How to Hire the Right CFO for Your Start-up Company
If you are fortunate enough to own a company with revenues of $250 million, you may have issues with your CFO but you’re not struggling with the question of whether or not you should hire a CFO.
If you happen to own a company with revenues of $2.5 million, you’re not struggling with the decision on whether to hire a CFO, either. Your sister-in-law Shirley, who conveniently happens to be an accountant, comes in for an hour or two every Friday and does your books for you.
But let’s say you started a company five years ago that designs and manufactures the proverbial better mousetrap. And let’s also say that the old proverb proved right and the world is indeed beating a path to your door, clamouring to buy your better mousetraps. All of a sudden, your start-up now has revenues of $25 million and you anticipate that sales could reach $50 million or more in the next five years.
Now the question of whether or not you should hire a CFO is no longer academic – you definitely need a pro to head up your finance function. The question is, what does that pro look like?
If you’re like almost every other owner-manager I’ve met, you don’t come from the world of finance or accounting. You either came up through sales, operations, engineering or you were born into the business (thanks, Grandpa!). So you may peer at the world of accounting executives as through a glass darkly; what does a Controller do? How is that different from a VP Finance? Is a CFO the same as a VP Finance?
Of course, every company is different and will have their own particular spin on what kind of CFO will be best for their business but generally speaking, here are the three issues you should be taking into consideration when you’re thinking of hiring a CFO for your start-up company.