How a temporary CFO can help your company until you find a permanent replacement

If your CFO leaves your company, it may take you a while to find not just a replacement, but one who is the right fit for your company.

But what do you do in the meantime, when it can take months to find a new executive?

The answer is an interim CFO, says Steve Schmidt, CPA, an associate director in assurance services at SS&G.

“Any company that has a vacancy in the CFO position can benefit from an interim controller or CFO to assist them while they are searching to permanently fill that position,” says Schmidt.

Smart Business learned more from Schmidt about how employing a temporary CFO can help your company stay on track and in compliance until you are able to find the appropriate replacement executive.

How can a company determine if it needs to temporarily fill the CFO position as it conducts a search for a new executive?

Any company can benefit from having a CFO come in to help it in the short term. Often, the situation arises so quickly, sometimes overnight, and a company needs someone to fill that position while it performs the search.

It’s difficult to hire someone immediately to permanently fill a position that is so important for most companies. It takes time to get applications, narrow it down to qualified candidates, interview them and find the right person for the position at your company.

And unless there is someone at the company who is familiar with the reporting requirements of the job, who is able to meet those demands for the company — and who is willing to pull double duty — the company can benefit from having someone help it through the crunch. The CFO typically does all of the reporting, works with the accounting department and gets the information into the system so that the proper daily and monthly reports can be sent to the owners of the company, whether that be shareholders or a private equity firm.

Bringing a temporary CFO into your company will enable you to maintain the status quo until you are able to find a replacement. Otherwise, a lot of things may fall through the cracks.