Top 9 Advantages of a Part-Time FD/CFO
The quicker you want your company to achieve its goals, the sooner you should consider hiring a part-time FD or CFO.
That’s because a part-time FD or CFO will provide your company with the high-level financial expertise necessary to scale up (things you and your team may not even be aware you need), for a fraction of the cost of a full-time FD/CFO.
A lack of cash can not only stall your company’s growth but also place its very existence under threat.
It doesn’t matter how profitable the business may be; cash flow problems can place it under severe pressure, according to the FD Centre’s Chairman Colin Mills in his book ‘Scaling Up How to Take Your Business to the Next Level Without Losing Control and Running Out of Cash’.
“You might think you’re immune from danger because your business is experiencing a high level of growth,
If you consider what sets companies like eBay, Alibaba, Netflix, Google, Starbucks, Apple, Cisco and Dell apart from other companies, their ability to continuously innovate and create high growth will probably come high on your list.
So should the fact they’ve all successfully transitioned from start up to scale up status without losing their ability to be dynamic and entrepreneurial.
Then there’s the fact they’ve helped create thousands of full-time and part-time jobs throughout the world.
Leaving lucrative and secure C-suite positions mid-career to build a part-time portfolio might seem crazy but many of those who’ve done it say it is one of the sanest decisions they’ve made.
Take Michael Citroen, who at 58 years old is a 14-year veteran of the part-time portfolio job world. The former Group Finance Director (FD) relishes the challenge and excitement of working with half a dozen SMEs in his role as a part-time FD.
What do Sir James Dyson, the Mercedes F1 team, Pixar, Google and the airline industry have in common?
They’re hugely successful, yes, but the thing that links them is they never shy away from the ‘F’ word—Failure. Instead, they face and learn from their mistakes, errors and mishaps. So says Matthew Syed, award-winning Times journalist and best-selling author of ‘Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance’ (John Murray).
The idea of hiring even a part-time FD may seem to some SMEs a bit OTT—like paying Quentin Tarantino to make a 90-second home page video or booking Wembley Stadium for the company’s five-a-side friendly football match.
But for companies whose ambition is to get into and survive the coveted scale-up phase, hiring a part-time FD makes perfect sense. They know that they’re getting a finance veteran, someone with big business experience, who can provide the guidance they need to grow rapidly and help them to avoid the costly mistakes that so many ambitious SMEs make as they attempt to move into the Big League.
You might think a Finance Director’s role is confined to traditional finance activities, but today’s FD’s (or CFO’s) can add invaluable strategic direction to your business.
In the past, an FD’s responsibilities might have been confined to high-level accounting such as providing timely financial statements and monthly management reports, managing investments and expenses, monitoring cash flow, and managing risk. But as the business landscape has become more complex over the past decade, the role of an FD has changed.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already transforming the way in which financial services companies are doing business.
More and more of them are using AI to process information on their customers, cut costs, save time, monitor behaviour patterns, assess credit quality, automate client interactions, analyse markets, assess data quality and detect fraud.
A pwc Digital IQ 2017 survey found that 72% of business decision makers believe AI will be the business advantage of the future. About 52% said they’re currently making “substantial investments” in AI,
You shouldn’t be surprised to discover that Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Hugh Jackman, Gary Oldman among many other Oscar-winning actors and actresses bear a grudge against Finance Directors.
It’s easy to understand why. For although the likes of Streep and Oldman have achieved fame, fortune and critical acclaim, they can usually only inhabit one role at a time. They take it on for a few months and then move on to the next.