Could Your Organization Benefit from an Interim CFO?
There’s currently a talent crisis in the accounting industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that roughly 17% of U.S. accountants and auditors have left their jobs over the past two years, leaving some open positions unfilled for many months. And the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) estimates that 75% of CPAs have plans to retire within the next 15 years.
Given the shortage of qualified accounting professionals, it can be challenging to find the right candidate if your CFO unexpectedly leaves or find specialized expertise if your organization is involved in a major transaction. An interim CFO might fit the bill.
Interim CFO services are provided by experienced professionals who fill in temporarily or on a periodic long-term basis. An interim CFO isn’t an employee but serves in a contract-based role that’s easy to scale up or scale back as needed.
Outsourced CFOs generally have various skills and enormous experience in several industries. As a result, they can share valuable lessons and insights and potentially save your business considerable time and expense. Just as important, they can free up senior executives, giving management time to focus on specific strategies, such as developing and executing a business plan.
Achieving Operational Goals
Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, an interim or part-time CFO can cost considerably less than a full-time executive. Examples of ways that outsourced CFOs can help your business include:
Fill an immediate need. Head-hunting for a full-time CFO can be a long, difficult process. And hiring the wrong one can be costly. You can reduce the risk if you hire a temporary CFO who can hit the ground running and adapt to your business’s specific needs because of the experience gained filling in at other enterprises. Staffing the position temporarily allows you to take as much time as you need to find the right full-time executive.
Support a specific project. If your organization is planning to build a new factory, introduce a product or service, or perhaps start a joint venture, an interim CFO can provide financial expertise until the project is completed. For example, if a new segment is being launched, the temporary CFO can come up with financial forecasts of how the project will affect the company and its bottom line. That information can be used to justify the undertaking’s cost to potential lenders and investors. Interim CFOs can also provide insight when you’re restructuring, buying or selling a business, registering for an initial public offering, or onboarding a new accounting software system.
Provide financial planning and analysis. A seasoned professional can develop a detailed budget, prepare monthly forecasts and compile a history of your company’s financial performance. This can give added depth and breadth in understanding the overall performance of your business. It also helps you comply with lenders’ requests for financial documentation. In fact, engaging a temporary or part-time CFO could ultimately demonstrate to lenders that your organization’s finances are in good enough shape to obtain additional credit, as well as take advantage of other financial opportunities they may make available.
Uncover fraud. Detecting corporate fraud requires experience, training and a certain degree of professional skepticism. Most interim CFOs have developed these skills during their careers. In fact, they may have uncovered fraud at one time or another. If criminal activity is detected in your organization, an interim CFO can help your executives navigate the complex and sensitive investigation process.
Temporary or part-time CFOs can bring an objective, third-party perspective that can help your business uncover financial areas that need improvement. If you think your business could profit from the services of an interim, or part-time long-term, outsourced CFO, contact Kirsch CPA Group.
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