Unlocking Success with Interim Finance Professionals During a Transition Period

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For a finance organization experiencing a leadership transition or growth, interim finance experts provide knowledge, skills and insights at a critical time, without needing to ramp up and without the company having to risk making a rash hiring choice. Whether you need a part-time, fractional, or interim accounting manager, interim controller, interim CFO—or an entire team to cover your day-to-day accounting needs—interim finance professionals are prepared to fill a skills or capacity gap, or a temporary or sudden level of absence.

Transitions and Growth: When Companies Need Interim Finance Leaders

An unexpected departure, a medical leave, or a fast-growing company that needs more financial discipline, quickly—these are some of the situations that arise for needing someone who can cover a gap on short notice, for however long a company needs. Interim finance professionals can provide stability during periods of transition, mentoring and upskilling for a young team, along with strategic guidance for decision-making. They can help bring the finance team to another level as the company prepares for a strategic change, such as a potential acquisition, merger, or IPO.

What Are Some Examples of Interim Finance Roles?

With the interim finance roles in place, the company gains time for determining what the position should be in the long term, while in the short term they gain access to the level of expertise and skill sets the finance organization needs right now. Proper leadership in the finance organization cannot be understated, particularly as a company is in transition.

Interim finance professionals are available for a variety of positions, such as an interim controller, interim financial planning and analysis (FP&A) experts, interim accounting managers to lead the accounting team, and interim accountants to provide day-to-day accounting coverage.

Benefits of Interim Finance Professionals

By seeking out interim finance professionals who are part of a consulting firm, a company can ensure they will be matched with the right experts for their unique circumstances. This way, the company gets the skill sets it needs at this time, and can also benefit from the knowledge and experience of other professionals at the consulting firm as their needs evolve. The best interim finance pros do not only fill a gap but rather bring best practices to the team and can help take them to another level through coaching and training, when needed.

It’s worth noting that interim finance professionals who have made a career out of being consultants are dedicated to the job at hand—and are committed to becoming a part of the company’s team for however long they are needed.

At the same time, as the company’s needs change, the consulting firm can connect the company with other experts for the finance organization as needed. At smaller companies, for instance, an interim CFO may be tapped for expert advice for a fundraising effort but an interim controller may be more of what the company needs on a week-to-week basis, to streamline the financial operations.

Questions to Ask When Looking for Interim Finance Leadership

Whether your company has a one-time or ongoing need for interim finance management, interim CFO consulting, or a range of interim finance support and expertise for a period of time, you will want to ask a range of questions to help you choose a consulting firm. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What level of experience can I expect from the consultants who will be helping my firm?
  • What if my needs change over time—how can the firm help me if I need more support or a different level of skills?
  • How long will it take for the consultant(s) to get to know my firm and start working for us?
  • What if we cannot yet bring in an interim CFO but anticipate needing that level of expertise at some point?
  • How will the consultants mentor or train our team if needed?

Seek Out Adaptability and Experience for Interim Finance Roles

When your company is dealing with a skills gap or a temporary opening on the finance team, there’s not much time to get the person filling in up to speed. Accustomed to having to adapt quickly, the best interim finance experts become a part of the team on day one, by getting to know the company, the role and its place within the company, and becoming a part of a finance organization. They can lead it for a time or be a supportive expert, for however long you need.

The right finance consulting firm will make the entire process seamless and be ready to help you as your needs change.

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