Telling a story with numbers: Being a CFO

Written By Lee Maughan

A great CFO should bring the numbers alive. Annual accounts talk about the past but entrepreneurs care about the future. Aligning the forecasts and cashflows with the owner’s vision is what is truly important.

If you’re planning on raising money, then we need to set out our stall early to show how capital has been invested, the impact on the product roadmap and where it’ll lead to a return on investment.

If we want to improve a sale multiple, then we need to review and challenge the business model to ensure it leads to consistent and improving results.

The life of a portfolio CFO is driven by knowing what makes each business owner ‘tick’. How do they want support with the wider leadership team or investors? It goes from playing the role of influencer or agent for change one day (to save the voice of the owner!) to providing data analytics and financial insight the next.

Often conversations can move quickly from setting a group budget to understanding someone’s personal financial needs and ambitions. I spend a lot of my time listening across the business to unpack what’s important, where issues lie and assist in prioritising the right actions.

Being a CFO used to be the domain of big businesses. The role was historically tied to stewardship of assets and leadership around controls and processes, and it could sometimes be hard to know how that differed from a traditional Finance Director.

We’re passionate about making great strategic CFO advice accessible to growth and early stage businesses and the value that can deliver… and it’s fun for us too.

Green & Purple understand the commercial elements of the business as opposed to seeing it purely from an accounting perspective. What Lee and the team have been able to do is fully appreciate all the nuances of running the business and actually have an impact and say on how those elements are delivered.

Latest Insights

For the latest thought leadership, views and insight from our experts go direct to the Source.