The absence of a CFO or company controller can be turbulent, to say the least. The sudden leave of a financial executive due to overwork or medical leave, or even in the case of a planned absence such as maternity leave, can upsend operations and shake investor and employee confidence if not handled correctly.

Common issues that arise due to the mismanagement of CFO leave include:

  • Loss of investor confidence and divesting their investment

  • The derailment of short and long-term financial plans and goals

  • Elongation or disruption of the M&A or IPO process

  • Employee confusion and potential for high turnover

Finding a suitable interim CFO or controller candidate as swiftly as possible is key to maintaining your financial trajectory and growth.

While many organizations will look internally to fill the interim financial executive role, it is often the case that the person chosen will not have the same level of strategic insight or financial skills to fill those shoes.

Consider Yelp, the user reviews and recommendations site that has struggled in its competition with juggernauts such as Google. This past February they brought in interim CFO David Schwarzbach to replace ANOTHER interim CFO, James Miln, who only held the job for 7-months after failing to properly develop a monetization strategy.

Rather than suffer the chance of instability and crises during the interim period, many firms look to financial services firms to hire an experienced interim CFO. These contractual executives approach your organization with a wealth of knowledge and experience, with the strategic insight to be able to quickly adapt to your current situation while also providing a valuable outside perspective on other strategic possibilities.

Many of these professionals also have specific expertise that your full-time CFO might not, such as carveouts, new system implementations, or guidance through M&A or restructuring.

Benefits of onboarding an interim CFO from a financial services firm

The typical Interim CFO from an outsourced financial services firm will have a wide range of real-world experience and a diverse skill set to bring to bear on your organization.

They maintain and augment strategic direction

While you may think of the interim CFO role simply as a vehicle to keep things running during your full-time CFO’s absence, an interim CFO can provide unique insight and proactively assess the financial state of your company, develop new strategies, and implement procedures and policies.

The interim professional will wear multiple hats, focusing in on the services that will provide the most benefit to your organization:

Financial Consulting and Services

  • Strategic consulting to management

  • Equity/debt fundraising

  • IPO preparation

  • Audit preparation

  • Internal controls

  • Capitalization table management

  • Technical accounting rules implementation

  • Multi-state registrations

Financial Communications

  • Business plans and investor presentations

  • Financial modeling/forecasts

  • Board presentations and packages

International Finance

  • Strategic planning

  • Subsidiary set-up and multi-national registrations

  • Ongoing management

  • Tax strategy

  • Foreign exchange management

  • Consolidations

They can manage corporate workouts and M&A

If your organization needs specialized assistance navigating troubled financial waters, or the complexities of both mergers and acquisitions, an interim CFO can help.

Corporate Workouts

  • Forensic accounting

  • Restructuring

  • Asset sale and liquidation

  • Fraud review and forensic accounting

  • Wind down

Mergers and Acquisitions Support

  • Due diligence

  • Deal management

They can provide venture capital or portfolio company management

Managing the finances of a fund requires confidence and extensive experience in multinational investment partnerships, and a deep understanding of the regulations and requirements that are unique to venture capital. When a VC needs an interim CFO, they need to look for a firm that has extensive work managing the legal, accounting and tax concepts required:

  • Maintaining portfolio valuation based on a number of moving parts

  • Projecting the value of illiquid, multi-year private company holdings

  • Tracking of limited partner ownership while managing ongoing capital calls

  • Allocating investments for limited partners who were onboarded at different times

  • Calculating and deducting management fees

  • Calculating profit share based on the value of holdings, exit proceeds, lock-ups, etc.

  • Managing the complex tax structure and preparation of tax records

  • Preparation of audits and quarterly/annual financial reporting

  • Regular and transparent communication to all stakeholders

San Francisco organizations look to GCG for their interim finance executive needs

Any search for an interim CFO or Controller should include multiple candidates – and we highly encourage you to consult with GCG as part of that process.

Our CFO leadership team has extensive knowledge of the financial considerations of several industries and has provided value to early-stage startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. Our consultants have the ability to accomplish your strategic objectives and also pioneer new ones.

Book your free consultation with our team today.