Is it time to hire a CFO?
You have started your business and its been a struggle, but you have managed to succeed and grow the
company. You have resisted adding overhead. You are great at running the company but don’t have the time,
desire or expertise to manage the administration of your growing company. It’s time to hire a CFO or
You are hesitant to take a leap like this since a person like this is very expensive, but you see no other
alternative. What are your options?
You likely already have a bookkeeper or maybe two or three, they do a great job; but you realize you need a
higher caliber of person you need to take your business to the next level. A qualified Controller of CFO will cost
$75K -$100K per year.
I have worked as a Controller and CFO for several businesses ranging in size from $5 Million to $20 Million in
annual sales. Even in the largest company I only spend 10 to 20 hours per week on my finance and accounting
related tasks. The rest of the time was spent dealing with HR issues for the admin staff, marketing or
The problem is that most “accountants” are not best suited for operations, marketing or HR. But business
owners want to get the most value possible from this highly paid employee. You should consider hiring a part
time or contract CFO. This person will come to your office anywhere from several hours a week to a few hours
a month depending your needs.
Hire an Office Manager to manage your administrative staff, this is a far better use of you money costing $15
per hour and you will likely get better results. Let your marketing and operations people manage that
department, that’s what you hired them for.
When you ask a CFO or Controller to do these jobs you are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It makes
perfect sense to utilize this person to the fullest extent possible because of their high cost, but why not just hire
a CFO when you need one? A CFO’s expertise is best used in finance, so when you have them perform other
tasks you are tying up resource that could be better used elsewhere and you are not utilizing that person’s
talent most effectively.
If your business has grown to the level that requires a financial manager consider hiring someone with financial
management experience to manage that and let your other staff do what they do best. Rather than hire a CFO
or Controller consider a Contract Person to do what needs to be done.
Mark S Fackrell
Strategic Business Services