by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus
If you’ve been looking to outsource your organization’s CFO services or engage a part-time CFO, you may have stumbled on the term fractional CFO. Fractional implies something that is not whole. To be clear, there is nothing fractional about our CFOs. We are wholly equipped with the comprehensive knowledge and real-world experience that allows us to provide financial advocacy to your organization. The term fractional has more to do with the amount of time we spend engaged with your team. For example, you may hire a fractional CFO on a part-time basis for a few hours a week or engage us for five days a week for several months.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, on to the next question: What does a fractional CFO do?
To provide this answer, I’d like to turn to our friends at InterPrime, a provider of innovative outsourced treasury and investment services. InterPrime’s recent blog—a guest post written by Tina Gregory, an experienced CFO—does an excellent job of defining fractional CFO services. Tina also highlights why strong financial and operational leadership is imperative for businesses particularly in light of the challenges brought by the pandemic. While I suggest that you read the blog in its entirety, let’s recap a couple of Tina’s key takeaways about fractional CFOs.
Hiring a fractional CFO is sustainable for many businesses.
While some start-ups and small businesses cannot take on the expense of a full-time CFO, it is sustainable for them to utilize an outsourced CFO on a part-time or recurring basis. This allows the business to benefit from the expertise of a seasoned financial professional without the burden of paying a full-time salary and benefits for this individual.
The right fractional CFO will bring diverse operations experience.
Tina speaks to the reality that the role of a CFO has evolved in recent years. Not only is the CFO responsible for financial strategy, but this individual also guides operations at the company. When you are looking to hire a fractional CFO, look for someone who has had experience in operations within a variety of industries.
A fractional CFO can be critical for start-ups.
The benefit of working with a fractional CFO is that he or she likely has already worked with multiple start-ups and can offer invaluable support. As Tina writes, “For a company early in its life cycle, you’ll want a CFO who can define the work, actually do the work, and use the data from execution to provide actionable plans.”
You can leverage fractional CFO services when needed.
If you have a pressing question or issue, you can engage a fractional CFO to help you solve your problem and move forward. That’s the beauty of using outsourced CFO services—only leverage them when you need them.
Would your start-up organization or small business benefit from fractional CFO services? We would love to speak with you and learn more about your current challenges and goals. Please reach out to our team to start the conversation.