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Why Would a CFO Hire a CFO?

  Arthur F. Rothberg, Managing Director, CFO Edge, LLC  
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  Article Summary  
During periods of organizational transition or when faced with challenges that require specific expertise or additional capacity, many CFOs bring in an outside CFO.

This article looks at several situations – strategic planning, formal audit preparation, and the areas of mergers, acquisitions and IPOs – that can prompt this type of business engagement.

The article also presents three instances where a CFO engaged a CFO to provide needed expertise and capacity. The examples include the following: post-acquisition accounting and audit preparation for a $500 million publicly-held medical imaging company that acquired a new line of business outside its core competency; a merger evaluation and audit preparation engagement; and a revenue recognition and restatements engagement for a large international consulting company.

Leading chief financial officers understand that contracting for advice or support is both a sign of leadership strength and a business case-justified return on investment. When a seated CFO seeks a second opinion, validation of a concept or professional guidance through uncharted territories, an outside CFO can provide the needed expertise and capacity that deliver tremendous value to the company and its executive leadership team.

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