Does my business need a finance director (FD)?

Phil Wright - Menzies Accountant

Phil Wright – Director

“I think it’s time we got an FD.”

This simple statement of need is often wrapped up in a complex web of wider business issues, but fundamentally this request is often driven by the desire for good quality business information and the steer of an experienced head. Sometimes however it’s a good idea to take a step back and ask why.

In our experience, for an SME business to grow it needs a joined-up approach that crosses the business’ vision, strategy, systems and even its people. To do this though required accurate financial information that is not only looking at the here and now, but can also model the future.

Is my business ready for an FD?

Whether your business has an in-house finance team or you’re using an external resource, it’s important to ask yourself some key questions before pursuing an FD recruitment strategy.

  • Do you have robust and timely information to which you can base key decisions on?
  • Have you developed a suite of financial and non-financial Key Performance Indicators to measure business performance?
  • Do you get strong commentary and insight to any financial data from your finance team?
  • Do the individuals in you finance understand the information you need, and why?
  • Do you have a constructive challenge or ‘critical friend’ that can challenge the status quo and give commercial and financial insight?
  • Do your financials give both a historic and future facing visibility of your business?
  • Do you have a profit and loss account, balance sheet and cash flow forecast – which can be stress tested for varying business scenarios?

If you’re not sure of the answer to any of the above then perhaps it’s time to read on.

So, does my business need an FD?

Being realistic with yourself, your business and your aspirations is the first step to answering this question. By challenging yourself to tackle the issues you’re facing, improve communication with the finance team and push harder for what you need can encourage some brighter thinking and fresh ideas. Sometimes however, getting a fresh perspective on your business circumstances can be extremely beneficial; so what are your options?

Outsourced FD services

If your need is project based or a short-term assignment, then why not consider Menzies FD services which offer a flexible approach to ensure we’re there when you need us.

Engaging with us also gives you access not only to an experience financial professional, but a business advisory network that stretches across our south of England office network and even further afield to HLB International network.

Part time/full time FD or something else?

The recruitment process for any new position can be labour intensive and costly. If you’re keen to hire a full or even part time finance director, trusting a recruitment agency to find the right individual for your business can be a gamble. We’ve worked alongside our People Solutions team to help numerous clients to transition from outsourced FD services to inhouse team members and so understand the person profiles, responsibilities and criteria to hire the right FD to ensure your business flourishes.

Just a chat

Before you commit to appointing an FD, consider all the tasks and responsibilities you would expect a finance team to deliver, allocate with your team who can undertake each role, and look to fill the gaps in a targeted manner. If you need any help with a Finance Function Review, we’re happy to chat through your business issues so please get in touch.