Extensive financial leadership is perhaps one of the most important facets of any successful business. CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) work hand in hand with senior-level executives to keep the financial health of the business stable. By tending to cost reduction, increasing financial efficiency, and leading a business to financial growth opportunities, these experts are no doubt valuable. Nevertheless, when a company decides to look for CFOs for hire, the process looks daunting.
Why Look for CFOs for Hire
Most experts recommend bringing in the help of a CFO when revenues reach somewhere between $25 and $50 million or the business is growing revenue at a rate of 50 percent or more. However, there really are no hard and fast rules for when a company needs a CFO. It has grown increasingly common for even startups to bring in a CFO before the company even launches because the professional supports financial stability from the beginning.
The CFO is an executive-level financial expert, oftentimes with an extensive background in the executive-finance space. This individual steps into a business a performs invaluable duties, such as monitoring cash flow and ongoing accounting practices, analyzing financial metrics and data, and providing strategic guidance to help the business remain stable and grow. In some cases, a company needs this level of guidance long-term, but CFOs can also be outsourced or fractional.
Fractional CFOs vs Full-Time CFOs
A full-time CFO is hired by the company and works with the company full time. However, a fractional CFO is hired either through a third-party service or on some contracted basis. Some companies hire a Fractional CFO for temporary needs, such as merging with another company or sorting through complex financial objectives. Once the project is complete, the outsourced CFO moves on. Others may need a fractional CFO on an interim basis, or until a full-time role is filled.
4 Tips for Finding the Best CFOs for Hire
According to the most recent data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected need for CFOs is going to grow through 2030 at a rate of 17 percent. Whether fractional or full-time, CFOs for hire are in higher demand, so how should a business go about finding the best candidate? Here are four important tips to consider along the way.
1. Identify What the Business Needs From a CFO
Each company has its own way of doing things, company culture, and specific goals and needs when it comes to finance. Therefore, what a business needs from a CFO can also vary. The most important thing to do when considering CFOs for hire is to establish exactly what it is the company needs from this financial strategist and executive. For example, a business may be looking for:
- Infrastructure that supports financial growth for the future
- Assistance navigating financials during periods of extreme growth
- Executive oversight of an existing accounting department
- Cost margin and cash flow management improvements
- Assistance with mergers and acquisitions
2. Know what attributes to look for in the best CFOs for hire
Certain attributes are always important to look for when it comes to CFOs for hire. Beyond the background and industry experience, the best CFOs are:
- Digitally competent and familiar with the latest accounting technology
- Experienced strategists and change agents
- Expert collaborators and delegators
- Skilled with risk analysis and financial forecasting
- Exceptionally detail-oriented in spite of handling multiple ongoing projects at any given time
3. Get help from a financial executive recruiting firm
Essentially, a CFO is given the keys to this unique kingdom, but if that expert is not a good fit for the particular business, a business takes a big blow when the CFO leaves. Time is lost, business financials have already been disclosed to an outsider, and funds allocated to pay for the CFO are lost. For this reason, trusting an executive recruiting firm to find the best CFOs for hire makes a lot of sense.
While a CEO or business owner may know what they want from a CFO, conveying those needs and then vetting candidates is both time-consuming and stressful. An executive recruitment firm specializes in scouting for and vetting these C-level experts. They know what skills are most important, how to spot true talent, and which candidates are the best fit for a particular business’s needs. The A Teams Executive Recruiting services can help you find the perfect fit for your team.
4. Prioritize candidates with specific industry experience
CFOs bring a lot of expertise to the table, and most have similar educational backgrounds and skillsets. However, this doesn’t mean all CFOs are good for all industries. The most suitable CFOs for hire will have experience in the business industry that’s hiring.
For example, a CFO who has worked in a law firm will understand things like billable attorney hours and managing a law firm’s unique cash flow objectives. On the other hand, a CFO for a tech startup would have a grasp of things like securing venture capital in a highly competitive market and a tech business’s vendor relations. Candidates with relative industry experience are a priority when assessing candidates because they offer fitting insight to support the company.
Find CFOs for Hire on Your Own Terms
Need help finding the most suitable CFOs for hire for your business? The A Team makes securing the best candidates easy, whether you are looking for a full-time CFO or a fractional CFO on a temporary basis. Let’s talk.