What to Do When Your CFO Quits

Your Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a key member of your financial strategy and leadership team, hands in their resignation after just a few years on the job. What now?

This scenario is becoming more common: CNBC reported last year that 59% of North American-based executives in financial roles said the average tenure of a CFO at a single company is less than five years—a steady decline from prior years.

When your CFO quits without much notice, no matter the reason, it can be a challenging time for your organization. However, with a well-thought-out CFO transition plan in place, you can turn this period of change into an opportunity for strategic growth and seamless leadership transition.

The first step is to assess the immediate impact on day-to-day functions and identify key responsibilities that need immediate attention. A CFO transition plan is essential to mitigate risks and ensure continuity. This plan should outline a structured approach to manage the transition period, from interim leadership to onboarding a new CFO.

Creating Your CFO Transition Plan

Why Hiring an Interim CFO Might Be Key

  • Immediate Actions: Assign interim responsibilities, communicate changes to stakeholders, and assess the financial landscape.
  • Evaluate Options: Consider whether to immediately hire a full-time replacement engage a fractional CFO to bridge the gap.
  • Engage a Fractional CFO: Opting for a fractional CFO can provide immediate expertise, strategic guidance, and financial stability during the transition.
  • Bridge the Gap: The fractional CFO can step in to fulfill critical functions, maintain financial controls, and support decision-making.
  • Onboarding the New CFO: Once a permanent CFO is hired, the fractional CFO can assist in the onboarding process, transferring knowledge, and ensuring a smooth transition.

A fractional CFO can provide expertise without the full-time commitment; quickly assess financial health, identify opportunities, and implement strategic initiatives; and act as a bridge—ensuring continuity, stability, and effective handover to the new CFO.

If your business finds itself in this situation, we hope you’ll reach out to our team to get to know our fractional CFOs and what we can bring to your business.

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