How to Find the Right CFO for Your Growing Business

August 8, 2022

At a glance

  • Main takeaway: Finding and retaining proper strategic executive financial leadership is crucial to growing a company. But, without a clear understanding of where you’re trying to go, you’re unlikely to reach your destination.
  • Impact on your business: An experienced CFO can help you establish a clear path for success and ensure the right resources and people are in place to ignite growth.
  • Next steps: Aprio’s CFO Advisory can help you build an ideal executive financial leadership team to accomplish your strategic goals.

Schedule a consultation with Aprio’s CFO Advisory team today!

The full story:

Growing businesses often struggle to know what kind of financial leadership they need as they grow their executive bench to reach the next level. An experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) serving on a fractional, interim or permanent basis can ignite growth in three critical ways — establishing a clear path for the entire organization, setting up systems and roles necessary for scalable growth and ensuring the right resources and people are in place.

Fractional, interim or permanent CFO – which is best?

Answering this question requires taking a step back and asking a broader one: What’s next? Where do you want your business to be in the next few years? What will it take to get there?

Retaining proper executive financial leadership is crucial to growing a company. But, without a clear understanding of where you’re trying to go, you’re unlikely to reach your destination.

The right CFO role starts with you

Successful growth, transformations and exits begin with an unbiased understanding of your goals, needs, challenges and dreams.

A good place to start when considering how to build your executive financial team is by partnering with an advisor who can help you examine your market, customers’ needs and how your business uniquely solves those needs. Then identify key initiatives and create a playbook that will help you make the right moves. Next, analyze your organizational structure and roles. Once your strategic groundwork has been laid out, you can unleash your resources.

3 approaches to CFO roles and the situations they resolve

Understanding what situation each CFO role is suited for helps determine which role your business needs. Here are three CFO arrangements that can help your business move forward with confidence:

  • Fractional – An entrepreneur is in the midst of a growing business with increasing complexities. The business requires some strategic support to keep up with financial growth signals but isn’t yet ready to bring an executive financial leader fully on staff. This often signals the need to hire a fractional, or part-time, CFO.
  • Interim (Contract) – A growing business has a short-term need prompted by an acquisition, major initiative, leadership departure or decision to sell the business. An experienced CFO is critical to guiding the business successfully through each transition. An interim CFO can be contracted to focus on your business exclusively (full-time) for a set period of time (usually three or so months).
  • Permanent – A business owner who has reached the point of exponential growth and complexity, likely signals the need for a permanent solution. Incorporating a full-time CFO into the leadership can help solidify a strategic, long-term financial direction and help see it to realization.

The bottom line

Navigating growth with confidence can be challenging. It’s important to partner with a trusted advisor who takes the time to get to know your needs. Aprio CFO Advisory gets to know you, your business and your team so that we can properly serve you.

Aprio CFO Advisory can help you build the best finance team. Schedule a consultation today!

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About the Author

Eric Krucke

Eric, a former Berkshire Hathaway CFO, advises companies walking through transitions and transactions or seeking to accelerate growth. He has more than 25 years of financial leadership experience accelerating growth, navigating acquisitions, finding capital to fund growth, and facilitating successful exits for founders and investors, including a sale to Berkshire Hathaway. He’s seen time and again that the most important responsibility of a CEO or founder is to provide clarity, particularly during the first 100 days of an inflection point.