Does your Maine company need a chief financial officer but you can’t afford to hire one full time? Or do you need someone to help prepare your business to be sold, handle a special project, or cover for an executive who is ill or left the organization?
A temporary, or interim, CFO usually has a variety of skills and experience in several industries. As such, they can provide valuable lessons and insights and likely save your business both time and expense. Even more important, they can ease the load on senior executives, giving them the opportunity to focus on specific strategies, like developing and executing a business plan.
Interim CFOs can cost far less than a full-time executive, depending on the size and complexity of your organization. They can help your business in many ways including:
Fill an emergency need. It can take a long time to head hunt for a full-time CFO, especially given how costly hiring the wrong one can be to your business. Cut the risk by hiring an interim CFO—their experience filling in at other enterprises allows them to hit the grand running and adapt to your specific needs. A temporary fill to the position allows you to take the time needed to find the right full-time executive. Your interim CFO may even end up being the right fit for you long-term.
Special Projects. Starting a joint venture, deciding to build a new factory, introducing a new product or service, special projects can benefit from an interim CFO with proficiency only needed until the project is completed. For example, if you’re planning on entering a new arena, a temporary CFO can do the financial forecasts of how the project will affect the company and the bottom line. Those forecasts can then back up the cost to potential lenders or inventors.
Financial planning and analysis. Every company has to deal with budgeting and it’s one of the most difficult tasks to handle. A professional with experience can set up a detailed budget, prep monthly forecasts and pull together a history of your company’s financial performance. This fulfills two objectives:
- It provides you with more depth of understanding your business’s overall performance
- It lets you fulfill lenders’ requests for in-depth financial documentation.
Engaging a temporary CFO could help demonstrate to your business’s lenders that your company’s financials are in good enough shape to provide additional credit, and to take advantage of any other financial opportunities they may have available.
Uncover and investigate fraud. As we wrote about last week, fraud can affect any company. To detect corporate fraud, you need experience, training, and a certain amount of professional skepticism—skills that many interim CFOs have developed during their careers.
Interim CFOs may have previous experience uncovering fraud. If such activity is identified in your company, a temporary CFO can help your executive teamwork through the complexities of the investigation process.
A neutral view. A temporary CFO can bring a new, objective, perspective that can help your company see financial areas that require attention. They can also:
- Be a sounding board for new ideas.
- Prepare documentation required for a sale or an IPO.
- Simplify the move to a new accounting software system, providing improved timeliness and reliability to your company’s financial statements.
And at the end of the day, the temporary executive will move on after their project or time is complete and your company will hold onto the benefits. If you think your company could use an interim CFO, call us and we can help identify an individual who will meet your needs.