The need for a senior finance professional actually arises well before it can be justified as a full time position...and many businesses leave it too late.
The risk of failure reduces significantly with sound financial management. You are also much more likely to be successful and survive these statistics if you have a highly experienced CFO supporting you - and at an earlier stage.
Getting the highest level of financial management advice will help lead to increased sales, profit and cash. The business will be more sustainable and have a higher capital valuation. You will also benefit from having greater peace of mind and fewer sleepless nights.
Even after it has become a full time fiinance position, the demands of any growth business can quickly outstretch the capabilities of that person. A Non-executive CFO provides business owners with the opportunity to have the support of a seasoned senior CFO on a part-time basis and someone who can oversee that full time role. A NonExecCFO has all the financial and business experience needed to meet the ever increasing demands of any growing business, both now as well as into the future.
This is to partly to show it is not a full-time role (somewhere between 1 and 4 days a month) and the CFO will operate outside of the business’s day-to-day management structure as much as possible. For example, the CFO will want to build a solid finance function which is an integral part of your business and one which you can manage day-to-day without you needing them to be there every day. All these things will allow the CFO to give better impartial advice, the ability to constructively challenge others, and become your “Trusted Advisor”. However, none of this means they will not roll their sleeves up and fix things when they need to, particularly in the early days of an assignment.
Why CFO and not FD?
A CFO will be able to add much more value and in all areas of the business, not just finance. A CFO will be able to speak to you in language you understand and be able to operate at both a strategic and a tactical level. For all these reasons, a CFO will increaser you credibility with investors, banks, customers and suppliers.