When to engage an Interim or part-time CFO A financial professional can save your company time and money by evaluating what you need in your lead financial role. Most small companies find that, once a reporting system is put in place and procedures established; a part-time position is adequate to fulfill their financial requirements. Frequently, existing staff can manage the day to day activities once the fundamental structure has been established. Interim CFO support does not have to be long term.

Reasons and times it may be appropriate for you to work with a part-time CFO:

  • When your company is still too early-stage for a full-time financial role
    • Seed financing
    • Development of Banking relationships
  • When you have a one-time or periodic transaction that requires financial expertise
    • Funding requirements
    • Year-end audit?
    • Formulation of annual Business Plan and Budget
    • Merger or acquisition
    • Monthly, quarterly, or year-end closing processes
    • To satisfy the requirements of investors
    • When you’ve experienced a sudden departure of a financial executive and need to fill the gap while finding another
      • Many good practices can slip in the time it takes to hire a new CFO
      • Hiring a CFO or Controller is sometimes difficult for a CEO, as there are many aspects of the CFO role that are not well understood by those outside the finance function.
        Having an experienced financial professional assist in the hiring process helps to ensure that the new hire will have the solid financial and technical skills required for the job.
      • To establish your finance function best practices
        • Financial system will be set up, financial statements developed, corporate policies and procedures established.
        • Gain solid corporate governance
        • Instill professional practices within your workforce
        And lastly, when you are trying to evaluate whether to hire a CFO or Controller – and you need honest, clear assessment of whether you require a full-time or part-time role.

Frequent Questions

We have a CPA. Why would we need an interim or part time CFO?

Your CPA has an ethical obligation to remain independent from key aspects of your business and the running of your business. Furthermore, a CPA is intensively trained in accounting, not in the distinct qualities of being a CFO, which include hands-on experience in strategic management, business planning, staff development, cost reduction, and other critical functions. We will not displace your CPA, but work as his/her partner, and facilitate their role by providing the information they require in the format they expect.

How does your practice differ from all the other part-time or interim CFOs out there?

Two important ways:

1 – We offer over 20 years of combined, in-depth experience providing interim CFO services and as a full-time CFO in both public and private companies. No amount of interim work experience can compare to the skills, judgment, and instincts honed over the years in the trenches as a full-time CFO. Conversely, interim work requires tremendous flexibility, breadth of experience, acute ability to prioritize, and rapid execution, as well as a time-tested formula for servicing companies with interim needs.

2 – Our goal and process consists of come in, assess and address your needs, set up the proper processes and business models, train existing staff and assist you in hiring, and then exit your company. In some cases, this can be accomplished in as little as one month. We also provide specific support for finite, one-time projects. Our goal is not to come onboard and make ourselves indispensible to your company. That would not be in the best interests of your company nor its finances. No engagement is too small.

What if we can’t afford an Interim or Part Time CFO at this stage?

Some of the most costly engagements have been in companies that had a “bookkeeper” or friend of the family handling the finance function, until a major event surfaced that needed to be handled by someone with broader experience. In some cases, this event was a crisis. It is far costlier to unwind mistakes and reconfigure a company’s chart of accounts and business processes than to set it up properly in the first place. When a major event such as a financing or acquisition arises, your company can lose critical time and credibility by not having your financial and corporate governance house in order. But this does not have to be a costly investment. The part time CFO services model is project-based, and will provide as little or as much support as you require, and you retain control over your expenses.

An interim or part time CFO does not need to represent a large expense. Once the general framework has been established (or a major event executed), many companies find that their part time CFO needs decrease dramatically. For a few hours a week or a month, you may find that your company can benefit from the experience of a part time CFO at roughly the same cost you had paid for a full-time accountant or bookkeeper.

Why would we want to have mission-critical responsibilities held by a non-employee?

You don't! But typically, when you engage an outsider to fill a key role in your company, which is exactly what you are doing. The interim or part time CFO model, however, is designed to put processes in place that your existing employees can manage. We will train your employees and exit your company on your timetable. If together we determine that your needs are greater than what your existing employees can manage, we will assist you with assessing job requirements and hiring the right full-time or part-time people to fill the gap.

Do you work onsite or remotely?

Whichever makes more sense for your business. We have worked engagements onsite, managing staff and participating as part of the management team; and have worked remotely on project-based engagements.


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