Dear Dangerously in Love with Your Finances,
I am the owner of a locally owned and family-operated plumbing business located in New Jersey. We have ten full-time plumbers and three full-time administrative staff, which includes a bookkeeper. We are growing at a steady rate, and I believe we need to structure the accounting department to prepare for our growth. What should the structure look like?
– A local plumber preparing for growth
Dear Local Plumber Preparing for Growth,
A smile appeared on my face when I read your question since preparation is key to growth in any business. Your proactive approach in staffing your accounting department within your plumbing business speaks volumes in your preparation.
I agree with you: a bookkeeper is not enough, especially when you are in your business’s growth stage. Most plumbing business owners increase their headcount with additional plumbers to support the level of work; however, they often overlook the back-office staff. Business growth affects everyone within the business.
As your plumbing business grows, you need to ensure that your finances align with your financial goals. Instead of hiring another bookkeeper or full-time accounting staff, I recommend that you hire a part-time CFO to expand your accounting department.
A part-time CFO:
- Reviews the bookkeeper’s work.
- Develops and implements processes.
- Suggests technology that increases the efficiency of the department.
- Provides forward-looking financial management.
- Provides reporting that keeps you aware of cash flow.
- Gives indications of financial pitfalls.
A part-time CFO acts as your second set of eyes of the finances as well as your sounding board, a sounding board who isn’t afraid to be honest. They know and understand your plumbing business, your vision and strategic objectives. This person will do their best to assist in achieving your company’s financial goals and add tangible value to your accounting department.
Please keep me posted on your decision and contact me with any further questions.
As always, stay dangerously in love with your finances.