In the initial days of a startup’s operations, founders have a laser-like focus on the development of their offerings. Features are deliberated upon, multiple kinks are ironed out and every aspect of the product is refined across several iterations until the day finally arrives: They are ready to go to market.
From then on, there is no looking back. When a product brings with it a revenue stream, the startup enters the real world as an enterprise and seeks to earn healthy profits with its offerings.
A successful startup then heads into various directions – It acquires more funding, new verticals are set up to manage existing operations and explore new territories, hiring increases, and complex sales forecasts and projections are drawn out. But in this phase of growth, startup founders also come face-to-face with aspects of finance that they, nor other members of their team, may not be fully qualified to handle.
How virtual CFOs help startups to focus on their core operations
Most large organisations hire Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) to provide value addition specific to the financial aspect of the business. These aspects are crucial to business growth, and include financial and tax planning, cash flow forecasting, budgeting, cost control measures, risk management, and taking into account industry, tax, government regulation and economic issues, among others, which are crucial to drive business decisions.
However, startups in their initial growth days often do not have the necessary funds to afford a full time CFO. Founders mostly wear two hats to take on this function. And yet, these aspects need their undivided attention by any business that takes growth seriously.
This is where a virtual CFO’s services come in handy. A virtual CFO works with early- stage ventures in a way that is similar to accounting firms. The difference here is that a virtual CFO provides its financial services on an hourly or monthly basis, which keeps startups assured that the finance side of their business is being taken care of by experts while minimising on overhead expenses.
How innovative banking is powering the operations of virtual CFOs
With 39,000+ startups and 33+ unicorns creating 750,000 jobs, India is home to the world’s third largest startup ecosystem after the US and China.
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, projections indicated that by 2025, India may well have 100,000+ startups, employ 3.25+ million people, and produce 100+ unicorns, with a total market value north of $500 billion.
With over 400 Virtual CFOs and corporate services firms in India alone supporting this ecosystem, there is tremendous scope for the virtual CFO industry to thrive in India’s startup ecosystem by offering their important financial expertise and becoming an important partner and growth driver for success.
How HSBC empowers growth by helping build smarter businesses
It is here that innovative banking solutions can make all the difference. The team at HSBC, with its diverse experience in managing global and regional treasury and shared service centres, understands the intricacies and unique requirements of supporting the banking infrastructure.
The paper trail of even a single business tends to become voluminous, particularly those involved in high frequency transactions. This means that managing the finances and compliance of one business can become a herculean task. This, combined with the varied needs of multiple businesses, can make running a virtual CFO business an overwhelming proposition.
Some of the known challenges in smoothly managing its operations include:
- Managing the multiple internet banking profiles and platforms of their clients.
- Tedious processes for balance reporting and downloading statements from multiple bank platforms.
- Multiple and inconsistent payment file formats required to initiate payments across banks.
- Time consuming process to track individual payment settlement through multiple internet banking profiles.
- Scattered banking access and multiple permissions needed to set up banking operations.
The HSBC team understands that each business is different and has unique banking needs. To ensure a hassle-free, faster and secure banking experience for all businesses that you manage, HSBC has a unique One Stop Banking solution, which helps you reconcile multiple businesses together to make banking easier and smarter.
One Stop Banking offers a user-friendly interface that allows businesses like virtual CFOs to manage their relationships and day-to-day reporting on a single platform with various features that are built for scale, control and visibility. Teams can effortlessly circumvent the tedious process of balance reporting and downloading statements from multiple bank platforms with a feature that has them delivered to their mailbox at a scheduled time, which saves significant amount of time and enables quick daily cash forecasting.
“One Stop Banking is a solution with many possibilities. Right from access and visibility of your balance position across financial institutions to tracking payment settlements under one login, the solution enables you to combine all your payments into one consolidated file under one format for multiple payment types and multiple entities banking with HSBC. Coupled with simplified documentation and ease of set-up, the experience goes beyond banking,” says Anuj Kanwar, Head Transaction Banking, Business Banking, HSBC India.
With a single point of entry to a wide range of expert financial services and tools, through One Stop Banking, HSBC aims to be an innovative bank that empowers the operations of virtual CFOs, and in the process, helps startups focus on their core competencies so that they can work towards new heights of growth and development.
To know more about HSBC India’s dedicated solutions for startups, click here to show interest.
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