Finance directors for start-ups
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Financial planning for CEOs and founders 
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Virtual Finance Directors

Using cloud-based applications and other innovations to give you the benefit of a full-time finance director that only adds up to 2-5 days per month.

That are not just virtual

Meeting up when we need to - with you and your team, attending Board meetings and other important events. We manage our time (and yours) efficiently.

And have a network of experts

Working with experts in tax, legal, patents, investment, bookkeeping, accounts, developers and designers who work with start-ups like yours.

What is your vision?

We sketch out the key financial aspects that underpin your vision – the forecast or plan, where you think you are against it, the metrics and analysis you produce to track it and the existing capital structure and investment required to fund it.


Are you on track?

We enable your business to track and report key metrics and financial outputs that prove the leap of faith and other key growth assumptions in your plan. Outputs are suitable for Board meetings with detailed layers for more in-depth analysis.

Run your business with a dashboard that shows you how well you are doing

We extract data from accounting, project management, sales and timekeeping systems to split projects or activities to show what is on track and what is not, provide new insights and flag issues to address.

We like to ask why to get to the root cause of the problem...

(Ciaran’s daughter excels at asking why?!)

No more flying by the seat of your pants.
It's time to make clear and objective decisions.


Melanie Lawson

Founder, Bare Biology

"Ciaran has done something for me that nobody, including all my maths teachers, has ever been able to do. He has made numbers fun, interesting and understandable. You don't often meet people this good at numbers that can also communicate like a human being!"

Tom Thirlwall

CEO, Bigballs

“Ciaran is brilliant fit for Bigballs, personable, great communicator, strategic and utterly gets our business. It’s refreshing to work with an FD of this calibre and understanding, I have no doubt we will achieve our grand ambitions with Ciaran's guidance.”

Zanya Dahl

Founder & CEO, Artizan Creative

"Ciaran is very quick to understand the mechanics of a business in a single conversation. He has an impressive ability to convert financial data into visual dashboards so that we can instantly and easily see how our agency is performing and make more informed decisions as a result."

David Rose

Interactive Entertainer

“Ciaran has brought discipline and an approach to the financial management of We R Interactive that would grace many larger organisations. This is testament to his skills and the rationale behind The Virtual FD.”

Kristina Komlosiova

Co-Founder, pollen + grace

"Working with Ciaran since the very beginning of our business journey is the best decision we have ever made. His help with setting up the proper financial structure and reporting has been crucial to us and helped us to secure our first major investment ... We couldn’t be happier!"

Howard Kingston

Founder and Marketer, Passionate about Marketing and Growth

“Ciaran's advice and guidance has been just amazing. In our first board meeting our VC investor lifted up our monthly accounts and said 'this is better than 80% of the businesses I invest in do' - this is the ultimate seal of approval of Ciaran's work.”

Niamh Barker

Creative Director & MD, The Travelwrap Company

“When you start to scale a business, the trouble is, you don’t know what you don’t know. I knew there was something missing from our financial reporting, forecasting and planning but I didn’t know what, until we brought Ciaran on board ... I would say it has been transformational for our business.”

David Mansfield

Honorary Visiting Professor, Cass Business School, City University London

“Ciaran's experience and insight have proved invaluable to our company. If you need a CFO who can add value from day one and make a significant contribution, from financial planning to strategic thinking, Ciaran is your man.”

Mark Horrobin

CEO, FIncastle Partners

“Ciaran is a consistent exceptional performer. I have always found [him] to be loyal, honest and very hard working, but in addition he brings a key element of fun, which is always consistent in being successful.”

Chris Rhodes

High Growth Tech Entrepreneur & Investor

“He has an ability to draw out the best from those who need a little more help, and really brings your business forwards to a place where you can see exactly what's going on. He helps me out! I couldn't recommend him highly enough.”

Richard Dale

Chairman, Bigballs

“The quality and level of financial reporting and systems that [Ciaran] put in place were way beyond what would normally be expected of businesses of our size. The information was presented in a totally intuitive way.”

Toby Treacher

CEO, Penum

“Ciaran provides turbo charged financial consultancy. Not your run of the mill accounts person, he's the Dom Pérignon of critical business insight! He’ll help you maximize cash flow, identify the best customers and make them even better!”

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Ciaran O'Donnell FCCA

Founder and Virtual FD

  • Qualified with ACCA in 1998 and moved from Dublin to London
  • Spent 12 years in strategy and finance roles with Hutchison Whampoa, Three and Carphone Warehouse
  • Founded VirtualFD in 2010, inspired to work with remarkable people and start-ups
  • Advised 50+ start-ups and fast growth businesses in 10 years
  • Award winner - 2019 CFO/Finance Director of the Year, British Accountancy Awards


Contact us for more information on how we can help you and your business achieve its goals. We’d love to hear from you.