Jim Downes, Founder & CEO of Blueprint CFO, was interviewed by Adam Torres of Mission Matters Business Podcast
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Through Blueprint CFO, financial expert Jim Downes helps companies navigate their financial data and make better business decisions to empower their growth.
Downes started his career as a CPA, but quickly realized that he had a passion for diving into the numbers on a strategic level and understanding how this data relates to overall business dynamics. “I had many clients,” he says, “but I had one client whom I’d meet with every month to go through their monthly financial statements and talk about how they did in a particular month, and what could be improved.” Now, having worked with more than 200 companies over the span of 20 years, he’s a veteran financial advisor specializing as a fractional CFO for growing companies.
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What is a fractional CFO?
A company’s early stages usually involve the entrepreneur doing the accounting on their own, Downes explains. Eventually, they’ll hire a bookkeeper or accounting manager, but as the company grows toward $5 or 10 million in sales, managing its finances can get a lot more complicated. A fractional CFO is a seasoned professional who partners with clients on a part-time basis to deliver all the core deliverables a full-time CFO would and consult with executive leadership. Bringing in a fractional CFO can help businesses build better financial discipline across their decision making, budgeting, and forecasting processes, setting them up for greater overall success.
Downes’ 3 segments of business growth
The Blueprint CFO leader says there are effectively three segments of business growth, and a fractional CFO can be beneficial within each:
- Sales and marketing: A firm is trying to find clients, so it’s investing a great deal in sales and marketing efforts. Here, a CFO can manage those decisions and ensure money is spent efficiently, resulting in high productivity.
- Operations: you need your orders, services or products to match customers’ expectations of quality with efficiency, turning a profit for your company in the process. Here, a CFO can help manage the business and identify opportunities to improve productivity and profitability.
- Finance and accounting: business owners too seldom see finance and accounting as essential elements worthy of investing in. They’re leaving money on the table. Here, a CFO can help them stop doing that.
How does Blueprint CFO help?
In October 2019, Downes founded Blueprint CFO to help clients use their financial data as more than just a historical record, but as valuable information to drive future profitability and strategic insight. Blueprint works alongside clients to identify action steps, and assist them in obtaining those services at the lowest possible cost without sacrificing the integrity of the services themselves. “Our job is to ensure that we’re keeping the costs down for finance and accounting,” he says.
Blueprint CFO offers a monthly package through which clients can review how their data is trending across revenue, margins, expenses and more.
“Our team goes through that package, page by page, graph by graph, and chart by chart,” he explains. “Clients love the visibility (of) what’s going on in their business… Businesses need that analytical perspective so they can take action.”
The road ahead for Blueprint CFO
“My focus is to help business owners across the country run their business better using their data,” Downes says. “As we scale, we’re looking for more CFOs to join our team and be part of the growth of Blueprint, nationally and globally.”
To learn more, visit https://blueprintcfo.com/ or call 949-405-5440.