The CFO'S Perspective

How is a CFO Hired?

Hiring for any executive leadership position can be a complicated process, but a CFO brings its own unique set of challenges. Organizations that downplay the importance of a thorough job description or attempt to rush through the steps can end up needlessly prolonging the search process or settling for a candidate that does not fit their needs.

Hiring a CFO hinges on writing an effective job description for the position that outlines not only the required qualifications for the role but also the expectations for someone acting within the role. And while this is a foundational piece of the search, it is only the first step in the process. Once the role of a CFO is defined, the active process of hiring a CFO begins. Each subsequent step must then be undertaken with an understanding of how it will build on previous steps and make additional progress toward finding the best candidate for the role. From identifying key decision-makers and setting a hiring timeframe to talking to a recruiting firm and evaluating your hire, each step is integral to the overall process.

So, how is today’s CFO hired exactly? Our executive search team answers your most common questions to explain the process.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring HR Leadership Interim CFO

How to Write a CFO Job Description

Have you ever tried to find something when you could not adequately describe what you were looking for?

Imagine going to buy a pair of pants and when the salesperson asks what you are looking for all you tell them is “gray pants.” How long do you think it will take to find exactly what you are looking for? And how likely is it that you will end up getting tired and frustrated settling for something that is not really what you wanted? In this example, the best outcome is that you find the perfect pair of pants after an arduous search, and the worst outcome is that you end up with pants that fit poorly or are too formal or casual for your needs.

Now apply that same scenario to hiring and think about how difficult it is to find the right candidate for the role when you do not have a clear vision of what you are looking for and what your expectations are for the role. The difficulty is ratcheted up and the likelihood of a negative outcome is much greater.

When the role you are hiring for is a senior leadership position a bad hire can derail the company’s strategic plans. A CFO is in an especially critical role to support growth initiatives, making a hire into this role even more critical to the overall success of the organization. As a result, a job description for a CFO should be customized to fit the specific needs of the business and incorporate the nuances of the role.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring HR CFO Responsibilities

What is a Fractional CFO?

When you want to hire a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) you can hire someone on a fractional basis or into a full-time position. But before trying to understand your options for hiring a CFO, you first need to get to the very nature of the role:

  • A CFO is the position at the top-end of the spectrum of financial leadership that is outward-facing and forward-looking.

Once you frame the role in this way, you can start deciding how much time you need someone focusing on that area of your business.

A fractional CFO is basically a part-time or limited engagement CFO. Depending on the company’s needs, a CFO can either perform ongoing high-level financial analysis and oversight on a less than full-time basis, or financial management during a specific challenge or across a predetermined time. However, a fractional CFO may not provide enough support for an organization with more extensive financial needs.

So, when is a fractional CFO a better fit?

Topics: Recruiting Search Services CFO Hiring Leadership

A Roadmap to Hiring a CFO

Hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a daunting activity for many organizations. Understanding when to bring someone on board, what kinds of options are available to fill the CFO role, how to look for the best candidate, and what to expect after making a hiring decision are complicated topics that weigh heavy on many CEOs.

This comprehensive guide to hiring a CFO aims to answer the most common questions we hear when working with new recruiting and executive search clients to find a fractional, interim, or full-time CFO.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Staffing Leadership

ASP Contingent Recruiting Services vs the A.I. Goliath

Recently, CFO Selections division, ASP announced they are now offering contingent recruiting services in addition to their bookkeeping and accounting services. The new ASP recruiting services team is led by Quinn Finnigan. Quinn’s experience includes Deloitte, Seattle Seahawks, and Amazon. In 2015 Quinn made a transition to recruiting and combines his accounting and recruiting experience to provide the type of services people and companies deserve.

Topics: Recruiting News Search Services

The Convergence of Accounting and HR

Companies that understand how finance and HR overlap and foster a relationship between the two are better poised for long-term growth than their less informed counterparts. The reason behind this is simple – knowing when and how to leverage your CFO to assist with hiring and employee retention can improve profit margins, encouraging sustainable long-term growth. Additionally, encouraging collaboration between these two vital areas of the business improves workplace culture across the entire organization.

Topics: Recruiting Finance Accounting Trends Hiring Planning HR Leadership Budgeting Forecasting Strategy

What are the Benefits of Business Process Outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) allows CEOs to focus on the job of running the entire business instead of getting bogged down with the management of individual departments and teams.

Effective outsourcing allows both large and small companies alike to lean on senior skillsets outside of the company to provide accurate information, offer impartial feedback, and inform strategic decision making.

In fact, according to a recent Intuit study, 65% of business owners surveyed said they would be “better positioned for long-term growth if they could take a step back and look at the bigger picture.” These business owners also reported that they were involved in areas of the company such as sales, marketing, customer service, human resources, and accounting, instead of outsourcing them. It is no coincidence that these activities were taking away from their ability to focus on their core business functions. When they were asked what they should be spending their time on instead, their top answers included developing business strategy, making an impact on customers directly, and innovating product/service offerings.

Business process outsourcing allows business owners and CEOs to utilize highly experienced professionals without needing to hire internally, both managing costs and improving business agility. Furthermore, outsourcing allows business leaders to reduce stress, lessening the likelihood of executive burnout.

Topics: Recruiting Trends Planning Cash Flow Leadership Growth Budgeting Strategy

Options for Hiring a CFO

When your business gets to the point where it needs to hire a CFO, what are your options?

  • Full-time In-house
  • Interim Outsourced, virtual or in-house
  • Fractional Outsourced, virtual or in-house

These days a lot of organizations are looking to hire virtually, which makes “hiring a virtual CFO” a hot topic. Amidst all the remote work buzz it is easy to lose your focus and forget what you were trying to accomplish in the first place by outsourcing the role.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Staffing Leadership Growth Interim CFO Transition