How a part-time FD adds value to your business

Our clients agree that the right part-time FD provides them with the financial transparency required support, shape and define business strategy, identify opportunities for growth and develop business capability.

Clients have a need for competent and flexible financial support but don’t want the cost and risk of employing a full-time director. Often they have found that traditional sources of financial support – including their accountant – is able only to offer patchy advice and takes little or no responsibility for helping them implement it.

There are really 5 main benefits of going down the part-time FD (PTFD) or controller route.

The first is the additional capability that the PTFD can bring to your team. They should have a track record of relevant experience and bring learning from other business environments. They should be useful from day 1 because they are full of ideas – not just understanding your companies needs but also understanding what is required to meet them.

Secondly, flexibility. The PTFD will likely want to set themselves up as a consultant because they value the flexibility that gives them. That’s a big benefit to you too. There should be some flexibility in when they work for you, there are no NI or payroll taxes for you to consider and they’re not part of your ongoing cost base. If the chemistry just isn’t right between you, you need the support for a limited period of time, or you want to avoid making an ongoing commitment then you can shorten the arrangement with typically a months notice. The PTFD back themselves enough to prove their value to you every day without an employment contract.

Third is focus. The PTFD can be given the specific responsibility for raising finance, preparing for investment, develop forward looking plans, ensure that management information is forward looking, shape decision making, and ensure that your business is satisfactorily controlled as it grows. They should allow you to focus on leading your business.

Next, is external perspective. Outside of their engagement with you, the PTFD is not wholly absorbed in your business which allows them to develop their own networks and strong sense of the wider business environment. Yes, they will need to manage any potential conflicts of interest and be transparent about those – but this can have a beneficial impact on your own companies strategies and capabilities and give valuable reassurance to potential investors and lenders.

Last but by no means least is cost. Assuming you have a basic book-keeping capability in place (anyone can use some of the cloud based accounting software these days, so ATT skills not absolutely required) then your PTFD will be focused on value added activities that  augment your capabilities, but without anywhere near the investment that a full-time FD would cost you annually.

So the question is really one of investment. Do you believe that an investment in a part-time FD will unlock much greater value for your business? We know the answer – a resounding yes!!! – but we would say that wouldn’t we?

Please contact Integral Finance for more details.


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