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What are some good prerequisites for a startup CFO?

Past recruiting and hiring experiences would be great to hear - successes and failures alike.

I have scouted a few friends and individuals on LinkedIn, but I am not sure exactly what to look for.

To date I have been doing everything and I am finding out that I am in uncharted territory.

6 Replies

Richard Lindenmuth
0
1
Verto Partners Founder - Interim CEO at Styrotek
Someone who knows how to "set up" the books....quick books and other systems are simple and work. Ask...what do you do with a "blank" sheet of paper and no entries yet?
Mark Wald
3
0
Mark Wald Advisor
Managing Director at Supporting Strategies - Santa Monica
Depends on your needs, current business phase, and time horizon. If you're looking to raise capital and need someone to develop/maintain a complex financial model of your business and other support functions for your capital raise process, probably best to find someone with that core competency and prior experience. By the looks of your website, it appears as though you're at the very early stages of business--incubating an idea, attracting supporters, and probably in need of relatively large sums of money to develop infrastructure for your transportation service/facilities. Unless you're building a Fintech type business, you probably don't need a full time CFO at this stage in your business so I recommend that you don't offer equity and salary to anyone just yet.

Your "CFO" most likely shouldn't also be charging you CFO-level hourly rates for performing lower level tasks like setting up a chart of accounts and posting basic journal entries to record your historical expenses--use a lower cost resource for those activities. I wrote a blog post about this recently: http://www.supportingstrategies.com/blog/topic/santa-monica

Please feel free to reach out to me any time to discuss further--I'm happy to be a resource for you on this.


Rob Gropper
2
0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
I would first focus on determining if you truly need a CFO or if a controller (comptroller), CPA or book keeper will suffice. jumping from "doing everything myself" to "CFO" sounds like too large of a leap.
Kevin Earnest
1
0
Kevin Earnest Advisor
President at Earnest Consulting
If the business only requires finance/accounting tasks 3-12 months into the future (monthly close, quarterly reviews, annual budget), then perhaps you only require a finance or accounting manager.
If the business requires financial/accounting tasks 1-2 years into the future (rolling 18-month budgets, financial analysis), then perhaps you require a comptroller.
If the business requires tasks 2-5 years into the future (selection and monitoring of banking relationships, enterprise-wide financial analysis, risk identification/abatement, prep for IPO, etc.) then you may require what most call a CFO.
These are rough estimates; the answer lies in what the enterprise requires over the next 1/3/5 years.
William Sarine
0
0
William Sarine Advisor
VP, Business Development
First you must know yourself. Then you need to build a team with the skills you need. Too many companies fail because they hire the same skills as the founder and forget that a blended team works more efficiently.
D Worthington
0
0
D Worthington Entrepreneur
Founder at Loop Global
Thank you gentlemen for the insight!
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