The answers you need before hiring an interim CFO

Business Meeting

Business Meeting (Photo credit: thetaxhaven)

If you’ve thought about using virtual CFO services, I recommend doing due diligence on your candidate and asking the following questions. The qualified interim CFO you choose should be able to respond positively to 90% of the qualifications listed below.

  • Does the virtual CFO have hands-on experience in working with a company of your size and is he or she accustomed to the type of company culture you provide?
  • Does the virtual CFO have experience in your specific industry? If not, does he or she have the breadth and equivalence of experience necessary to serve your company?
  • Does the virtual CFO have experience in defining and implementing key productivity and financial indicators, and the requisite skills to track the indicators to keep the CEO informed?
  • Does the virtual CFO have experience in delivering clean, lean Executive Summary financial information, with commentary regarding tracking and trends, so that the CEO can easily understand where his company stands and what the numbers mean to make informed decisions?
  • Is the virtual CFO candidate willing to discuss the two or three most challenging situations he or she has worked on and how those challenges were resolved on behalf of their clients?
  • Does the virtual CFO have experience in working with bankers, lawyers, outside accountants and other professional service providers on behalf of the company he serves? If so, what did that experience entail – i.e. experience in mergers and acquisitions?
  • Has the interim CFO worked side-by-side in the trenches with CEOs and done the job he was needed to do? Does he have proof of the CEO’s satisfaction through a series of outstanding references given across time and industry?
  • Does your interim CFO feel that timely and accurate record keeping is equally as important as forward-looking financial strategies and planning – or does he or she give more emphasis to one over the other? The answer should indicate balance, and not weighting one over the other.
  • Does the interim CFO have experience in resolving bottlenecks in company productivity and financial management issues?
  • Will the interim CFO candidate readily discuss your situation before coming on-board so you have a clear understanding that he or she has a clear understanding of your challenges?
  • Does the interim CFO have repeat clients and long-term professional relationships?

These are some of the main qualifications you should look for when hiring virtual CFO services.