Your company has grown to the point where the guidance of a Fractional CFO can, well, guide you. Hiring a Fractional CFO, however, is not a decision to be taken lightly. Just with any leading executive position, a Fractional CFO’s decisions can greatly affect the company for years to come. You need to look for the right talent. Here, we’re going to look at five qualifications a chief financial officer shouldn’t go without.
1. Knowledge in your Company’s Industry
A good Fractional CFO doesn’t just understand numbers and finances, but they also get the ins and outs of your vertical, and what’s most important to your clients and stakeholders. They also have a solid grasp on the current market trends that have a say in your industry’s current success (or potential failure) and how to mitigate any damage the market can cause to your company.
2. Problem-Solving Skills
Sometimes common sense isn’t so common, and critical thinking skills are even less so. A good Fractional CFO needs to be cognitively equipped to handle any issues their jobs throw at them. Problem solvers are a trust asset on any team - they think of new ideas, better ways to improve existing processes, and make it easier for the CEO to understand the financial decisions that are best for the company. Luckily, problem-solving is an easily assessed skill that job interview questions will be able to uncover.
3. Communication Skills
Sometimes, finances and taxes can sound like a different language. If a business owner isn’t completely in the know regarding financial lingo, current money trends, and the economy in general, it falls on the Fractional CFO to help them understand these concepts. This is where communication skills come in. It’s imperative that a Fractional CFO convey this information to everyone involved in an easy-to-understand manner. That way, any decisions made won’t have any miscommunication pitfalls.
4. Good Culture Fit
The business owner and the Fractional CFO will be spending a lot of time together. You wouldn’t want to spend time with someone you don’t get along with, right? Look for someone who will fit into your company culture: usually someone friendly and open. Keep in mind, however, that the Fractional CFO usually has to give you some hard pills to swallow regarding finances. It’s not easy to hear that your entire financial plan for the next year is garbage, but the Fractional CFO you hire should have your company’s best interest at heart. If their priority is to help the business owner and these two people get along well, even bad news is more manageable than it would be if you get it from someone you dislike.
5. Experience and Modern Ideas
These two sound a bit contradictory: A person with experience has “seen it all”, and leans toward doing things the way they’ve done them for the past few decades. Someone with modern ideas, however, may tend to ignore history and jump into newer, more experimental ideas. A Fractional CFO needs to have both qualities. Experience is going to help the Fractional CFO and the company avoid making mistakes that other companies have. Modern ideas will help the company take measured risks and reap the rewards first before other companies jump on the bandwagon.
Hiring a full-time CFO who checks all the boxes can be expensive, especially for a small business. Why not try hiring a fractional Fractional CFO? They still check all the boxes, but at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO.
If you said “I need that for my company” to any of these, it might be time to book a consultation with a Fractional CFO like Adam!
As your company grows and develops, you may eventually get to the point where hiring a full-time CFO just makes sense. Regardless of your current size, Adam Kae & Associates can guide you every step of the way. The best way to avoid costly financial mistakes in a business is to prevent them from happening in the first place, and that’s what a CFO is for!
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Disclaimer: This article contains information and opinions from Adam Kae & Associates, and the information and opinions should not necessarily be seen as the best possible solutions for your business. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you find the best solutions for your business.