Mike Albert consults as a Fractional Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Before diving into the numbers, he starts with the individual, getting to know what they want from life so he can determine what it takes to match the business to the person. Team members then fill the gaps.
Mike’s commitment to the whole person is shown in his past ownership of a Cross Fit Gym. Consequently, as a small business owner himself he can empathize with his clients. At the other end of the spectrum he has almost 8 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies. Consequently, he goes back-and-forth by nudging smaller companies to have more structure and larger companies to be more nimble.
He asks his clients to make sense of their business on paper first, especially if they are going to put so much time and effort into the business. If they can’t do it on paper they sure can’t do it in real life!
Gary & Mike discuss the issue of scale and how success can bury a company because they are unprepared to deal with the increased demand.
Tangentially, the destructive impact of algorithm changes in social media that aren’t prepared for is also discussed.
Mike recommends a very useful exercise: Write down what could put you out of business and decide how to deal with it, e.g., dealing with the algorithm change or level of debt the company has, etc.
Risk management and the need to keep it simple to avoid overwhelming the client is also discussed.
This all leads to needing to build a status report that provides a picture of where the company is right now and then developed a prioritized plan to improve the situation. From there it’s important to stick with the priorities and maintain a focus that sets an example for everyone around the CEO/owner. This positions employees to where they can help proactively because they know what the goals are. It lightens the load of the founder.
Another key point discussed is to understand the client’s personality and push back professionally when they have the urge to off-load responsibilities that are directly theirs. It’s essential for the client to be self-aware and understand their contribution to both the health and difficulties present in their company.
Being honest about one’s own weaknesses/vulnerabilities and the work done to deal with them can help the client by bringing an empathy to the situation where the client can let go of being defensive and allow others to help.
Humility is also critical when consulting to avoid overstepping one’s boundaries. A simple example is taxes. While good as a CFO, Mike encourages clients to have a tax accountant who is more current on the laws, policies, and procedures associated with taxes.
The definitions of and differences between virtual and fractional CFOs are explained.
– virtual means, “no need to be physically present at your facility,” while
– fractional means, “You only need a few hours/month of my time which gives you CFO support without being too costly.”
Mike indicates some of the events that can lead to needing more CFO time/commitment. With good planning, though, there shouldn’t be any surprises. For example, an expansion into another state may occur but with judicious use of a factional CFO’s capabilities up front reactivity can be kept to a minimum along with avoiding an increase in the CFO’s services.
The podcast closes out by defining the differences between a bookkeeper, an accountant, and a CFO.
Mike’s contact information is:
For more information on the “8 Steps From Chaos To Clarity and Calm: CEO Advanced Training” go to
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