial technologies and expert advisory services designed specifically to help investment managers run their businesses efficiently and profitably.

Keep reading to learn how FaaS helps you:

1.Take the Stress Out of Financial Management

2.Leverage Industry Experts to Support Your Unique Operations

3.Ensure Best Practices for Human Resources

4.Minimize Risk While Boosting Control and Transparency

5.Scale Your Business on Demand

Guide to Outsourced Finance & Accounting for Investment Management Firms: The Finance as a Service solution

Alternative Asset Managers face a pressing dilemma. Their focus is rightly on managing their investments and relationships with investors, but they still need to fulfill their duties and responsibilities for their own management company. And if such duties are postponed or under-managed, the fallout, from regulators and investors alike, can jeopardize the success of the entire firm.

This article examines how Investment Managers can tackle the finance function for their own management company, with a focus on the burdens and benefits of the various options. Many Managers begin using some in-house solution, eventually migrating to rely on an outside firm or adding it to the lists of duties for a fund administrator. But a third option is growing in popularity: outsourcing the finance function, by using a “Finance as a Service” model.

For any investment managers about to launch a fund, or who are relatively nascent in their evolution, the clock is ticking. The right choice for serving the finance function of the management company can mean the difference between establishing best practices early, the kind that allows the finance function to stay nimble and responsive for the life of the firm or facing the consequences of bad habits. Habits that began when the Firm chose the easiest solution, rather than one that truly suited their needs.