6 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Outsourced CFO

So, you’ve decided your company needs someone to step in and be in charge of the finance department and provide some guidance. You want someone who will put in good work and get the results your company desires. However, you don’t see a need for this position to be a full time commitment. What do you do?

Welcome to the world of fractional CFOs, a.k.a. an individual who you hire to work part time for your company. In other words, you outsource it.

Why is this important? Well a fractional CFO is able to help your company’s finance department operate smoothly. Have we not told you multiple times how important it is to have the right numbers and sound financial data?

So how do you go about selecting this person? Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are our top six questions to ask when hiring a fractional CFO.

  1. Do you like numbers? Our first question may seem a little goofy, but it is a really important step in getting the right person for the job. Yes, it sounds cliché to ask a numbers person if they like numbers. But, if you end up hiring a CFO who really can’t stand working with numbers and is just in this position because he or she graduated with a finance degree, the chances of getting quality work that’s beneficial to your company from this individual will be very low.
  2. What is the key to a successful budget? This question is beneficial because it gives the candidate an opportunity to really showcase his or her knowledge of the industry, as well as showcase his or her way of thinking. This can also help uncover creativity and skills that the candidate may possess.
  3. Where do you get your financial news and knowledge? Find out where the candidate gets his or her financial news. This question might seem a bit personal and way out in left field, but it can actually lead to some very good insight into the candidate’s interest and seriousness about finance. You want to hear answers such as Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. Hearing just a general news source or website may indicate that they aren’t as in depth in the finance world as a CFO should be.
  4. What areas of financial and/or operation management are you most and least comfortable with? This simple question allows for you to compare your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in the financial area with your company’s goals.
  5. What challenges and issues will you look for? How will you solve those issues? Get your interviewee to really think, and ask them what challenges they are looking for and expect in the fractional CFO position. This question will provide you with insight in to what your candidate enjoys putting his or her mind to, and how much time, effort, and dedication they are willing to give in order to meet and exceed the needs of the challenge.
  6. What five words would you use to describe yourself? It’s an oldie, but a goodie. This question will teach you a lot about your candidate. It helps show which characteristics they value most, and can help you determine if those traits fit well with the culture of your company.

Others you may want to ask include:

  • What do you consider to be your top accomplishments?
  • How do you use communication skills to work with multiple parties?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you feel sets you apart from the competition?

These six questions, along with a few other topics, will be a great starting point to help the interview go smoothly, and ultimately, for you to find a great fit for your company.






One comment on “6 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Outsourced CFO

  1. […] functions all the way to the CFO level. Not sure how to find the right advisor to help? Here are six questions you can start […]


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