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CFO Time what???

It never fails, whenever I talk to a group of women and suggest they should be setting the time on their calendar for their CFO tasks I get at least one or two blank stares, and then after the question always comes up... "What is CFO Time?"

CFO time is the time you spend honoring your role as a CFO for your business.

Yes, you may have a bookkeeper and a tax professional, but you still need to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!

Your bookkeeper and accountant are not responsible for ensuring you make enough revenue to pay your bills and you and taxes... that is your job!

Every single corporation has a hierarchy of command. It always starts with the CEO but the CFO comes second ALWAYS. The CEO guides the direction and decides if it is good for the business, the CFO guides the financials and decides if the business can afford 'it' and if 'it' is a good financial decision.

As an entrepreneur, we play both roles more often than we don't.

So back to that matter at hand here, what the hell is CFO time?

I am a firm believer, and will argue until the cows come home if you disagree, that 80% of financial awareness, savviness, and knowledge comes from our money mindset and habits!

So, part of my daily CFO time is money affirmations and gratitude for exactly where I am financially that day!

Then daily, I set a list of prospect follow-ups and new contacts to reach out to because if we aren't asking for the sale, we will never get the sale. (Well maybe but not as consistently.)

Then I set my revenue goal for the day, which is broken down from your annual goals, but that is another post for another day.

I do these EVERY morning and it takes me no more than 15 minutes most days.

Then in the afternoon, I take about 10 minutes to look at my numbers and write down what my actual revenue was for the day, how many sales closed that day, what were my expenses, and then calculate my daily profit.

For some, this may seem tedious, but for me, I can leave my office and know EVERY SINGLE DAY where I am at the end of the day and that helps me stay focused on my goals.

The next part of CFO time is a weekly time block that is a bit longer. Depending on your business size and volume of transactions this is usually anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

Here is the list of what I do weekly.

  • Review my weekly revenue goals and actual amounts collected.

  • Record all my weekly expenses in my accounting software. (I use Quickbooks but there are many options available, and a spreadsheet works just fine if you keep up with it.)

  • PAY MYSELF! If you don't pay yourself regularly, you should. (I have another post about paying yourself as an entrepreneur that you can find here.)

  • Pay all my bills that are due in the coming week so nothing is late.

  • Transfer money to my profit savings accounts.

  • Scan in all my receipts from the week. (Paper receipts fade, don't rely solely on paper.)

  • Spend a few minutes tracking my progress towards my monthly revenue goal to make sure I am on track still.

Then the monthly tasks at the end of each month, I tend to set aside an hour for those which is more than enough if I have done my weekly work every week.

  • Review my monthly goals in comparison to my actual numbers.

  • Check in with next month's goal and make any adjustments needed based on the month that is ending.

  • Save the month's bank and credit card statements

  • If you have a bookkeeper, communicate with them about what they need from you to do the job you pay them for.

  • Review monthly profit and loss and cash flow statements if you have them.

  • Transfer money to my tax saving account so I am prepared to pay my quarterly tax payment.

  • If you have a monthly sales tax obligation make sure that is taken care of also.

Quarterly is a little less than monthly, so I usually just add about 20 minutes to the monthly time block at the end of each quarter to take care of:

  • Reviewing the numbers from the quarter for revenue and expenses along with comparing them to my goals.

  • Paying my estimated tax payments

  • Filing any quarterly payroll or sales tax filings

Then, the part where most entrepreneurs tend to do everything all at once is at the end of the year or the beginning of the following year when they are getting ready for taxes.

If you take my advice and do the items listed above regularly, the end of year and tax time become so much quicker and are WAY less stressful.

I break this part out into two pieces.

In late November or early December, I do what can be done without all the year's numbers being finalized.

  • I set my following year's goals for my business and determine what kind of raise I am giving myself personally (One of the best parts of self-employment is I get a raise every year that is usually more than the traditional corporate amount of 2%)

  • I create my following year's business budget based on my new goals and the current year's data

  • I ensure if I am going to need to issue any 1099s to contractors who did work for me that I have their W9 forms completed so I am not chasing them in January when they are due to be filed.

Then in January, I finish out the year by:

  • Making sure all my bookkeeping is completed and ready for taxes.

  • Filing all 1099's for my contractors.

  • Creating a folder or "space" for all my tax documents to go as they come in throughout the early months of the year so they are easy to find when I am ready to do my taxes.

This list breaks your CFO role down into manageable tasks that don't seem so overwhelming. And, if you are an entrepreneur who has to block off an entire week at the beginning of the year to get ready for taxes, your stress level, and bank account will appreciate this because you will no longer need to do that.

A few minutes of committed time each day can help save you massive amounts of time, and... your sanity... which is priceless! If you struggle with the CFO role in your business, I would love to chat and see how I may be able to support you through one of my programs or with coaching.

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