Companies lacking the resources for proper money management can now engage the service of part-time chief financial officers.
Such a service could be particularly helpful for small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups that are held back from growth as they struggle to keep their finances in order.
The CFO Centre, which is part of Britain's Liberti Group, is one of the companies here that provide part-time CFO and finance director services.
Liberti Group chief executive Sara Daw told The Straits Times: "Often you find the owner-manager or entrepreneur trying to do finances themselves. Most of them do not have the right skillset to optimise the cash flow, margins and accounting processes.
"When we come in, we immediately free them up so that they can do the more valuable work for the business, to build the company for growth."
SME Day 2017
Date: April 20
Time: 8.30am to 5pm
Venue: Resorts World Convention Centre
This event brings together a full spectrum of tech-related initiatives from the industry and partner agencies to help SMEs improve processes, be cost-effective and achieve sustainability.
Jointly organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Spring Singapore, it will also feature the success stories of local firms and "show and tell" sessions.
Those attending will be able to explore technology offerings at over 60 exhibition booths and discover research capabilities that they can tap in Singapore.
For more information and to register for the event, visit smeday.com.sg or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poland - Emerging Opportunities for Singapore Businesses
Date: March 21
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Venue: SBF Centre, 160 Robinson Road, Level 6, Seminar Room
This event will provide Singapore businessmen with updates on the Polish economy, potential business opportunities and opportunity to meet key officials.
More importantly, it is an opportunity to prepare more efficient meetings during a mission to Poland from May 21 to May 23. The seminar is organised by the Singapore Business Federation, the Polish Embassy and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
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The CFO Centre has a team of six CFOs, charging on average $2,500 a day for their services.
Mr Steve Settle, managing director of The CFO Centre Singapore, said: "So it's not that their service is cheap. But because they are part-time, the usage is flexible and can be terminated at any time. That's where you get the saving."
The part-time CFO typically works three days a month for one client, which translates to less than $10,000 in fees.
So it's not that their service is cheap. But because they are part-time, the usage is flexible and can be terminated at any time. That's where you get the saving.
'' MR STEVE SETTLE, managing director of The CFO Centre Singapore, on charging $2,500 a day on average for its services.
In comparison, hiring a full-time CFO or finance director may cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 a month, said one of the part-time CFOs, Mr James Morgan.
But the clients still get plenty out of the deal. Mr Morgan is advising security firm Vantage Point in its expansion to Indonesia, where he had worked for six months in the past.
Mr Jeremy Gray, another part-time CFO, has worked with Expat Dental Group for a year.
"Previously, they relied on external accountants who stopped short at providing a balance sheet, without any analysis that could help the owners improve the business," Mr Gray said.
"We were able to help them speed up the closure of accounts, improve profitability and put the group in the position to reverse last year's loss. I am also helping to train people for finance roles."
As demand steadily increases, The CFO Centre's revenue has jumped from around $25,000 in 2013 when it started here, to over $700,000 last year. Mr Settle expects the figure to hit $1 million soon.
India's SuperCFO is another provider. It set foot here less than a year ago and now has a team of three CFOs.
Mr Alagappan Perianan, SuperCFO's Singapore managing director, said the team is working with companies in the manufacturing, trading, retail, financial services and technology sectors.
"SMEs do recognise the advantages of engaging a senior finance professional in their business - be it for budgeting, managing cash flows or implementing stronger processes and controls," he noted.
"Rising costs is a cause of concern, and everyone is focusing on their bottom line. With a solution like this, companies can hire good talent, for a fraction of costs, since the talent is not full time."