The CFO'S Perspective

Hiring a CFO – Do You Need the Tortoise or the Hare?

Aesop’s fable about the race between the tortoise and the hare provides a story to show how a race is not always for the swiftest. In the business world, some companies are very focused on short-term financial results while others are managing for the very long-term time horizon. Some companies are working to improve their operations and financial results in order to sell the business in a few years, while others are building a business for the next generation of owners.

When there is a need to hire a new CFO, the question the CEO and the owners should consider asking is: do I need a tortoise or a hare as my next CFO?

Topics: CFO Hiring Leadership CFO Responsibilities

Accounting Turnover: Why is it Happening and How do we Stop It?

Having a hard time finding talented accountants for your business? That’s no surprise. I see news headlines every day that indicate many businesses are struggling with this hiring challenge. Here are just a few:

The reasons for today’s accounting shortage are well-documented, and include:

  • A changing educational landscape
  • Competition from other fields
  • Increased demand
  • Work-life balance concerns
  • An aging workforce with fewer younger entrants

While there is a lot of press around the shortage of accountants and challenges in finding accounting talent, I think it’s important to consider why accountants are leaving their jobs and strategies to retain key accounting talent.

Let’s answer the question, “Why is there so much turnover in accounting these days?” …and more importantly, “How do we stop it?”

Topics: Recruiting Accounting Hiring Staffing

Understanding Nonprofit Hiring Trends

Originally published: Dec 20, 2022
Updated: April 8, 2024

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) the U.S. job market has finally ushered in positive employment growth after several years of decline. However, growth is occurring far slower than employment analysts would have liked to see. In the nonprofit space, hiring remains challenging, especially within more skilled, technical, and senior-level roles.

How should nonprofit organizations overcome today’s hiring challenges?

Topics: Non Profit Organizations Hiring

What do You Really Need when Hiring a CFO?

There is no doubt that hiring in accounting and finance right now is harder than ever before. And yet, despite today’s challenges, companies still need CFOs, which means that simply going without a CFO is not an option.

So, how do you overcome today’s hiring challenges to win the talent war? When you are hiring a CFO, it is going to be important that you focus on finding someone that meets all of your most critical needs first, before trying to check any boxes on your wants list. While this may seem like obvious advice for organizations that are keenly aware of the difference between their wants and needs for the role, many companies struggle to draw a distinction between the two. To complicate matters, what may be a need for one organization might be a want for another even if both are in the same industry or business stage. Even within a single organization what may have been considered a nice-to-have the last time the role was vacant could very well be a must-have this time around.

Let’s take a look at some of the criteria that organizations use to determine their needs and wants when hiring a CFO:

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring

How to Afford Experienced Financial Leadership

Hiring a fractional (part-time) CFO is becoming increasingly popular because this type of employment engagement offers significant cost benefits. Outsourcing their CFO role allows an organization to bring someone in for a fraction of the cost because they do not incur expenses related to benefits, bonuses, payroll taxes, etc. As Michael Newsome explains when talking about utilizing fractional service providers,

“Searching for ways to optimize human capital, while fighting the inefficiencies of talent markets, is an ever-present challenge for businesses in the middle market. The human capital corollary to the engineer’s triangle (fast, cheap, reliable – pick two) seems to be availability, relevant experience, and compensation expectation... An increasingly popular way for businesses to address this issue is using fractional service providers, which have proliferated significantly in their breadth and depth of service offerings in the middle market... A fractional solution can offer a way for a business to access additional capability at a lower total cost than bringing on a full-time hire.”

And while the cost savings are clear, many companies remain resistant to hiring a fractional CFO. Their biggest fear is that doing so requires that they sacrifice on quality in a role that requires the utmost proficiency. Leadership with these types of reservations will typically ask questions like, “Is a part-time CFO as good as a full-time CFO?” or “Can you really trust a fractional CFO to perform at a high level?”

Organizations that question whether a fractional CFO can truly get the job done well for less should consider how a fractional CFO can:

Topics: CFO Hiring CFO Responsibilities

Why is it so hard to hire an accounting employee? A 20th-anniversary reflection

As CFO Selections celebrates its 20th anniversary of providing business owners with senior finance and accounting services, I want to help business owners and hiring managers understand the challenge faced in hiring accounting employees in 2022.

Unfortunately, this challenge is not going to disappear after this year. Today I will provide some ideas later to overcome the challenge, … but first, we must understand why we have this challenge.

Topics: Recruiting Hiring Staffing

Why Tech Skills are Essential for Today’s CFOs

Today’s top CFOs are vastly different than their predecessors because the CFO role itself has changed so dramatically over the last few decades. What used to be a strictly numbers-based executive financial role, has now evolved into a pivotal leadership position that touches numerous areas of the company including HR, IT, operations, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. And this sweeping change has ushered in a shift in what is expected of a CFO’s skillset as well.

The most salient difference is how today’s CFOs are required to utilize technology. CFOs are expected to be well versed in technology options for streamlining operations, meeting business needs, informing strategic decision making, and maximizing growth. As a result, tech proficiency has become the single most newly sought after skill when hiring a new CFO.

Topics: Recruiting Trends CFO Hiring CFO Responsibilities

How to Win the Talent War in Accounting and Finance

The war for talent that emerged amid The Great Resignation is still going strong in the areas of accounting and finance. As Hannah Green explains,

“The accounting sector has a problem with numbers. Specifically, it’s becoming harder and harder for firms to attract top talent. Why? There just aren’t enough talented bodies to go around. In what’s come to be known as the ‘war for talent’, top firms are finding it increasingly difficult to secure and retain highly qualified finance and accounting professionals.”

Topics: Recruiting Finance Accounting Hiring Staffing HR