Does Your Business Need a Part Time or Temporary CFO?

Does your company need a chief financial officer but can’t afford to hire one full time? Or does it simply need someone to help position your business for sale, see it through a special project or temporarily replace an executive who has fallen ill or left the organization? Engaging a part-time or interim CFO may be the solution.

Interim and part-time CFOs generally have various skills and enormous experience in several industries. As a result, they can share valuable lessons and insights and potentially save your business considerable time and expense. Just as important, they can free up senior executives, giving them time to focus on specific strategies, such as developing and executing a business plan.

Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, interim and part-time CFOs can cost considerably less than a full-time executive and can help your business in any of the following ways:  

Fill an immediate, pressing need. Head hunting for a full-time CFO can be a long, arduous process. And hiring the wrong one can be disastrous and costly. You cut the risk if you hire a temporary CFO who is typically able to hit the ground running and adapt to your business’s specific needs because of the experience gained filling in at other enterprises. Staffing the position temporarily allows you to take as much time as you need to find the right full-time executive. You may even find that the interim CFO is the right fit and decide to ask that person to stay on permanently.

Support a specific project. If your organization is planning to build a new factory, introduce a product or service, or perhaps start a joint venture, an interim CFO can provide the proficiency you need until the project is completed. For example, if a new niche is being planned, the temporary executive can come up with financial forecasts of how the project will affect the company and its bottom line. That information can then be used to justify the undertaking’s cost to potential lenders or investors.

Provide financial planning and analysis. Budgeting is one of the most difficult tasks any company faces. A seasoned professional can develop a detailed budget, prepare monthly forecasts and compile a history of your company’s financial performance. This accomplishes two goals:

      • It gives you added depth and breadth in understanding the overall performance of your business.
      • It helps you comply with lenders’ requests for financial documentation.

In fact, engaging a temporary CFO could ultimately demonstrate to your business’s lenders that your organization’s finances are in good enough shape to provide additional credit, as well as take advantage of other financial opportunities they may make available.

Uncover and investigate fraud. Detecting corporate fraud requires experience, training and a certain degree of professional skepticism — skills that most interim CFOs have developed during their careers. In fact, they may have uncovered fraud at one time or another. If criminal activity is detected in your organization, an interim CFO can help your executives navigate the complex and sensitive investigation process.

Provide a neutral view. Temporary CFOs can bring an objective, third-party perspective that can help your business uncover financial areas that need improvement. They can also:

    • Act as sounding boards for new ideas.
    • Prepare documentation needed for a sale or an IPO.
    • Facilitate a move to a new accounting software system, which can help improve the timeliness and reliability of your organization’s financial statements.

When all is said and done, interim executives will exit your stage right after their performance is finished and your company will have benefited at a very affordable cost.

If you think your business could profit from the services of an interim or part-time CFO, call our firm. We can provide the individual who will best fit your company’s needs.

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