Since the recent bank crisis fueled by Silicon Valley Bank, there have been a number of articles about Fractional CFOs and their value to businesses (for recent posts check out AcceleratingCFO’s LinkedIn page as well). While these articles have outlined the benefits of working with a Fractional CFO, they also mention a few perceived and exaggerated issues of employing a fractional, as opposed to a full-time, CFO.
We respectfully disagree with these considerations and wish to address them here:
- Fractional CFOs don’t devote 100% of their time to your needs: Many fractional CFOs operate as solo-preneurs and divide their time and billing to several clients simultaneously. Under this model, we understand how a company could feel neglected. AcceleratingCFO mitigates this risk by employing a “team” approach.. We always have a group of people who review the books, complete all analyses, and ensure all client’s needs are being met. Moreover, there is also a managing partner, Brian or Scott, who oversees all completed work to ensure quality control and high standards. Our clients feel like they are our only clients — and that we always have their interests top of mind. Our team approach allows us to have better control over our work product.
- Fractional work is a stop-gap solution: We tell our prospects and colleagues the following: From the onset, we build infrastructure in your finance function such that when your business grows to the stage where a full-time CFO and multiple finance analysts are needed, you can easily transition. But the truth is, our clients, upon reaching these goals, retain us as CFOs because they enjoy the relationship and trust we have built over time. For a large majority of clients, a hybrid solution works well — an in-hour accountability department handles the company’s needs while utilizing the Fractional CFO for strategic finance, operating issues, mergers and acquisitions, and diversifying growth into foreign markets.
- Full-time Chief Financial Officers Should Not Use Fractional CFOs: When I was a Chief Financial Officer for a private company, I was always lobbying for additional resources that would benefit both my department and the entire company. If you are working with a Chief Executive Officer that wants to focus the company’s resources on client-facing applications only, it is often an uphill battle to convince non-financial people to hire additional resources. With the Fractional model, however, you can “rent” expertise that either your staff does not have or contains sensitive information that you may not want to circulate amongst the broader organization. A typical example of this is when a company is going through a transaction, such as a sale or potentially acquiring another company. This and other types of significant financial strategic steps require immediate expertise but are not necessarily needed full-time. The Fractional CFO model supplements skill sets and allows full-time finance executives to meet the growing expectations of an understaffed or overwhelmed accounting department.
In closing, a Fractional CFO model works because it provides entrepreneurs and their companies the right amount of resources at the right stage of the company’s life cycle. This model is the perfect solution for the modern company that wishes to get the highest quality of work at a fair price.
Take-away: If you feel your company is lacking in financial analysis and would like to know more about how AcceleratingCFO helps companies reach their fullest potential, contact Brian or Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free diagnostic.
Co-founders & Managing Partners