Service Provider: Focused on Mentoring a pre-CFO Financial Employee
This company had about $20M in revenue, had recently been sold by its initial investors to private equity firm and had a long-term “VP of Finance” who was struggling to provide accurate EBITDA and cash forecasts to management and the Board and to satisfactorily answer their questions on same. Additionally, the company had disjointed financial information systems causing conflicting reports and much extra work. CFO Options was engaged to work with the Director of Finance to either coach and mentor him up to the company’s need for a strong Chief Financial Officer or provide recommendation to the CEO to an alternative solution.
CFO Options’ CFO met with the Director of Finance weekly for several months reviewing the reports he prepared to management and the board, raising questions that the board might ask and helping him by giving him an opportunity to research and fix certain issues and be prepared with satisfactory answers to others. We also coached him regarding staffing, delegation and management of his team, analyzing a potential acquisition, exploring options for better financial management information systems so that all reports and forecasts were based on the same data and forecasting for changes as a result of new clients (impacting revenue, staffing and most significantly timing of cash flows) could be produced much faster and less subject to formula errors in Excel.
We ultimately concluded that while the Director of Finance produced more accurate reports and answers to the board when we were prepping him, his performance was no better when stepped away. Further, we advised the CEO that while this employee appeared to have superlative skills in Excel and linking data from and to Excel with other information systems, he couldn’t see the forest for the trees. In other words, he didn’t get the big picture and was also not going to be an effective strategic CFO to help them grow 150% over the next several years. The Director was replaced with an experienced CFO which CFO Options helped them vet.