As startups navigate the challenges of early stages of growth, a good CFO can be the difference between reaching the next level and stagnation. In the latest episode of Growth@Scale, Lea Dudum, CFO of Elevation Advisory spoke with host Matt Widdoes about how successful CFOs are instrumental in bridging founders’ vision with financial pragmatism, becoming an essential part of the strategic decision-making process.

In the startup world, CFOs aren’t just number crunchers – they’re vision translators, turning founders’ wild ambitions into feasible financial models, setting key performance indicators (KPIs), and designing hiring plans that match the startup’s financial health. 

A part-time CFO can effectively initiate crucial financial processes for early-stage companies, but as the company expands – ideally at around 25-50 employees and a successful Series B funding round – a full-time CFO becomes indispensable for managing the team and steering company strategy.

For startups fresh off a successful funding round, a CFO is the guardian of the war chest. They help design a financial blueprint ensuring a 24-month runway, identify key priorities and growth strategies, and assist in assembling the right team to realize these goals. An adept CFO keeps a keen eye on the burn rate, balancing expenditure and revenue to ensure the startup stays aloft.

For growth-hungry startups, the days of a CFO being some behind the scenes pencil pusher are over. They are key players in creating harmony between strategic vision and actionable, practical, financial planning on the road to sustainable growth. 

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