by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus

The CFO of your organization is one of your key leaders and strategists. He or she is a steward of your company’s finances, a keeper of detailed records and reports, and privy to sensitive data and financial information. What do you do when a CFO abruptly quits or announces plans to retire?

The role of a CFO is hard to fill—and it must be done the right way. As they say, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” A great hire will instill trust among your employees, can boost team morale, and lead to better operational productivity and efficiency.

As you prepare to manage a CFO transition now or in the future, here are some considerations:

Create a succession plan. It can take years to build a strong relationship between a company’s CFO and CEO or ownership. Assess the readiness of other members of your finance team, and begin preparing other skilled finance leaders in your organization to step up if needed. Make sure you have a bench of talent ready to assist during a transition or potentially take on new responsibilities. And be ready to invest long-term in talent recruitment, acquisition, and training.

Develop a strong hiring and onboarding process. A CFO can be one of the most difficult and important hires your organization will make. The search—and what happens after you make a hire—is critical and will demand your time and attention. A successful onboarding process will do the following:

  • Provide a thorough understanding of the organizational structure
  • Clearly communicate the organization’s purpose, mission, vision, and strategic plan
  • Foster a strong working relationship between the CFO and CEO
  • Set up positive working relationships with all other stakeholders, including board members, key leaders, clients, suppliers, and the CFO’s direct reports
  • Foster a strong working relationship between the CFO and CEO

Consider using outsourced CFO services. Many organizations, regardless of size, are realizing that they no longer need a full-time CFO. Some tasks that were performed by a retiring or departing CFO could be handled by an accountant, controller, or other finance team member, and a fractional CFO can step in to bridge the gap. When you hire a part-time or project-based CFO, you gain the same financial leadership, strategy, and expertise as a full-time CFO but without the strain on your budget to provide comprehensive benefits and incentives.


Take a New Approach

Work With a Virtual CFO

BeaconCFO Plus offers outsourced CFO services that are an ideal solution following a full-time CFO’s departure. We are invested in your success and advocate for your vision and goals. If you ultimately decide to hire a new full-time CFO, our experienced fractional CFOs can help onboard this individual into the company. Learn more about the unique CFO advisory services we can provide your organization.

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