SME Partner – Virtual CFO services from Aristotle

(This article first appeared at SME Joinup web site here.)

Focus on the core business is essential for any organization operating in today’s competitive environment. Imagine how difficult it would be for the CEO of a young, growing company, engaged in day-to-day matters of finance, compliance and legal issues, to focus on his core business without the desired support. While the CEO’s realize the strategic focus lost due to getting involved in these matters, small companies do not have the resources to hire full-time, qualified professionals in the finance and legal department and hence ignore this issue. That is, until they get entangled in a problem due to lack of financial processes and controls or understanding of legal and compliance practices which results in delays, firefighting and/or hefty fines. Ironically, it is in the beginning phase when the company needs maximum support in a broad range of financial, legal and compliance matters and it is in this phase the company has a crunch in resources to get expert help.

Further, most of the market offerings in the finance and legal domain are either – very costly and geared towards servicing corporates OR offerings are in the form of one-time, arms length piecemeal solutions without any ongoing advice and support which is required for young, high-growth companies.

The concept of Virtual CFO and Virtual Legal in which a company outsources part/full of its finance and legal requirements to a professional firm having expertise in this area is prevalent in developed markets and is gradually picking up in India with the development of the overall startup ecosystem in India.

aristotle-logoAristotle Consultancy was founded in 2010 to address the gap in the market for high quality, end-to-end, legal and financial services under one umbrella at affordable prices. We work as partners with our clients working closely with them, advising them and taking full responsibility for our work. We setup financial processes and controls in place, making the company ready for future growth and expansions.

Business Model & Range of Services

Business DomainsWe offer services under two domains – i) Virtual CFO ii) Virtual Legal Solutions.

Virtual CFO offers complete financial services covering the following domains –

Day-to-day-finance: General Accounting, Internal Control, Payroll Management, Statutory Compliance, Taxation, Receivables & Payables Management, MIS & Analysis, Fund Management, Budgeting, Investor Relations, Bank Relations, Secretarial, FDI.

Transaction & Advisory:
IPO Support, Mergers & Acquisitions, Due Diligence, Exit Strategy, Corporate Planning & Structure, Business Plan Assistance

Virtual Legal Solutions offers complete legal services in the following domains –

Day-to-day legal: Contract vetting, Legal researches, litigation management, IPR, Immigrations services, Advice on Media&Broadcasting; Cyber-Law; IT Law, Corporate Governance, Taxation

Transaction & Advisory: Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Market Transactions, Corporate Restructuring, Due Diligence


  • Cost Saving: Small companies do not have the necessary scale to afford the services of full time CFO and legal departments. Due to this, in most of the startups and SMEs, the role of CFO is performed by the CEO himself along with untrained resources. Similarly, small companies do not have any internal resources for legal advice. We provide the same breadth and quality of services by professionals at a fraction of the cost of having a full time CFO or Legal Department.
  • Focus on Core Business: Given Indian cultural context and working style, the CEO has to get a lot of work done by the seat of their pants. He is forced to play multiple operational roles and get involved in petty issues. The attention and time this demands sacrifices from the CEO s time which could be dedicated to the company’s important but seemingly not urgent goals like strategy, entering new markets and streamlining processes. The CEO finds it especially difficult to manage organized growth of the company in the complex and fast-changing contemporary business environment. Afterall, time is the most critical and constrained resource in a company. By outsourcing two important but non-core departments to us, the CEO can rest easy and focus on their core areas.
  • Systematic growth: Financial and legal departments, if ignored, may cause problems such as expensive litigation and unsystematic working with no checks and processes in place. This leads to further firefighting, squandering of resources and shift of focus from the core business of the company. We help set up processes and controls which provides a framework for the companies smooth growth.
  • Flexibility: In a new setup, it is difficult to estimate human resource requirement. Growth of business is hard to predict and the cost of understaffing and overstaffing can be very high, apart from the cost incurred to hire talent. We maintain a bench strength of resources and mobilize resources quickly based on clients requirement.
  • One-stop financial and legal solution: Finance and legal domains interact in certain domains e.g. compliances, Company Secretary, payroll etc. Each department offers a solution tailored to their needs rather than the company’s overall needs. We offer a holistically optimal solution as our services are under one roof. Further, we have the expertise to facilitate and advise the client on the fund raising process.
  • Work as partners: Finance and legal outsourcing firms typically work at arms-length with the client. Our approach, however, is to work very closely with the client as partners in their growth story.


Normally an organization outsources their legal and finance department to Aristotle Consultancy together. The delivery is handled by 2 teams – offshore and Onsite team. The onsite team understands the business requirement of client and communicates the same to offshore team. The offshore team is mix of lawyers, CAs and CSs’, and understands the technical aspect of the requirement. This team ensures that the technical work is of premium quality and passes it back to onsite team. The onsite team communicates the same in business terms to the client side.

This offshore/onsite outsourcing model is inspired by IT companies. It has helped us in providing high quality legal and financial solutions at affordable prices.

Commercial Model

We offer financial and legal services on two engagement terms: 1) Retainership 2) Transaction Advisory.

Retainership Services – We offer tailor-made services based on the clients requirement and the scope and volume of work. We offer partial and complete services under day-to-day headings of Virtual CFO and Legal Solutions. Understanding that we are working with growth stage companies, we keep sufficient cushion in the scope of work and provide the pricing for a limited time period. At the end of the time period, we review the scope and volume of work and based on the client’s requirement and future needs we rework our pricing.

Discrete Services – We offer services for one-time transactions under the headings of Virtual CFO and Legal Solutions. Pricing is for one-time services dependent on scope of volume of work. works with Aristotle to bring you high Quality services in Financial and Legal Services. Fill the Service Request Form to get connected to Aristotle and outsource your Finacial and Legal Services.

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