The CFO'S Perspective

How Do I Let Go of an Underperforming CFO?

According to CFO.com the most common reasons for a CFO change are:

  1. As a follow-up move to a CEO change
  2. A voluntary decision to pursue a better opportunity
  3. To get the right personnel in place to take a growing company to the next level

The article goes on to say, “Finding out precisely how many finance leaders have been asked to take a hike in the wake of accounting fiascoes, earnings disappointments, failed mergers, or unsound investment decisions is trickier, since most of them are effectively silenced by generous severance packages.” While this article speaks directly to publicly traded companies, the same rationale holds true for private companies. We know that firing a CFO for performance-related reasons is by no means the most common reason for separating. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the percentage of companies that have let their CFO go due to underperformance because neither party is going to readily admit that was the reason for dismissal. However, it certainly happens. And when it does, the process poses a uniquely difficult scenario.

Firing an executive of any sort is a daunting task, but letting your CFO go provides an added host of challenges. Since companies task their CFO with the financial management of the company a CFO may possess critical financial knowledge and planning information that can be lost when they are terminated.

Topics: CFO Staffing HR Leadership Change Management Interim CFO Transition

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

The Great Resignation: Make it Stop!

Every conversation I have these days starts with hiring woes and worker shortages, whether when having coffee with a banker or discussions in line at the airport. They steer towards how we are all affected by shortages, delays, and uncertainties. It isn't easy to remain optimistic when there are no new ideas around what we can do to fix it.

Topics: HR Leadership Company Culture Colorado

What to do Before Hiring a CFO

We came across a recent McKinsey article that provided advice for new CFOs on how to succeed in their first 100 days. Their premise was:

“In recent years, CFOs have assumed increasingly complex, strategic roles focused on driving the creation of value across the entire business. Growing shareholder expectations and activism, more intense M&A, mounting regulatory scrutiny over corporate conduct and compliance, and evolving expectations for the finance function have put CFOs in the middle of many corporate decisions—and made them more directly accountable for the performance of companies. Not only is the job more complicated, but a lot of CFOs are new at it—turnover in 2006 for Fortune 500 companies was estimated at 13 percent. Compounding the pressures, companies are also more likely to reach outside the organization to recruit new CFOs, who may therefore have to learn a new industry as well as a new role.”

And while we agree with this assessment, we feel that it leaves out an important piece of the puzzle: organizational support.

Topics: Recruiting Search Services CFO HR

How Much Will Raises Be This Year?

With so much economic uncertainty the employment landscape in 2022 will likely remain tumultuous. Information about how many people are employed, where, and for how much is going to continue to dominate the business news headlines. And much like last year, compensation will be at the forefront of many employees’ minds as they watch their cost of living increase and worry whether their pay will keep pace.

Of course, for the nation’s unemployed, discussions about how compensation may fluctuate this year remain inconsequential. And for small businesses that have been doing their best to absorb rising costs without laying people off or shutting down, the idea of giving raises this year is likely going to be a moot point. But for middle management, executive leadership, and HR personnel at mid-sized to large companies, the question of what to expect in the way of raises remains critical to business planning.

So, what should you plan for a raise this year?

Topics: Recruiting Economic Trends Hiring Planning Staffing Financial Projections HR Budgeting Forecasting Expenses Salaries