As CFO, whether fractional or full-time, you play an instrumental role in growing your company. You’re often expected to take on many different roles depending on the size and age of your company. Especially in the early stages, CFOs play a swiss army knife-type of role that includes accounting, payroll, expense management, and financial planning & analysis.
Raising and managing capital during equity financing is often chief amongst these many CFO priorities.
With such a full plate, CFOs – especially time-strapped fractional CFOs – must focus on building an efficient and effective tech stack to support and streamline their work without compromising the integrity of the data. Building a robust tech stack doesn't have to break the budget or overcomplicate the process. We’ve composed a list of resources to help you build out the best possible CFO tech stack for each of your critical business needs.
Top Accounting Software for Next-Gen CFOs
There is accounting software at every price point, for all company sizes, and a range of business goals and activities. Research and planning will be of great benefit in the quest for the best-suited accounting software. For high-growth companies, it’s critical that the tech stack offers a solid operational foundation but also be compatible with change, given the dynamic needs of the business.
The most popular software programs for managing accounting are currently FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Sage. They’re followed closely by several comparable options including Xero, AccountEdge, Zoho Books, ZipBooks, Wave, and many more — too many to list out in fact.
FreshBooks, like almost all accounting software today, is cloud-based and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. This means accounting records can be accessed anywhere from a smartphone which many CFOs may find helpful in a pinch. Users reported minimal drawbacks to FreshBooks; there were a few complaints of minor glitches, and some of the reporting and metrics were a bit lackluster, but overall it got glowing reviews. FreshBooks offers invoicing, time and expense tracking, project management, analysis, and payments amongst other accounting-related features. Pricing tiers can be paid monthly or annually and are based on billable client counts, with an unlimited client count requiring custom pricing. As with other tiered SaaS pricing models, feature accessibility increases with each tier, so depending on what your needs this might be a fit or require more spending.
QuickBooks is a widely-recognized name in accounting software. This program makes an excellent addition to any CFO tech stack since it can be tailored to all business sizes, and integrates with hundreds of other applications. While QuickBooks can be a bit on the pricey side, its versatility and scalability make it well worth the cost when properly utilized. If you’re a CFO looking for a widely-accepted accounting tool that can be easily shared with your accountant at tax time, you should consider QuickBooks. Quickbooks also offers live consultant support, numerous API integrations, and modular add-ons, many of which come at an additional cost, but the ease of use is often worth the expenditure.
Sage accounting software is built with the small business in mind. Sage has fewer bells and whistles compared to QuickBooks and FreshBooks, but the price tag is friendly. For startups and small businesses looking to fill a need while managing expenses, Sage is a good option.
Accounting software is the foundation for your CFO tech stack and can be cumbersome to replace as the business matures. It’s vital to determine which system will best support your accounting and business needs in the short term and serves as a strong foundation for strategic and organizational growth in the long term. Balancing those objectives without overspending in the early days is critical.
High Performing HR and Payroll Management SaaS
Human Resources is another area of business that can be best streamlined by expert software. Integrating HR software takes away some pain points that teams face, including onboarding tasks, record retention, and performance management. HR software automates simple tasks, streamlining the overall process and reducing the margin of error. Two of the top HR software programs to consider are Gusto and Paylocity.
Gusto is the full-service, cloud-based HR software that supports everything from hiring and onboarding to payment and benefit distribution. Gusto offers a simple set-up, integrating with a multitude of other software making it an extremely versatile tool. As a CFO your time is already limited - adding Gusto to the tech stack can eliminate some of the manual burdens of HR operations to make hiring and managing employees easier, especially for a remote workforce.
Paylocity is an affordable cloud-based HR solution for businesses of all sizes. Similar to Gusto, but maybe a bit more complex to use, Paylocity shoulders some of the burden of hiring, onboarding, payroll, and benefits management. Paylocity offers a wide variety of options, customizations, and integrations to support CFOs. Like Gusto, Paylocity can scale with your business making it a great addition to a tech stack for companies of any size.
Both Gusto and Paylocity integrate with the Shoobx equity management platform. This means that hiring, benefits, payroll, and equity can all be easily managed in one place. Automated integrations are extraordinarily valuable to increase process velocity, improve team efficiency, and reduce the risk of human error.
Automated Payment Processing Software
Collecting customer payments promptly is critical to fund business operations for a company of any size. Reducing AR balances and increasing Days Cash on Hand improves a company’s capital position and ability to reinvest in its own growth. An automated payment processing software enables and enhances that functionality, and is a great addition to the CFO’s tech stack.
Stripe and Square
Stripe and Square are both popular software solutions that support sales transactions, customer invoicing, and the collection and distribution of proceeds from customer payments. These programs are built to support companies of all sizes, so they can be implemented at launch and grow with the company. They also offer, or integrate with, sales tax solutions to assist with tax calculations and filing when applicable.
Automated payment software delivers accuracy and a reduced margin of error, in addition to a reduction of time and labor costs and acceleration of cash collections. The software also provides critical insights into customer purchasing and payment behavior, which can provide important insights for forecasting growth.
Automated Equity Management and Capital Raising Resources
Arguably the most important activities as a CFO are raising capital and managing equity. They’re also naturally among the most time-consuming and stressful responsibilities. Organization and automation are crucial to ensure accuracy, and every CFO’s tech stack should include software for automated equity management.
From day one to IPO and beyond, Shoobx’s cap table software sets your organization up for success with automatic Data Room smart linking, keeping you diligence-ready. As a CFO, Shoobx helps you navigate seamlessly through term sheet to close without costing unnecessary capital.
We've created the first-of-its-kind Automated Equity Financing platform to help startups, investors, and attorneys close equity financings faster. Designed to manage the entire financing process in one place, we’re helping you automate the standard parts of your deal. By managing the menial tasks, your attorneys can focus their expertise on what matters, saving you time and money.
There are other software options such as Carta, but the lack of accuracy, control, accessible expertise, and transparency in terms of pricing means a pretty hefty surprise after your free trial ends with many critical features not included in the base price.
As CFO it’s your job to be financing-ready at every turn. Building and growing a business isn’t easy and having an equity management solution that can scale with you is critical. Shoobx and Fidelity Investments are working to provide just that. Across the lifecycle of your business, your needs change. Grow with confidence with our flexible solutions to meet your evolving needs.
Whether you’re raising your pre-seed, gearing up for a Series A or B, executing dilution planning, or exploring exit scenarios, we have solutions for you.
A CFO’s job is never easy, but creating a strategic tech stack will provide efficiencies and pave the path to success that grows with your business. While implementing multiple solutions is a big undertaking, a strong business system infrastructure is essential to your company's overall success and will help tremendously in the long run as operations scale.