Hiring a Fractional CFO? Here are 3 Considerations

CFO Tips

Are you thinking about hiring a Fractional CFO? A Fractional CFO, also known as a Virtual CFO or Outsourced CFO, is a high-level financial professional who can be hired on an as-needed basis. 


Many small businesses don’t have the resources to hire a dedicated Chief Financial Officer. With a Fractional CFO, companies access the skills, network and expertise of a trusted financial advisor at a fraction of the cost. These hires can do all sorts of things for the businesses they work with, including:


  • Help them solve complex financial challenges
  • Identify opportunities for scale
  • Organize books and report financials
  • Provide reports on market and audience dynamics
  • Keep projects on budget
  • Lead capital raises and M&A activity


Fractional CFOs can be hired on a very short-term project basis or for something much larger-scale to aid in a business’s growth and development. They can help clients streamline costs, define strategic goals, and execute strategies to unlock competitive advantages. Since Fractional CFOs are employed full-time by outsourcing companies, small businesses can secure high-quality professionals without the recruiting hassle. 


When hiring a Fractional CFO, companies should consider a variety of factors. In this article, we walk you through key considerations to help you execute the best possible search and hire the strongest candidate for the job.  


What are your current needs?


By clearly defining company goals, you’ll set yourself up for success when hiring a Fractional CFO. Outsourcing companies, such as the A Team, employ high-level financial professionals who can perform an array of tasks across a spectrum of expertise.


When business owners can be specific about what they’re looking to achieve with new financial leadership, they can narrow down candidates to the most applicable people based on the requirements of projects and budgets. 


Try considering factors such as:


  • The size of your business
  • The amount of support you’ll need
  • How many hours you’ll want them to work each month
  • Specific tasks you’re looking to delegate 
  • Whether you want a workhorse or strategic visionary 
  • How much you’re willing to spend 


By envisioning the role you’d like to fill and the ideal person for it, you will be able to organize around a specific goal and ensure you’re hiring the right person for your business.


Do you need a staff accountant or financial strategy?


With outsourced accounting services, companies can hire people for both task-based and more abstract financial objectives without having to staff an entire finance department. By being clear on the type of expert that will help you reach current business goals, you’ll have an easier time hiring a Fractional CFO.


Here are some tasks an accountant can help with:


  • Organize financial books
  • Automate budgets using accounting technology
  • Prepare financial statements 
  • Track cash flow and spending 


On the other end of the spectrum, here’s what to expect from a Fractional CFO:


  • High-level financial analyses
  • Financial funding procurement to power new initiatives
  • Guidance on whether a pivot may be required
  • Detailed reports on industry trends
  • Strategization around near- and long-term objectives
  • Execution on key business KPIs


For some bigger businesses that already have the accounting and CFO roles filled, perhaps a Controller is the right hire for you. A controller serves as a liaison between ledger management and broad financial strategy. They oversee bookkeeping responsibilities, coordinate financial analyses, provide metrics and suggest financial best practices.


In some circumstances, it might make sense to outsource all of these roles and tailor their monthly hours based on specific business needs and budget.  


Final checklist before hiring a Fractional CFO


Once you’ve defined your goals and figured out what kind of financial professional you need to execute on them, go through this final checklist before hiring a Fractional CFO. 


First, you want to make sure the candidate comes from a reputable firm and is highly recommended. After all, this is someone with whom you are entrusting vital company data and important obligations that can steer your company to success.


Check websites such as Clutch or G2 to read reviews or see if the outsourcing company you’re working with can offer referrals from other clients. 


Second, double check that the Fractional CFO meets the requirements you set at the beginning of this process. Make sure you can check off everything on this list:


  • Do they have experience in our industry?
  • Will they align with our company’s mission and culture?
  • Do they clearly understand our goals and bring solutions to the table?


The A Team works for you


The A Team employs a versatile team of financial professionals who can be hired on an as-needed basis for a variety of projects and tasks. We work with clients to help them define their unique requirements and goals, then match them with an expert who is in-line with their strategy and budget.

The A Team makes hiring a Fractional CFO easy. Reach out today to get started.