Revolutionizing Finance

"I am delighted to explore a pressing challenge facing the current financial and tax consulting industry – the issue of 'burnout' or '内卷' (Nèijuǎn), and to introduce an innovative solution designed to break free from this dilemma – the concept of virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The problem of '内卷' in the financial and tax consulting industry has gradually surfaced in recent years. Through some data and examples, we can gain deeper insights into this phenomenon.

  • According to the latest industry surveys, 80% of financial and tax consulting firms have experienced a high turnover rate in the past two years. One major reason is employee frustration due to long periods of overloaded work, reflecting the widespread presence of '内卷' in the industry.
  • Surveys also indicate that over 70% of financial and tax practitioners feel the pressure of '内卷,' given the industry's issues of excessive competition and workload intensity. This not only negatively impacts practitioners' work-life balance but also affects service quality and the long-term development of businesses.
  • Additionally, the industry is grappling with challenges, particularly the issue of declining traditional profits in recent years. Fierce market competition forces financial and tax consulting companies to resort to price reductions to compete for limited client resources, squeezing profit margins. While this pricing strategy may attract clients in the short term, it presents challenges to the overall profitability of companies. For instance, price wars among peers have seen fees drop from the normal monthly rate of 800 to as low as 66. This kind of '内卷' is essentially infighting among peers, ultimately harming the industry and its professionals. In my view, unrestrained '内卷' in the field of professional services poses potential risks such as decreased service quality and compromised professional assurance.
In response to these challenges, we propose the service model of a Shared Chief Financial Officer as a new approach to tackling '内卷.'

In the realm of professional services, a shared model may be more suitable for high-quality but not necessarily high-frequency demands. In our industry, medium to large enterprises with over four members in the finance department and an annual profit exceeding 3 million are potential clients in need of a virtual CFO. CFO services go beyond accounting; they involve advisory services, integrating support throughout the entire lifecycle of a business.

While the high income of CFOs makes shared CFOs relatively expensive, it also means we can provide more professional and tailored services to meet the needs of businesses. Simultaneously, we target a clientele profile with genuine demand for CFO services, such as medium to large enterprises. CFO services genuinely integrate into a business, acting as strategic partners crucial for long-term development.

A virtual Chief Financial Officer is not ordinary but an elite team composed of experienced accountants, tax experts, and senior consultants. They are not just service providers but strategic partners in financial decision-making for client companies.

Introducing a team of virtual Chief Financial Officers enables financial and tax consulting companies to flexibly allocate human resources, avoiding internal talent loss and the problems of excessive competition. This model can effectively alleviate employee work pressure and enhance overall work-life quality.

The virtual Chief Financial Officer service model not only helps improve the working environment for employees but also empowers financial and tax consulting companies to focus more on delivering high-quality financial services, achieving sustainable development in the long run.

Specifically, the virtual CFO model aids companies in achieving efficiency improvements in financial management. By introducing a professional team, businesses can flexibly allocate financial manpower, avoiding work lag and errors due to a lack of internal team members.

Furthermore, the virtual CFO service emphasizes team building and employee training, raising the overall professional standard. This not only contributes to enhancing the financial management level of businesses but also attracts more talented individuals to join the industry, laying a solid foundation for long-term business development.

Finally, the virtual CFO service model guides businesses to prioritize long-term planning and sustainable development. Through the involvement of a professional team, companies can objectively assess their situations and formulate strategic plans more in line with long-term interests, avoiding blindly pursuing short-term profits and neglecting long-term risks.

In summary, the virtual Chief Financial Officer represents a new service concept. Through this approach, we can break free from the dilemma of '内卷' and realize a breakthrough in the financial and tax services sector. Let us collectively advocate for this new concept, driving the entire industry toward a healthier and more sustainable direction.

source: CMAP-CPA