What Is a Fractional CFO?

A fractional CFO is an executive-level employee who operates as a business’ financial expert. Their financial expertise may involve offering relevant advice to the other executive team members and outlining high-level plans and roadmaps to achieve financial success.

Since the CFO is “fractional,” they offer their financial expertise part-time or as needed. Most fractional CFOs have at least several years of experience working as financial advisors/executives for other companies.

A fractional CFO is also referred to as a:

  • Part-time CFO
  • Remote CFO
  • Interim CFO
  • Outsourced CFO

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What Does a Fractional CFO Do?

Fractional CFOs are primarily concerned with two things: 

  • Outlining the company’s financial plan, and
  • Helping that plan become a reality

They may accomplish these goals by a variety of means, such as:

  • Communicating with connections who may want to invest and provide capital (applicable for startup ventures)
  • Planning for a company’s financial future
  • Overseeing the accounting department of a business
  • Performing strategic analyses of companies’ financial well-being
  • Working with internal accountants and controllers to create and review financial reports
  • Offering relevant advice

How Are Fractional CFOs Different from Full-Time CFOs?

Full-time CFOs and fractional CFOs both complete similar tasks. However, since fractional CFOs work on an as-needed basis, they do not typically receive the same salary and benefits package as their full-time counterparts.

When Should You Use a Fractional CFO?

Fractional CFOs are ideal for: 

  • Businesses that can’t afford a full-time CFO but need help with a particular situation, such as a financial audit or an acquisition
  • Startups and other companies that need help defining financial missions
  • Companies that need help balancing the financials of a specific project
  • Organizations seeking a new full-time CFO but looking for financial support in the interim

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