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Summit Insights
Apr, 23

How an Embedded CFO on the CEPA® Team Improves Exit Outcomes


There's a very small group of CEPAs whose primary focus lies in helping owners orchestrate and execute the Value Acceleration initiatives in the years leading up to an exit. That's where an embedded fractional CFO from FocusCFO can fit in...

At FocusCFO, we use the term "embedded" to describe our unique service model. Unlike traditional consultants who provide advice from the outside and then move on, our fractional CFOs operate as integral members of your business's leadership team.  Think of FocusCFO as the Exit Advisory Team’s "insider in the business" or "the boots on the ground."

Our embedded fractional CFOs, many of whom are CEPAs, provide essential guidance to business owners on their journey towards a successful exit – often years in advance of a transaction or other exit event They work in harmony with other members of the Exit Advisor Team to ensure the most optimal outcome for the client.

In the community of CEPAs, there is an array of advisors specializing in transaction-related and personal financial planning services, including estate and philanthropic plans leading up to and following an exit event. However, there's a smaller group of CEPAs whose primary focus lies in helping owners plan and execute the necessary Value Acceleration initiatives in the years leading up to an exit. That is where FocusCFO fits in.  As the “CEPA Inside” on the exit advisory team, the unique value that our fractional CFOs provide include:

  1. Embedding Exit Planning into Business Strategy: At FocusCFO, we subscribe to the practice that exit planning is a component of a good business strategy. Our CFOs bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in developing effective yet practical business strategies. Their expertise enables them to identify potential roadblocks, evaluate strategic options, and create customized plans to incorporate exit planning and maximize business value. By working closely with clients, a CEPA inside can help them make informed decisions and ensure a smooth transition during the exit process, ultimately leading to a more successful outcome.

  2. Implementation Feedback System: Working with FocusCFO means having a dedicated, hands-on advisor experienced in deploying plans into smaller measurable goals and actions. Our embedded CFOs work alongside business owners weekly, providing insights and guidance to address their unique needs and challenges. This consistent support allows clients to balance the day-to-day tactical activities with the strategic working "on the business" activities.

  3. A Trusted Accountability Partner: A fractional CFO ensures that the essential work required to build sustainable and transferable value remains a top priority. By continually assessing the business's financial health, identifying growth opportunities, and implementing value-enhancing strategies, a CEPA inside helps clients stay focused on the end game. This laser focus on value creation and exit planning enables business owners to make strategic decisions that drive growth and ultimately lead to a successful exit.

Many owners find implementing the strategic changes identified during the exit planning assessment a challenge. Our embedded fractional CFOs often act as a needed hands-on bridge between the Exit Advisory Team and the business’ management & owners teams.

The guiding principles and value acceleration methodology of the Exit Planning Institute are integral to our service delivery playbook. Consequently, our fractional CFOs have evolved into trusted partners within the CEPA community.

As expressed in our mission statement, we're dedicated to "Helping Entrepreneurs Build Sustainable, Transferable Business Value." 

At FocusCFO, our mission is to “Help Entrepreneurs  Build Sustainable, Transferrable Business Value.” Only through our collective efforts as part of the CEPA community can we empower clients to achieve the most optimal outcomes. After all, in the journey towards successful business transitions, we're better together.

If you're an Exit Planning Advisor looking for resources to support your clients, reach out to us today to discuss how we can partner together for client success.

Join FocusCFO at the 2023 Exit Planning Summit in Scottsdale Arizona, May 21-23. FocusCFO Area Presidents and Certified Exit Planning Advisors Michael Stier and Darren Cherry will be in the exhibit hall, ready to answer questions and explore how we can create enduring value together for our clients.