7 Essential Questions to Ask a Fractional CFO Before you Hire Them
A fractional CFO is considered a strategic hire—one that will help “move the needle” in your company. When hiring this expert, it’s important for organizations to do their due diligence to ensure their fractional CFO has the experience, knowledge, and expertise to perform well in your organization.
1 – What Type of Industries do you Specialize in?
It can be helpful to find a fractional CFO who has experience in your industry or in a comparable industry. This can help your CFO have better benchmarks and market data, competitive analysis, and contacts within the industry. It also ensures they have a good feel for how things work in your industry, including workflows, laws and regulations, and relationships.
2 – What is your Prior Project Experience?
It’s important to know that a fractional CFO’s experience lines up with the type of challenges or initiatives your company is undertaking. Make sure you have a clear feel for the type of projects your fractional CFO has completed in the past, and don’t be afraid to ask for references.
3 – Are your Fractional CFO Services a Side-Hustle or your Primary Method of Income?
You want to make sure your fractional CFO has the time and attention to dedicate to your company. If being a fractional CFO is a side-gig in conjunction with a full-time career, you may not get the time and attention you’re hoping for in a CFO. However, a fractional CFO who intentionally makes providing fractional CFO services their primary form of income is most likely better equipped to provide your company the time and attention you require.
4 – What are my Options if I Have Questions or Concerns About my Services?
While it’s unlikely you’ll be dissatisfied with your fractional CFO services, on occasion you may have questions about the work your receiving or have a specific concern you’d like to address. It’s important to know who you can go to and what the plan of action will be if this is ever the case.
Fractional CFO services are important and often time-sensitive, so you want to feel confident that you’ll never be given the run-around. At Preferred CFO, for instance, our clients are given the personal cell phone number of our CEO and managing partner, Jerry Vance, and can call at any time with any concerns or questions.
5 – Who, Exactly, Will be Performing the Work on my Project?
Most fractional CFO organizations will be thorough in letting you meet and vet the CFO who will lead your case, as well as any controllers or bookkeepers who will assist. Make sure you have a good feel for whether the CFO is simply overseeing work that will be done primarily by the controller or bookkeeper, or whether your fractional CFO will provide the majority of the services for your needs.
6 – What Deliverables can I Expect on this Project?
It’s imperative that you stay in-the-know with the efforts and initiatives produced by your CFO. Before you sign the contract, make sure you have a clear picture of the timeline of events and the specific deliverables to expect from your fractional CFO.
7 – Do you Have References and Case Studies?
Be wary of any fractional CFO organization that is hesitant to hand out contact information or who doesn’t have a track record. A trustworthy expert fractional CFO will have a number of clients who are happy and willing to vouch for their services. It can also be helpful to ask for references in your particular industry or with your specific fractional CFO. It can also be useful to see or discuss case studies relevant to your project to get a feel for how your fractional CFO has approached similar situations in the past.
What Services Does a Fractional CFO Provide?
Fractional CFO services, like most executive services, vary based on a company’s industry, stage of growth, and goals. While the services themselves will be specifically tuned to your company’s particular needs, one thing they all have in common is that a fractional CFO’s main goal is to maximize your profitability and growth potential, to optimize operations, and to create and implement a detailed game plan for accelerated and sustainable growth (or to move you toward a transaction or exit).
Below are some of our most common fractional CFO services:
- Expert Financial Strategy
- Short- & Long-Term Forecasting
- Raising Capital
- Systems Strategy & Design
- Expanding Products, Services, or Geographies
- Optimizing Cash Flow
- Maximizing Margins
- Interim CFO Services
- Accelerating Sustainable Growth
- Mergers & Aquisitions
- Preparing for an Exit
How Can We Help?
Preferred CFO is an elite team of some of the most experienced fractional CFOs and controllers in the United States. At Preferred CFO, high-level strategic financial strategy is our life. If you’re looking for a simple accountant or part-time bookkeeper, we can certainly point you to some of our contacts. But if you are looking for a powerhouse team of CFOs who can make a big impact in your growth and profitability, then you’re in the right place.
Learn more about our fractional CFO team under the About Us tab in our menu, or contact us directly to speak with one of our CFOs. We don’t have salespeople on our staff, because we know as an entrepreneur you don’t want to be pitched or given the runaround with people who don’t actually have experience in finance. Contact us today to speak with an expert about your business and to see if Preferred CFO is the right fit for you.
About the Author
Founder & Managing Partner
Jerry Vance is the founder and managing partner of Preferred CFO. With over 15 years of experience providing CFO consulting services to over 300 organizations, and 28 years in the financial industry, Jerry is one of the most experienced outsourced CFOs in the United States.
You may also be interested in…
Companies more than ever are adopting “lean” mindsets with the goal of lowering operational and labor costs while maximizing expertise. The outsourcing model allows companies to hire talent for only the hours needed to fill a particular role or achieve a goal. This...read more
How to Hire a Senior Part-Time CFO If your company is looking to elevate your strategy, solve a problem, overcome a challenge, or prepare for a transaction such as raising capital or preparing for an exit, you may be interested in hiring a senior part-time CFO. Senior...read more
One Big Budgeting Mistake You’re Probably MakingA budget-first mindset not only wastes time and resources but also often results in an unrealistic and/or inaccurate budget. It’s a time-old Q4 tradition—lengthy planning cycles consisting of sitting down to tap out a...read more
At Preferred CFO, our tagline is “The Confidence of Knowing.” This stems from our philosophy that the more information an entrepreneur has about his or her business (past, present, and future), the better they can make business decisions that optimize their resources...read more
The impressiveness of the Add-On Model is made clear every time we run out of lives on Candy Crush Saga. Would we like to add more lives for 99 cents? In a weak moment, or (more likely) a repeated series of weak moments, the answer is yes; we want more...read more
Prior to the 1960’s, economists like Peter Drucker thought strategy was largely about competition on price. Since then, a whole new set of ideas have been presented and studied, including Porter’s Five Forces, among others. These new concepts introduced...read more
Why is an intelligent compensation strategy so important? While it seems like a no-brainer that an intelligent compensation strategy is important, many companies don’t know exactly how much of an impact the right (or wrong) compensation strategy can have...read more
When looking for a fractional CFO, many companies choose to go with a fractional CFO organization as opposed to seeking a freelance fractional CFO. This is because hiring a fractional CFO through a fractional CFO organization is a simpler process and can often come...read more
A fractional CFO is an experienced CFO who provides services for organizations in a part-time, retainer, or contract arrangement. This offers a company the experience and expertise of a high-end CFO without the in-house cost—salary, benefits, and bonuses—of a...read more