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Financial leadership for small business

Part-time CFO Service Case Study

Spotlight on success:

How the Clarity FI’s part-time CFO Service Led to Better Reporting and New Business Insights

Case Study #6 CFO Services

Challenges and Opportunities
How hiring a CFO Services firm enabled a community bank serving the Philadelphia and South Jersey region to provide better information to its board and gain critical insights into key business decisions.

After only three years in business, a young entrepreneurial community bank had exciting prospects for growth and was one of the best performing banks for its age nationwide. While many people don’t think of a bank as a small business, many community banks have less than 50 employees and are just one more small business trying to find their way to success. Like most young businesses with limited resources, it could not yet afford to hire a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The Problem:
The CEO not only ran the bank but also was the CFO. Although he was extremely smart and knew how to make good financial decisions, doing both jobs simply took too much time. When the Board of Directors asked for additional financial reporting and a better understanding of the banks product profitability, he realized he needed help. He knew that a CFO service could augment his team by filling in on a part-time basis until he could find a longer term solution.

The Solution:
First, Clarity FI stepped in to help the CEO update his financial reports and financial models to better meet the board’s request. When those were well received, we were asked to seek out opportunities to reduce the bank’s expenses. Now in its third year, the bank needed to widen their focus beyond growth and evaluate if it had been spending too much on some expenses. We were able to identify both strategic and tactical opportunities to reduce expenses, save costs, and even find a few bonus opportunities to increase revenues.

Finally, the bank also needed to understand key drivers of profitability and management also had specific questions about the financial effectiveness of their sales team. The Clarity FI team built financial models to provide insights on the break even point for each major product and helped the executives understand the value and opportunity generated by their sales team. Armed with these new insights the bank reduced a few key expenses, confidently expanded its financial products sales force and boosted profitability.

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