August 19, 2020

6 Tips for COVID-Era Tech CFOs


We dig into the 6 top things that startup CFOs can do to create value today.

Finance professionals are the unsung heroes of the startup world. In normal times, they can help founders raise bigger rounds, spot when to be more aggressive on CAC, and decide when to grow faster. With Covid-19 throwing the playbook out of the window, CFOs and Finance Directors at startups are more important than ever and could be the difference between life and death for startups.

If you are a finance leader, you probably know what we are talking about.

To help out, we decided to put together a list of seven tips that might come handy if you are a new startup CFO. We hope they are of good use to you and your team!

1. Cash is King

With a massive demand drop, some founders and CFOs are sweating to keep their businesses operational. How? If no money is entering the business, how can you keep a 50, 100, or 300 employee company running? The answer is simple: cash.

The only way of surviving the systemic shock is to have the cash to fill the gap. There is no other way. Whilst employees watch the meltdown from their dining rooms, finance teams should prepare for the next 12 months with the biggest stack of cash possible.

Liquidity is everything.

2. Renegotiate Deals

Now it’s the time to renegotiate deals.

Clocktower Technology Ventures believes that companies can expect to be able to save 20% on all of their contractual commitments. This means talking to your office provider, external contractors, any technology vendors, and agreeing on new costs and possibly new payment terms. Also, don’t forget to talk to your lenders, if you have them, as they might also be open to renegotiating your repayment conditions.

3. Cloud Software

According to Social Capital, the second largest expense venture-backed startups have after payroll is SaaS, hosting and advertising.

Getting the best price for software may represent a significant amount of extra cash at the end of the year. With Cledara, we estimate that you will save up to 30% on your software by purchasing it with our platform by helping you eliminate unwanted, forgotten and duplicate software subscriptions.

To save 30% on software, click here.

4. Track Risks, Spot Opportunities

First thing, take a look at your supply chain, upstream and downstream. Track any provider or distributor that might be having a rough time and could threaten your business.

If you spot something, take action by changing the provider, ensuring you have a backup plan, renegotiating your contract, or even consider, if you are in a strong position, the merits of acquiring the company.

Next, take a look at revenue and receivables. Do you have any concentration risk in either your customer base, or your aged debtors? What is the health of each? What is the impact of a customer having liquidity problems, churning unexpectedly or going out of business?

It’s not all bad news. With change comes opportunity and so it makes sense to keep an eye on new opportunities that arise. For example, contactless payments boomed in Asia after the SARS pandemic, which created the environment that made Alipay and WeChat the successes they are today. These opportunities are hard to spot in real-time, but if you do can be company-makers.

5. Key metrics

Be familiar with your business’ key metrics in as close to real-time as possible. It is important to keep an eye on the right indicators, track them, spot irregularities, and take action if necessary. Also, make sure they are available to your team on a platform.

Team communication is key!

Geckoboard is an interesting tool for dashboard sharing. It might be of interest to you!

6. Re-forecast

Forget about your previous forecasts. You will need to re-purpose them.

A great common practice is to project outcomes for different scenarios: optimistic, standard, and pessimistic.

Also, consider making such forecasts for your cash flows, since cash it is probably your top priority as a CFO. It is paramount that you control your cash burn and your team knows what the targets are.

Fluidly is perhaps a cash forecasting tool you might want to consider. It uses AI to automatically generate cashflow forecasts for you in real time so that you can spend less time in spreadsheets and more time creating value for your business.

This was inspired by questions provided by people like you. We love receiving new and interesting questions that help us think about data in new ways.  If you found this post interesting and have other questions that you’d like us to help answer, drop us a line at

To subscribe to our blog newsletter, scroll down!



Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest insights in your inbox

Share this post

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed on the latest SaaS insights

Explore more

Explore more

9 Best Spend Management Software Solutions for 2024

Discover the best spend management software for your needs, with this detailed rundown of the tools on the market.
Read more

How to write a CFO report: 2 free examples

Assessing and communicating your company’s fiscal status is a key responsibility for finance leaders. Here are 2 CFO report examples to speed this up.
Read more

What does a great CEO-CFO relationship look like? 10 Tips

As a CFO, you’re the CEO’s right hand person. The company hinges on your working relationship—so here’s how to strengthen it.
Read more

7-Step Checklist to Improve Employee SaaS Onboarding

Here’s how to plan a super smooth employee SaaS onboarding: one that gives new hires an excellent first impression and sets them up to add value as soon as possible.
Read more

The Best Cap Table Management Software: 5 Options for 2024

Essential information on the 5 best cap management software tools for 2024, and why each one could be a great fit for your business.
Read more

Your First 90 Days as CFO: 11 Steps to Early Success

Your first 90 days as CFO at a new company set the trajectory of this chapter of your career. Here’s a checklist of how to play these valuable initial weeks for maximum impact.
Read more

The Top Subscription Analytics Software for 2024: ChartMogul vs Baremetrics

If you’re a CFO for a tech company, subscription analytics software will make your job a lot easier. Here’s a rundown of two of the best.
Read more

The Top Accounts Receivable Software for 2024: Upflow vs Chaser

Here’s everything you need to know if you’re in the market for accounts receivable software and want to make the best choice, with a focus on Upflow and Chaser, two leading options.
Read more

10 CFO Performance Metrics: What Makes a Great Finance lead?

These 10 performance metrics indicate a great CFO. Fulfil these criteria, and you’re on track to lead your business to financial success. 
Read more

How Scaleups Can Maximize Software ROI in 2024

Wondering how to improve software ROI for your company? In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to drive maximum ROI from software investments.
Read more

A Comprehensive Guide to Key Performance Indicators for CFOs

Here’s 23 KPIs CFOs should track in order to gain a full overview of their business’ financial health.
Read more

14 Smart Strategies to Reduce IT Costs as a CFO

Software is typically a company’s second biggest expense after payroll, so here are 14 actionable ways to get your spending under control and reduce IT costs.
Read more

10 Must-Have Software Tools for CFOs

According to Cledara’s data, these software tools for CFOs are absolutely invaluable. Save time, reduce errors and increase compliance with these programs.
Read more

The Complete Guide to Forecasting SaaS Costs for 2024

As we enter 2024, accurately forecasting SaaS costs is more critical than ever for CFOs. With tightened funding, volatile markets, and increasing SaaS expenditures, getting your 2024 projections right has major implications. This comprehensive guide equips you with the key strategies to master SaaS cost forecasting.
Read more

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Top 10 Software Tools

Interested in learning how to enhance your FP&A strategy with the right software tools? This guide is here to help.
Read more