Straight Answers

Beware Buyer’s Remorse

Beware Buyer’s Remorse

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I run a trade association and we’ve recently had to go to the market to recruit a Director of Finance to look after all of our finance and administration functions of the association. I don’t have a finance background so I’m basically taking the advice of the outgoing incumbent (she’s retiring), in regards to the financial qualifications of the people we’re interviewing.

I’ve seen four people so far and out of that lot, there’s one person that I think might be an okay candidate for the job.…

10 Job Hunting Basics for CFOs

10 Job Hunting Basics for CFOs

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m a CPA CA with twenty years’ experience in food manufacturing. I’ve spent  the last ten years as VP Finance and CFO of a frozen food processor in Mississauga. My company was acquired six months ago by a private equity firm and so I decided back then that I should start looking at the market.

I’ve contacted some recruiters and I’ve sent my resume in on a few different CFO and VP Finance jobs that I saw advertised on Indeed Jobs and LinkedIn but I haven’t gotten any traction out of my  job hunting efforts yet.…

Rolling the Dice on a CFO Hire

Rolling the Dice on a CFO Hire

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the CEO of a family owned, $50mm electrical contractor in Scarborough. Our CFO decided to move on unexpectedly and we’ve been conducting a search to replace him over the past two months. I’ve tapped into my network and have seen a number of potential candidates, some of which were okay and some of which were obviously not suitable for the job. I haven’t felt strongly enough about any of them to pull the trigger.…

Show Me the Money

Show Me the Money

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the CFO of a $300mm retail chain. I’ve been interviewing someone to fill a Director, Financial Planning & Forecasting position we’ve got open and we’re just about at the offer stage. The person I’m considering hiring is currently earning $150,000 (plus bonus) which is right at the top of our salary scale for positions at the Director level.

The candidate has indicated that they’re very interested in the position but they’ve also indicated that they’d like a salary of at least $165,000 to make the move.…

The Postman Always Rings Twice (a day)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (a day)

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I have a general question about placement agencies. I’m the VP Finance of a $200mm food products manufacturing company and as you might imagine, I get calls repeatedly and consistently from various and sundry placement agencies looking for business. I don’t have a lot of turnover but on the rare occasion I do have an opening I have given a couple of these placement agencies a shot at filling the job. And I have to say the results I’ve seen from these placement agencies is all over the map.…

Important Management Tip: Millennials Like to Eat Too

Important Management Tip: Millennials Like to Eat Too

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’ve just taken over as VP Finance of a Mississauga based, TSX listed, software developer. Generally speaking, I like the staff that I’ve inherited; they’re young, energetic, smart as can be and generally fun to work with. My issue is that at 5:30pm around here, you could shoot a cannon anywhere in the finance & accounting department and not hit anyone.

I talked to my controller about this and she basically said: “Welcome to the wonderful world of software.” According to my controller, the high tech industry and especially software development companies, are overwhelmingly populated by millennials.…

The Truth About Online Job Applications

The Truth About Online Job Applications

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I was most recently CFO of a mid-sized food manufacturer in Mississauga. Due to a change in corporate ownership I’ve been on the street for the last six months or so. I haven’t actually kept track but I’d estimate that I’ve responded to more than two dozen CFO and VP Finance open positions posted on LinkedIn, Indeed Jobs and the rest.

I like to think that I’ve had a pretty marketable background but I haven’t even had a nibble from all the positions I’ve applied to.…

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I just left my position as CFO of a $70mm owner-managed environmental reclamation company. We haven’t been doing very well lately and the owner has been asking me to take our accounting and financial reporting in a direction that I’m just not comfortable with. There may be fifty shades of grey in accounting, but what he’s asking for is definitely on the dark grey end of the spectrum.

It finally came to a head last month and my boss basically gave me an ultimatum to comply with his directives or leave.…

Hobson’s Choice

Hobson’s Choice

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m an experienced financial executive, with over twenty years’ of industry experience since getting my CA designation. My last position was CFO of a $100mm logistics company which was sold a year ago to a strategic buyer in the U.S. I stayed on for a while to help with the transition but my position was eliminated and I’ve been on the job market for the past six months.

I recently interviewed for a position as VP Finance of a logistics / transportation firm and I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at this one.…

Sometimes You’re Hot, Sometimes You’re Not

Sometimes You’re Hot, Sometimes You’re Not

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the VP Finance of a $25mm printing and digital media company. I’ve been with this company for just over six years and some time ago, I decided it was time to start to look at the market. When I made the decision to make a move I reached out to all the headhunters I’ve dealt with over the years and sent them my resume. I’m a CPA CA and I like to think that I’ve got a pretty marketable resume but it’s been over six months and none of the recruiters I contacted have called me with a position.…