What are the Advantages/Benefits of an Interim CFO/Controller?

In today’s economic business climate, it is critical that your company is established and built on a solid financial foundation. From timely and accurate accounting information, to obtaining the financing needed in order to grow, you need an experienced financial manager who has the expertise in a wide range of financial and accounting services, and who is dedicated to leading measures vital to your success.

The benefits of such a service can be as simple as process improvements or quality and timeliness of financial information, or as complex as navigating a company liquidation, merger or restructuring. Perhaps it is the need to build an accounting or finance department from the ground up, or simply instituting policies and procedures. Whatever the case, having a professional who has your best interest in mind, and can fill in the gaps with the time commitment you need to get your business on the right path to future growth and success can be the single best decision you make.

But there is a significant difference between an Accountant or Bookkeeper, and a professional who has hands-on experience as a certified CPA sitting in the CFO or Controller chair. Normally an Accountant or Bookkeeper is charged with maintaining the books; general ledgers, reconciliations, payables, receivables, and payroll. A CFO/Controller is typically involved in much higher level operations: capital sourcing, financial statement preparation and analysis, forecasting, budgeting, risk management, audit coordination and financial controls. As your company grows, so does the need for these endeavors. It may not simply be enough to let the Bookkeeper grow into this enhanced role. A lack of proper direction can be the difference between swimming freely, or sinking altogether.

And beyond the companies who are in a period of growth, established companies have increasing needs as well. Proper direction of accounting/finance personnel, direction during all facets of an audit (which become more complicated when a public company needs to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley), corporate governance, or accounting systems conversion can all be reasons an interim CFO or Controller working on a short-term or project basis makes sense.