Outsourced CFO: outsourcing solutions for your administrative and financial director

The Administrative and Financial Director, more commonly known as the CFO, occupies a strategic management position in a large company. He or she is responsible for a number of tasks, which we will describe in detail below. In short, he or she defines and supervises the company's administrative and financial management. An SME may also need the services of a CFO, but hiring a highly-qualified person with a minimum of 5 years' higher education and solid experience in financial management is often financially impossible. There is a solution: outsourcing the CFO! Here's an overview.

What is the role of a CFO?

The CFO is in close contact with the company's senior management.

Its main functions are as follows:

    - Budget preparation and monitoring
- Supervision of accounting to ensure compliance with accounting and tax regulations
- Cash management
- Optimization of tax policy
- Profitability analysis
- Implementation of major financial operations
- Decision support for projects requiring major investments
- Risk assessment
- Financial control...

Depending on the size and activity of the company, the CFO's role will vary slightly. He or she may be responsible for payroll, human resources, relations with third parties (shareholders, banks, etc.), producing financial studies, IPOs, etc.

What is an outsourced CFO?

Like an interim manager, an outsourced CFO is an expert who works temporarily within a company. He or she is a kind of high-level temporary worker, but with a double role: advisor and decision-maker.

The outsourced CFO will play the same role as an internal department head, but on an ad hoc basis. He or she will have equivalent powers for the duration of the assignment. After analyzing the company's financial situation, he or she will be able to propose the most appropriate strategy to management. He or she will then take the necessary decisions to implement this strategy and ensure that it is followed.

In this way, they contribute to the smooth running and development of the company to which they bring their expertise. It's a win-win situation for the SME, which benefits from skills it doesn't always have in-house.

Why outsource an administrative and financial manager?

Most small and medium-sized businesses need tooptimize their financial management at some point. Even if this is not a full-time activity, in some cases it is vital to have the advice of a specialist and tobe supported (increase in headcount, sales, merger/acquisition, fund raising, financial crisis, etc.).

The advantages of this type of outsourcing are numerous:

    - In-depth financial audit
- Fresh look at company organization
- Reduced costs: no need to hire on fixed-term or permanent contracts
- Budget control: each assignment is invoiced on a per-service, hourly or fixed-price basis
- More time for other duties
- Flexibility: the CFO adapts to individual availability
- Resolution of a specific problem
- Implementation of long-term management tools

How do you outsource your CFO?

First of all, a needs assessment is essential to guarantee a return on investment. A chartered accountant is often able to solve certain problems, and it may be that, with the right training, an in-house member of staff is capable of handling a particular task. In this case, the external CFO's intervention will be less time-consuming, and he or she will be able to focus on a more complex subject.

Secondly, a relatively substantial budget is required. Even if several factors come into play (the company's geographical location, the CFO's seniority, the importance and urgency of the need, the specialization required...), the services of an expert in the field of finance are expensive.

Choosing the right CFO deserves careful consideration. You need to find the person who has the technical knowledge the company needs in a particular situation.

The qualities required of external CFOs are not limited to accounting, finance or management skills. They must also have good interpersonal skills, so that they can integrate easily. They may only be with the company for a short time, or on a part-time basis, but they need to be accepted as leaders immediately. This ability to convince and lead a team is essential in this profession.

These men and women in the field are trained to adapt to different environments. Their long and varied experience in the world of work makes them invaluable companions.

Where to find your CFO?

There are firms specializing in the administrative and financial management of companies. They are responsible for providing managers with the most suitable person to carry out the assignment. This is a practical, no-obligation solution for the company, which calls on the firm only when it feels the need. The consultant's profile corresponds as closely as possible to the company's needs.

It's also possible to find the rare pearl on matchmaking platforms. On these sites, a large number of independent professionals offer their services.

Last but not least, word-of-mouth can be used to contact CFOs who have already worked successfully for other companies.