ActionCFO get started!
Using a Part-time CFO
Why Use a Part-Time CFO

A strong controller could oversee the implementation and execution of a financial management system, but he will be challenged to deliver:

  • Effective financial analysis
  • Meaningful narrative financial reports
  • Financial forecasting
  • Sound financial strategy

For these key disciplines, CEOs may want to consider a part-time CFO advisor to:

  1. Balance experience and cost: Most small to midsize businesses cannot justify the $100,000 - $180,000* annual cost for a seasoned CFO. Fortunately, high-level CFO experience is not usually required on a full-time basis. You can pay for the CFO experience you need by hiring a CFO advisor part-time, costing significantly less annually than a full-time CFO.
    *Including salary, benefits & bonuses.
  2. Obtain an independent and objective viewpoint: Sometimes you are too close to your business to see certain things, and an outside viewpoint can help clear the view.  A CFO advisor also brings strategic financial understanding and practical experience from working with other clients.
How To Use a Part-Time CFO Advisor

The eight disciplines of the ActionCFO Financial Visibility and Control System should be the framework for all financial management activities. Here are a few additional suggestions:

The CFO advisor should work for a flat fee.
This aligns the objectives of the advisor and the business owner. With hourly billing, many business owners rightly question, “Is the advisor just creating work for himself?” or, “Is the advisor as productive as he should be?” A flat fee provides accountability for each party to efficiently deliver the promised results. Furthermore, it eliminates any hesitance of the business owner to communicate with the advisor whenever the need arises.

The CFO Advisor Should Be Accessible and Available.
Accessibility is a key component of the value provided by a part-time CFO. With rare exception, you should expect to reach your CFO advisor at any time, including short-notice requests for physical meetings.

The Bulk of the CFO Advisor’s Time Should Be Spent Onsite.
First, this ensures all computer files will be on your system. Second, physical presence will allow the advisor to connect with your staff and thus more quickly address issues as they arise. Yes, the advisor will sometimes work offsite, but this should be far less than the onsite time the advisor commits to your business.

The CFO Advisor Should Have a Routine Schedule at Your Business.
This is the corollary to the previous point. The relationship works best when the advisor’s work follows a consistent rhythm. At a minimum, this should include a visit at month’s end.

The CFO Advisor Should Be Focused On Your Business When Physically Present.
When the CFO advisor is physically present, whether working at your business or meeting with you, he should be focused exclusively on your business. Assuming the advisor works for a flat fee, this isn’t a matter of money, but of focus and attention. Someone causing disruptions in your office or appearing to be working on “other things” is the last thing you need.

The CFO Advisor Should Keep Computer Files On Your System.
This is for two reasons: access and protection.  You should be able to access the latest file versions whenever needed.  Plus, if something happens to the advisor or you discontinue the engagement, you must know you have everything you need to financially manage your business.  Your system also likely has better backup protection than an advisor’s individual computer.

< prev

next >

What Level of CFO Expertise Do You Really Need? 
Download your FREE guide!
< Name
< Email

Privacy Policy >

Talk to Us
I'm interested in having a CFO Conversation.

get started

Begin the Process Now
ActionCFO begin the process
See what the Financial Visibility and Control System can do for you.

learn more

Before You Hire a CFO
Read this book for insights and lessons to help you make the right decisions for your business.