Is a Fractional CFO a Bargain or a Bad Idea?

By Rich Bond

It seems more and more business owners are hiring Fractional CFOs. Maybe that’s because it’s so hard to find and hire good people. Or maybe it’s because companies are trying to save money any way they can.

Fractional CFOs are usually older, more experienced executives who are now offering to work part-time or on a contract basis. “Wow, what a bargain!” you may think. “I can get all this experience for a fraction of the cost!” But will they really save you money in the long run? Will a part-timer, who may not be able to find a fulltime job, actually have the ability to become a strategic asset on your management team? To me, it’s a fad, with the companies almost acting like lemmings – going with the flow without thinking through the full ramifications.

  1. Unlike a fulltime CFO, there’s less chance a fractional CFO can really get to know and understand what the company does and how the operations work.
  2. When the part-timer is present at the company may not be when you need them most.
  3. They have no skin in the game, as they are not there to grow with you and the business.
  4. A good finance person at any level adds value over time. Through direct experience, they will learn enough about the company to be able to point out how management can increase profits and grow faster.

What is your opinion? I’d love to hear it. Email me at: richard.bond@bondandcompany.com.

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