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What We Look for When Hiring CFOs

Author: Larry Chester, President

Hear from Larry Chester, President of CFO Simplified, as he provides insight into the hiring process at CFO Simplified.

What Makes CFO Simplified Different? 

We’ve found that many companies still rely on their Rolodexes full of CFOs who are out of work or looking for opportunities to keep themselves busy— this is where CFO Simplified is different.

When Larry Chester, President of CFO Simplified, is looking to hire a CFO, the traditional viewpoint of seeking out a hire who has years of loyalty working with the same company is put on the backburner. (Although this is still an admirable trait to be considered, it’s not a top priority).

“What I’m looking for is a CFO who has worked for five different companies in the past 10 years in four different industries,” says Chester.

Although the frequent change of industry experience listed above is typically seen as a “red flag” when hiring an employee, finding someone with a diverse background is key for Larry Chester and CFO Simplified.

“It’s the best of every world,” says Chester in the video above. 

Since the CFOs who are part of CFO Simplified have worked in multiple industries, they understand what it takes to succeed in all situations.  Each industry can provide new, innovative insight to another. With those insights, they can then apply “out-of-the-box” solutions to your unique business. 

We know it might sound crazy to hire someone who may not have years of experience in your industry, but in order to grow and expand your business, it can be essential. Learn more about why you may not need to hire a CFO with experience in your industry on the CFO Simplified blog.

What Do We Look For in Our CFOs?

When looking to hire a CFO, it’s important to identify how they would fit into our CFO Simplified operations. We live by four different categories that explain our fractional CFO services:

  • Focus
  • Experience
  • Results
  • Approach

Below is a bit more on each.

Focus

Focus is crucial for any new hire to fully understand the business they’re getting into.

As fractional CFOs, their role is to see your business from a fresh point of view, highlighting how your business operates. Our CFO services provide the experience and creativity needed to help you do things easier, faster, and more efficiently. 

Part of our hiring process is seeing if a CFO can focus to use this knowledge of a business to help improve the bottom line.

Experience

As mentioned above, when looking to hire a CFO, having a broad range of experience is a great sign of success with CFO Simplified.

This is because, with a combined effort, our CFOs’ broad experience in a wide range of industries means that we are prepared to help any business reach its next performance peak. Our CFOs bring a breadth of experience which allows us to gather the right tools and resources to help your business grow. 

Results

Our ultimate goal is to create results for your business.

This is exactly why we hire results-oriented CFOs who have tangible experience creating success for other businesses.

Some of the key areas that we focus on when assessing a CFO’s eligibility include being able to achieve: 

  • Cash flow improvement
  • Improved profit margins
  • A stronger balance sheet
  • A better understanding of company operations. 

Some other skills required for a CFO working at CFO Simplified include but are not limited to the ability to: 

  • Evaluate a company’s past financial performance
  • Deep dive into a client’s present financial performance
  • Conduct strategic planning
  • Safeguard and improve a company’s cash position
  • Address operational structure and difficulties
  • Create initiatives to implement increased productivity for your team

Approach

Lastly, we look into the approach a CFO takes when analyzing a new company’s financials.

At CFO Simplified, we are an analytical team, and therefore, the numbers will tell our CFOs the story of your company.

When looking to hire a new member of the team, we want to make sure they are able to not only see the right numbers for a business but also understand what those numbers say about how your business operates, and additionally, how to implement changes that improve a client’s bottom line.

Final Thoughts

The process of hiring a CFO is a task that CFO Simplified takes seriously. We look for a CFO’s ability to see a company as the big picture as one of the most important foundations for a new hire. That being said, a CFO’s ability to identify the individual issues that are keeping the business from achieving the success it should, and then implement a plan to get them there is another foundational skill set we focus on in the hiring process. 

Are you looking to hire a fractional CFO and don’t know where to start? One game-changing factor while looking for a fractional CFO that fits your needs is knowing what questions to ask.

Read our blog “Questions to ask & responses to listen for when hiring a fractional CFO” for guidance.

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