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Richard Hollabaugh, Principal

Why a Part-time CFO is Right for Your Business

by Richard Hollabaugh on 09/13/11

Companies that use a part-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO) tend to fall into two categories: 1) companies that had a full time CFO but found that they needed to trim expenses in these difficult economic times and were not getting the value they wanted from their full time CFO and 2) companies that need a CFO but don't have the resources to add one as a full time position.  Some CEO's and entrepreneurs  think that if they have a bookkeeper or controller they don't need a CFO and don't understand what value an experienced CFO brings to the table.

A CFO adds value to companies by working at the executive level with an accounting and strategic focus.  He or she helps companies get their financial house in order while helping to define priorities and take financial action to attain business objectives.  The CFO develops and quantifies the key performance indicators, operating budgets and cash flow projections that provide the benchmarks to determine whether the company is on track to attaining its goals and objectives and provides analysis of variances from budgets and projections.  A CFO is not an executive accountant who spends their time focused on cutting costs and reducing spending.  Additionally most bookkeepers and controllers are not experienced in and proficient at negotiating with bankers, bonding companies and investors - a primary role for a CFO. While financial risk mitigation remain an important part of the CFO's responsibilities, these responsibilities are approached with the perspective of increasing company performance, stimulating company innovation and improving the overall operational health of the  company.  Simply put, every company needs the the financial savvy and vision of a CFO.  They do not need a $100,000+ salary and benefit cost for someone to attend and host countless meetings and stir the pot of office politics.  What they need is more value with less work and this is what the part-time CFO provides.  For small and mid-size companies, the part-time CFO is a position that has proven to be essential for successful organizations for many years.

If you want to spend your time as a CEO planning the future growth and direction of your company, have the piece of mind that the financial health of your company is secure, have time to spend with your family and pursue other personal hobbies and interests, you need a part-time CFO.

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