August 27, 2020

Fractional Accounting is the New Trend for Startups

By Lucas Walters

and Rachel Sullivan

For a growth-focused startup business, management is often stretched to cover a variety of tasks, to fill several roles, and to create the foundation for your corporate vision.  But the looming, ever-present question is always, “What can we afford?”  The answer often doesn’t include a Finance Team.

Honestly, most startups don’t need a full Finance Team – hiring a CFO, Controller, and Accountants too early can be a catastrophic burden to payroll. On top of that, the ad hoc needs of a startup are often sporadic and require a variety of financial specialties.  Whether you’re wading through bookkeeping yourself or utilize a bookkeeper, you’re still working through complex financial decisions without experienced help.

Enter the Fractional Accounting Team.  The concept of fractional accounting isn’t new. It’s mostly a customizable expansion of outsourced bookkeeping where you pay for the services of experienced finance professionals with flexible hours to match the needs and budget of your company. In his Builtin Blog, “Why You Should Consider Hiring a Fractional CFO,” Paul Bianco, Founder & CEO at Graphite,  makes a solid case for the cost-effectiveness and ROI of a fractional accounting team. Still, his overview only scratches the surface of the potential rewards of developing a relationship with fractional accounting.

Fractional Accounting is So Much More than a CFO

An experienced CFO lies at the head of your fractional accounting team—to help evaluate where your company stands financially while working with you, as leadership, to make sure that your company has the financial foundation to support the strategic goals and next steps for growth.  But a significant reward comes in the arsenal of additional resources they have access to.  With Bridgepoint’s Emerging Growth Services, your CFO can bring in –

  • A Controller or Accounting Manager to oversee your accounting functions, assist with audits, document procedural improvements, and advise on special GAAP topics (like revenue recognition).
  • An FP&A Analyst can work with you and your team to create more accurate forecasts and budgets, to create investor materials for presentation, or to help with specific project projections.
  • Risk Analysts can evaluate your system integrity and make recommendations to keep you compliant and secure as your company expands.
  • Systems Specialists – like our NetSuite team – can create customized implementation plans for software integration and transition.
  • Connections with our network of clients and trusted service providers that allow us to make valuable recommendations for services that we don’t provide ourselves.

By going fractional, you’re giving your startup the advantage of an insightful finance team with individual strengths that allow for your accounting needs to be met with speed and accuracy.  A fractional team doesn’t just take the accounting work off your plate; they become a dedicated part of your company’s mission and work to add value to revenue generation, investor relationships, and administrative processes.

HOW BRIDGEPOINT CAN HELP

Bridgepoint Consulting can help clients create value, manage risk, and seize growth opportunities. Our team of consultants is ready to support you with advisory services — including finance and technology support, operational improvement, and ERP implementation and systems integration. If you have any questions or would like help creating and maximizing value throughout your business life cycle, please get in touch. Learn more about our Emerging Growth Services here.

About Lucas Walters

Lucas Walters is Director of Bridgepoint’s Financial Consulting practice. He provides financial and operational leadership expertise (CFO services) to Bridgepoint clients, and has extensive experience across multiple executive-level functions, including accounting, finance, HR, IT and facility management. Prior to Bridgepoint, he served as a VP of Finance for a fast-growing Austin startup. Walters earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Concordia University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas–Austin. He is a Certified CPA in the state of Texas.

EXPERTISE

  • Finance and Business Management Strategy
  • Financial Controls and Policies
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Management Information System Assessment and Planning
  • Start-up Company Strategies
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About Rachel Sullivan

Rachel Sullivan is a Consultant for Bridgepoint’s Financial Operations practice. Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University and both a Masters of Business Administration in Corporate Management and a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

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