February 05, 2010
I often get asked why a part-time CFO or part-time Controller makes sense for an entrepreneurial company. The answer is simple, you get the expertise you need at a fraction of the cost. Most small businesses have many of the same needs to that of a large business when it comes to the finance and accounting function. The biggest difference is that they don’t need it on a full time basis (with a hefty salary and benefits).
At some point in the evolution of a small business, the business owner reaches the decision that he or she needs to get more from the accounting or finance function. Maybe they are feeling like they need better reporting / instrumentation. They may also be feeling the need to prepare financial projections to help them better plan for the future and understand the cash requirements of the business. Maybe it is as simple as feeling the need to prepare a week-to-week cash flow plan that they can follow when cash is tight. It is at this point that I see many small business owners make a classic mistake – they hire a full time person. While the needs are real, the job itself often does not require a full time person. I would suggest that business owners consider the idea of a part-time Controller or part-time CFO to fill the void. By bringing in finance / accounting experts on a fractional basis, a business owner is able to cover the entire spectrum of needs for the business in a much more cost effective manner.