An outsourced part time CFO services provider will typically provide one of three specific types of services:
1. Interim CFO services
Businesses may hire an outsourced CFO services provider to replace a departing CFO until a new permanent one is hired. The services provider can also provide assistance in recruiting the new permanent CFO, helping with defining the position, advertising, and interviewing.
2. Part-time CFO services
Many businesses can’t afford (and don’t need) a full-time CFO on staff. Such businesses can hire an outsourced CFO services provider to work with them for a few days a month, or a few days a week, depending on their needs and budget.
3. Project- or transaction-based services
Here, the services provider is brought in to work on a pre-defined and specific financial assignment. Preparation for an audit, assisting with M&A integration, handling financial restatements and dealing with revenue recognition problems are a few common examples.
Who is a part time CFO?
The CFO is the financial leader of an organization, overseeing accounting, finance, payroll and tax departments. While the primary function is to look ahead, the CFO must also be able to understand past financial performance in order to accurately predict the organization’s financial future. Part time CFO does all of these functions in the business that do not need a full time employee in the role of CFO.
The CFO holds a variety of responsibilities, including cash management, budgeting, compliance, internal controls, corporate credit and collection, audit, financial planning and strategic planning. The part time CFO acts as a trusted advisor to the executive leadership team, working as a sounding board when key decisions are being discussed.
The most significant value provided by a CFO often centers around the area of financial oversight and management. Analysis of the reports provided by the Controller enable the part time CFO to generate working capital and forecast information. Analyzing and reviewing monthly P&L statements, balance sheets and cash flows provides the information needed to drive toward data-based decisions. Ultimately, the CFO works to
correlate operational and financial data provided by the finance department so that the executive team understands the financial impact of decisions in real-time.
Growing businesses cannot often afford, or may simply not require, the services of a full-time CFO. Yet, they may be seeking the forward thinking skill sets that such professionals bring to the table. A part-time CFO or outsourced CFO can often provide the needed financial expertise and direction at a fraction of the cost, creating affordable options for small and growing businesses. A part time CFO who functions on an as-needed basis can become a trusted advisor to the CEO, offering key business, financial and operational insights needed to control direction of the organization.