How Long Does It Take to Ramp Up a Paro CFO?
by Jon Repka, on Nov 21, 2018
Why should you use a Paro FP&A professional—specifically, someone to take the reins as the company’s chief financial officer? If your company has grown to the point where it would benefit from the financial oversight and planning expertise of a seasoned CFO, Paro can team you up with a professional at the top of his or her field. Our thorough vetting process weeds out all but the top 2 percent of finance professionals who apply to be our partners, resulting in a performance level often not achieved via a company’s in-house search.
You’d like to find a CFO who can relieve you of the burdens of financial oversight, cash management, and future forecasting. And because you’re choosing to use a remote resource, you can set the hours you want to allocate and actually get the work done more cost-efficiently than if you hired a full-time in-house CFO. But you hesitate—what if the ramp-up process takes too long? What if you aren’t sure you can monitor their performance because they’re not in the office?
Relax—the ramp-up process is nothing to be scared of! It’s mostly automated, and as long as the client turns over all information requested by the Paro professional in a timely fashion, it can be accomplished quickly. Soon, you’ll be spending more time on the things that excite you and make the best use of your talents, while the Paro CFO creates and manages the company’s financial models and forecasting tools, making recommendations as necessary to keep company performance humming along robustly.
When you become a Paro client, the first thing you will be asked to do is download some of your company’s financial information to the remote CFO. This is usually all that is needed for a successful information download on the FP&A side; if they need more, they will schedule a kick-off call, but usually the basic questions and information requests can be handled in emails.
Depending on the project(s) you are asking the Paro CFO to tackle, they might ask for your Quickbooks Online or Excel financials. They will also ask you to help them set a timeline, which will depend on the number of hours you have allocated to this resource. It is crucial at this stage for the client to provide timely access to all the financial information requested. Any delays in doing so would create the only bottleneck keeping the Paro professional from completing the first stage of the work. Once the CFO has all the data in hand, they are free to work on their own with hardly any ramp-up time at all.
Next, the FP&A professional will absorb and dissect the information in the accessed files, and begin to work on the financial models and other projects the client has requested. Depending on the size and scope of the work, the first draft(s) should be ready to hand back to the client in a week or so.
(Feed)Back at You
Now comes the most important part of the process: the feedback stage. To keep the work flowing smoothly, you need to provide timely feedback. Is this what you requested? Do you want more? Less? If you haven’t previously articulated exactly what you wanted, this is the stage where the CFO needs to find out. And if you are happy with the work delivered, you still may decide you want more—more models, more reports, more forecasting. This feedback allows the CFO to tune in to what the client is really looking for, allowing the ramp-up process to more quickly align to what the client is typically like.
The only time you will be required to get on the phone is to give feedback and discuss the drafts, until you are satisfied with the models and drafts that work. Otherwise, Paro FP&As are extremely hands-off and capable of doing the ongoing work remotely and easily. Once the client is satisfied that their needs and the CFO’s work are in synch, the Paro professional can provide the ongoing deliverables on an agreed-upon timeline, with email and (as necessary) phone check-ins on a set schedule. The ability to exchange this information remotely and efficiently means no unnecessary interruptions will take up the client’s time.
Ultimately, that’s the beauty of having a top-level Paro professional take over your CFO functions. Not only do you get your financial reports, cash-flow analyses, and forecasting models on a clockwork schedule—you also get to turn your attention to the things you really want to spend time on, which probably are the things that excited you about your business in the first place. And at some point, you may think back to the initial ramp-up process, marvel at how quick and easy it was, and wonder why you ever had second thoughts about hiring a remote CFO from Paro.