Louw Barnardt: Offering Specialized CFO and Accounting Services to SMEs

The business world consists of a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises. These enterprises play a crucial role in shaping any country’s economy by having a massive foundation of innovation that is beneficial socially and economically. However, these micro-enterprises often find it difficult to manage finance and seek consultants, which can be hectic and hard to understand.

A finance professional and Chartered Accountant, Louw Barnardt found a loophole in the finance system and, together with his trusted associates, ventured to co-found Outsourced CFO. Louw leads a team of talented individuals as the Managing Director.

Louw’s aim at Outsourced CFO (www.ocfo.com) is to help clients build world class finance functions for their growing companies.

We at Insights Success got into the conversation with Louw to learn more about his journey and how he has contributed to the finance space through Outsourced CFO.

The Entrepreneurial Journey

Outsourced CFO was incepted to provide a better access level of finance professionals or CPA level finance resources to help SMEs grow and expand, as these companies cannot necessarily employ full-time CFOs.

These resources would help them build companies on a more fractional basis. Over time, the company implemented innovative strategies to roll out vital accounting support functions for its clients.

Louw expresses that it was quite a challenge to find solid offers and convince clients with decades of experience in the industry. As a 25-year-old, it was interesting to find a solution based on his qualification over experience. Since then, Louw and his team bolted out, winning trust from one client at a time while creating a strong leadership team.

Another core challenge Louw came across was talent sourcing. Outsourced CFO is a people-centric organization that invests in its culture and core values to find the right individuals to join the team. It always strives to provide a very high-quality professional to its clients to work with them on their organizations.

Achieving Professional Excellence

Louw states that Outsourced CFO offers various services to its clients, including its three core offerings viz., CFO services, cloud accounting, and automation.

It offers CFO services for funded companies to help them grow and scale. Cloud accounting provides bookkeeping, reporting, accounting, and technology for entrepreneurs to understand and access numbers. Lastly, automation service is for system integrations. It has a systems team that helps clients to navigate the different cloud systems in the operating environment to ensure a smooth and streamlined flow of information in which the finance function can flourish.

Louw’s team ultimately builds a world-class finance function for entrepreneurial companies and identifies their roadmap towards scalable infrastructure to help his clients’ companies grow and succeed.

A Strong Impact in Entrepreneurial Market

Louw and his co-founders started the company keeping entrepreneurs in mind and knowing that these companies can help create economic growth and jobs, ultimately leading to a social impact. He pushed the boundaries regarding how his business model works and its technology to be at the cutting edge of running a business.

Initially, Louw didn’t know that their team itself would become a core element of their impact. However, over time, he understood that each person joining the team is an essential part of Outsourced CFO’s impact in terms of career growth experience, the learning journey, and personal development. Louw and his team ensure that each person experiences a great company culture where they can flourish, be their best, and grow faster as a person and professional individual.

Value-Driven Culture Five core values drive outsourced CFO, and Louw ensures that every person he employs, lives, and breathes these values.

  • Family First: Clients and Colleagues are treated as a family with respect and are looked after.
  • Excellence: Striving to do the absolute best for the client with ultimate excellence.
  • Integrity Matters: Maintaining a high standard of molarity and ethics.
  • Switch-On Thinking: Pushing boundaries of the industry by thinking outside the box.
  • Growth and Success: Aiming to grow together at personal, organizational, and client levels.

Louw says that progress is happiness, so he ensures that every person who works with him experiences a developing journey.

Leveraging Technologies

Louw thinks that the way cloud technology and the accounting industry are developing at a rapid pace creates some very exciting opportunities to spend less time adding more value per professional, which is super exciting for clients. He wants to stay at the cutting edge of cloud technology development in the finance industry.

Setting Up Future Goals

Louw and his team have set a big hairy audacious goal (or BHAG) to reach 10,000 founder-led companies over the next ten years, empowered by a team of 1000 professionals. “We feel that this would really make a dent in our universe.” And it’s not just about numbers. They are dedicated to building a flourishing team, raving fan clients, and only doing sweet spot work. He also states that the company would achieve its goal sooner with the current growth rate, strategies, tools, and tactics.

Embrace to Lead

Louw suggests fellow entrepreneurs stay resilient, keep at it, and keep figuring better ways to carry out tasks. He asks them to find out what changes are a must and meet the demands to stay relevant and don’t give up easily.

He says, “Technology is changing the way finance is being done, and it’s also changing the way companies work. It is a must to embrace technologies. I would want to challenge leaders, entrepreneurs, and finance professionals to make sure that you stay on top of technology. It is developing and changing the world so fast that if you don’t follow suit, you might find yourself on the wrong end of the train.”

“Whether you lead a company or a team or anything else – people are what it’s all about. You do business with people at the end of the day. So, make sure you invest in relationships, and you invest in networks as much as you can because that ultimately lifts the journey onwards and upwards as you move,” concludes Louw.