Part time finance director – could be just what you need
A part time FD is an excellent idea for a company simply because for most companies there is no such thing as a full-time finance director.
Two reasons we don’t see it happen very often are that MDs may not recognise the value that a part-time finance director can bring. And, if they do, finding a good one is more difficult than it should be.
We explore the role and responsibilities of the part-time FD and how we can help you if you need one.
What are the part time finance director’s responsibilities?
When we launched our part-time Finance Director service we had to ask what a company would need from the role.
There are three main areas of responsibility:
1. Financial performance measurement
- Management accounts and key performance indicators
- Forecasting and budgeting
- Business planning
2. Day-to-day financial control
- credit control
- cashflow management
- bookkeeping, payroll, VAT
- financial and business systems
3. Relationships with third parties
- accountants and tax advisors
Exit planning, acquisitions and raising finance will also come under the FD’s remit as will ad hoc project management.
What does the part time FD role look like?
The key objective is to get all the routine financial processes and management reporting to work on “automatic pilot”.
Once this is happening the business should be scalable over a large range of growth. Financial processes and reporting are able to support growth without needing to be redesigned every five minutes.
Whilst ensuring the routine work is happening properly, the part-time FD can also undertake other tasks that the business prioritises and tick them off when they’re achieved.
As each objective is met the MD, and many others in the company, should notice that there are fewer things to worry about. Fewer obstacles to sustainable growth.
Less is more for the part time FD
In many ways the ideal progression is for the part-time finance director to make most of the job redundant by training other people to do it and by ensuring that things which are fixed stay fixed.
Over time the FD builds up a vast working knowledge of the business and becomes a very valuable sounding board for important decisions and it’s in this capacity that most value is added going forward.
For example, if the business wants to make an acquisition or expand into a new country or one of its major suppliers collapses, the part-time FD will be one of the first people called for advice.
Having a part-time finance director is a cost-effective and useful resource for a lot of companies and the role will be as varied as the company’s own evolution and development.
Finding the right person and agreeing the scope of the role are perhaps the most difficult challenges for MDs looking for help in this field. After all, most people have never recruited an FD before!
If you are looking for a part-time finance director for your business we would be very happy to help you.
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