The CFO'S Perspective

How to Choose Between a Controller and a CFO

It might seem like a matter of semantics in a small to mid-sized company to use the Controller and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) job titles interchangeably. After all, don’t they essentially do the same thing?

The fact is there is a difference between the two. A CFO is not simply a more experienced and higher paid controller – the roles are different and require a different level of experience and a different way of operating.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Controller

Do I Have the Right CFO at This Point in Time?

A vital part of a business’s success is the strength of its management team.  This is always true, in good times, and during a crisis.  A successful business needs all oars of the boat pulling together at the same time.  And the boat needs to be headed in the right direction.

The current economic crisis is highlighting the importance of strong financial leadership.  That is undoubtedly true, given the flurry of new government aid programs and the impact of stay at home orders.  But a business owner always needs strong financial leadership.  In a healthy economy, the owner needs to make sure they are operating at maximum efficiency to take advantage of likely higher gross margin opportunities, or to make sure an investment in a new product or service has long term value.

This article points out a few areas to consider in determining if you currently have the “right CFO” and a pointer on “buyer beware” if you are considering making a change in CFO during a time of high unemployment.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Transition

“Do you need a CFO with specific industry experience?”

To answer a question we receive frequently, we turned to our team of CFOs for their insights. We received plenty of feedback about whether a company needs a CFO with industry experience from the CFO Selections team.  The depth and diversity of experience in the CFO Selections team again proves to be an excellent resource.

Read a sample of perspectives from CFOs who have decades of experience:

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Planning

Which is Better: A Freelancer or A Firm?

Organizations looking to outsource their financial needs often wonder who is best qualified to handle the intricacies of their business operations.

With the multitude of options available the landscape of potential financial solutions is vast. Factor in the solutions catered specifically towards SMBs, local businesses, privately-held businesses, and businesses in designated industries and the result is an overwhelming sea of possibilities. Within these choices are two distinctly different options – freelancers and firms.

Business owners tend to struggle with determining which type of provider will best suit their needs. Will a solopreneur or freelance CPA-CFO be sufficient? Or is a larger firm a better option?

Topics: Recruiting Hiring Planning

Too Few or Too Many CFOs?

As the leader of our executive search practice, the most common question I get asked is, “What is the market like for CFOs?” 

My reply has generally been, “Well, in the Pacific Northwest there is an oversupply of experienced CFOs but not enough ‘up and comer’ CFOs”. 

I also mention: “It will cost you a lot more to get an inexperienced CFO than it did in the past.” 

Why do I say this?  It is all about demographics and supply and demand.

Topics: Recruiting Search Services Hiring HR