In today’s volatile economic environment, organizations must react quickly to changing market conditions without compromising their financial health or competitive edge.
But all too often, these periods of rapid growth and change introduce financial and organizational chaos, hindering an organization’s ability to forge their path forward – and sometimes, they simply don’t have the time to hire and train a full-time CFO to help them make the right decisions.
During times of transition, it can often be more beneficial – and cost-effective – to hire a skilled interim CFO to help you strategically navigate the path toward growth.
What exactly is an Interim CFO?
An interim CFO works to implement measures that bolster the financial health of an organization, drive reliable decision making and ensure all employees and stakeholders are in alignment regarding what they need to do to support current and future growth initiatives.
Why Hiring an Interim CFO is Key During Challenging Periods:
- Guides development of more scalable operations and systems
- Ensures proper allocation of resources for growth
- Identifies and provides support through transformative business initiatives
- Fosters alignment and eliminates operational interruptions by integrating change management programs
- Drives faster and more reliable decision making
- Provides time to find the right full-time CFO
- Guides development of more scalable operations and systems
As an organization grows and changes, there is often an increase in financial and operational complexity.
An interim CFO will work to support the implementation of scalable financial systems, processes and internal controls that can withstand the pressures of upcoming audits, market changes and other pressures without compromising financial health, ensuring the company is well equipped to navigate current and future business transformations.
Ensures proper allocation of resources for growth
Hiring an interim CFO during periods of rapid growth also ensures that an organization’s resources will be properly attributed to bolster that growth even more.
Depending on the organization’s specific needs and goals, an interim CFO will support the development of a project roadmap to ensure key deadlines can be efficiently met and that the organization’s current resources will be effectively utilized. If needed, they will also work to identify and fill vacant roles to further support project execution.
Identifies and provides support through transformative business initiatives
Sometimes, a period of rapid growth or change will stem from a transformative business initiative, such as M&A, IPO or restructuring – all of which introduce additional complexities to both financial and business operations.
Interim CFOs work to support an organization through the transition by utilizing their expertise in integration planning and financial due diligence, also ensuring the development of timely and accurate reporting to drive reliable decision making for C-suite executives, board members and investors.
If an organization is already in the process of a transaction, interim CFOs can help maximize deal value and reduce complexity by leading and tracking post-close efforts to implement additional synergies and eliminate redundancies within the post-integration process.
For more information about how to drive an efficient and effective post-merger integration process, head to our blog: Post-merger Integration: Benefits of Outsourcing.
Fosters alignment and eliminates operational interruptions by integrating change management programs
During periods of rapid growth, there is an increased risk of employees feeling siloed, unsupported and disorganized as processes and systems are changed.
These changes can also distract them from their day-to-day duties, impeding their ability to support an organization’s overall growth initiatives.
Interim CFOs work to foster alignment and eliminate operational interruptions by integrating change management programs to support employees through the transition and provide them with the information, training and guidance they need to succeed.
Drives faster and more reliable decision making
Sometimes, growing organizations must make decisions on the fly – but in order to retain a competitive edge, the consequences of these decisions must be taken fully into account.
Hiring an interim CFO can provide access to the expertise you need to make quick and reliable decisions that are backed by timely and accurate financial insights.
Provides time to find the right full-time CFO
While an interim CFO can remain with an organization for as long as is needed, another benefit is that it provides the company with the time they need to identify, hire and properly onboard the right person for the role – and do so without compromising their ability to drive reliable financial decision making and growth in the meantime.
In addition, hiring an interim CFO helps to ensure that knowledge will be easily and effectively transferred from one role to the next, as your interim CFO will work to document any processes and procedures they implement and ensure your full-time hire is properly trained.
Final Thoughts on Why Hiring an Interim CFO is Key During Periods of Rapid Growth or Stress
Hiring an interim CFO during periods of rapid growth or change provides organizations with access to unparalleled financial expertise, the ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and overcome new challenges and offers much-needed stability during times of transition.
Interim CFOs ready to help you with:
- Creating financial transformation roadmaps, automating financial processes and enhancing financial capabilities.
- Planning and preparing for strategic initiatives.
- Conducting assessments of your financial departments and related team members.
- Designing and successfully implementing changes to your operations and team.
- Financial reporting, capital structure evaluation, CEO advisory services and board reporting.
- Successful management and collaboration across teams and with key stakeholders and investors.
- Providing senior financial support.
- Managing cash flow and treasury, including structure of cash flow and banks, risk mitigation, policies and governance, liquidity forecasts and controls.
- Setting targets, metrics and KPIs, streamlining costs, rationalizing expenditures, resizing the organization and benchmarking.
- Improving working capital management within cash conversion cycles, process optimizations, financial tracking and improving via dashboards and reporting.
- Leading due-diligence efforts within M&A transactions from buy and sell-side.
- Providing effective IPO readiness capabilities.
- Supporting search efforts for the right candidate, paving the way for the full-time CFO and ensuring transfer of knowledge from one role to the next.
About BELAY Financial LLC
BELAY Financial LLC (www.belayfinancial.com) provides flexible contract CFO & Controller services to entrepreneurial companies. The firm specializes in cost-effective financial reporting, budgeting & forecasting, implementing controls, complex modeling, valuing businesses, and other financial management. Most of the firm’s clients are growing technology, healthcare, business services, consumer, and industrial companies at various stages of development from start-up to tens of millions in annual revenue. BELAY Financial has a team of more than 45 professionals serving more than 120 companies, and is part of BELAY Solutions, a national firm providing virtual assistants, social media management, and accounting services to small companies.