Philip Barnes Interview – Changing The Role Of A CFO: Helping SMEs Understand The Numbers

Arete Podcast with Richard Triggs

Jan 15
Philip Barnes Interview - Changing The Role Of A CFO Helping SMEs Understand The Numbers - EOA

Running a successful business can be hard and the financials overwhelming, but knowing your numbers is key to knowing your business.

That’s what Philip Barnes, founder of CFO Insight, told me. A Chartered Accountant, Philip has worked with over 50 business in a range of industries since 2006 in either non-executive board roles or as a consultant.

Pulling his wealth of knowledge of helping companies in distress and helping Australian tech startups commercialise in North America together, CFO Insight was founded in 2006.

The company helps SMEs solve some of the major and most common business problems, and helps them to shape their business, primarily for success. Philip holds the business owner’s hand, doing what he calls “management consulting from the numbers.”

In this episode: 

  • What Philip’s company offers to SMEs

  • How Philip differs from a traditional CFO - helping businesses understand the numbers

  • Why external accountants often provide CFO Insight with a lot of work

  • Working for Andersons for 10 years and how that shaped CFO Insight

  • Looking at companies in distress - following the core themes to solve the problems

  • Philip’s background - Kiwi-born, two working parents, children, part-time jobs

  • Why Philip didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor

  • Education, a year in the UK, and settling in Brisbane

  • How CFO Insight came about and how Philip got his first client

  • Distinct periods of CFO Insight - distress and startups in the USA

  • Common problems of businesses - structural issues with their products

  • The three fundamental questions Philip asks his clients

  • What makes a good Board of Executives?

  • Do SMEs need a Board of Executives?

“Small businesses - those that don’t sit above the $20m mark - don’t really need a board of executives. They just need a good team of external advisors.”  - Philip Barnes #Business #Executives #Board

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