Things to Note When Hiring a Part-Time Financial Director

As companies seek to optimise their financial management without the overhead of a full-time position, the concept of a 'part-time FD' has emerged as a key solution. Let’s discuss the factors to consider when hiring a part-time FD to ensure your business’s financial health and growth.

Understanding the Cost-Value Balance

When hiring a part-time FD, the cheapest option is not always the best. The value of a skilled FD cannot be overstated; they bring not just accounting proficiency but strategic insight into financial planning and decision-making. A low-cost option might mean compromising on these crucial skills, leading to long-term financial repercussions for the business. This is particularly relevant in complex financial landscapes where nuanced understanding and strategic foresight are invaluable. Thus, while budget considerations are important, they should not overshadow the need for quality and expertise in financial leadership.

Establishing Boundaries and Checks

When considering a part-time Financial Director, their approach to the division of financial duties is a crucial aspect to evaluate. It's important to ensure that the responsibilities of bookkeeping are distinct from those of fund disbursement. This separation is key in maintaining financial integrity and preventing potential misuse of funds. When interviewing candidates, inquire about their strategies for implementing such divisions within your financial team. This not only safeguards your business against financial irregularities but also reflects on the FD’s understanding of effective financial management practices. A part-time FD with a strong approach to establishing clear financial boundaries demonstrates a commitment to upholding the highest standards of financial governance.

Embracing Technology and Adaptability

Today’s financial landscape demands a part-time FD who is knowledgeable and adaptable to technological advancements. It’s important to consider someone comfortable with the latest financial software and digital tools. This digital proficiency is essential for efficient and modern financial management.

Assessing Business Needs and Professional Expertise

The decision to hire a part-time FD should align with your business's specific needs and size. For instance, a startup or a small business with a monthly budget below $10,000 might function well with a skilled bookkeeper. However, as the business scales, the complexity of financial management often increases. This is where a part-time FD with more specialised skills, like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), becomes valuable.

  • They can provide more than bookkeeping – they offer strategic insights into financial planning, tax strategies, and business growth.
  • For a high-growth startup or a company with complex financial structures, a part-time FD can play a strategic role in financial forecasting, investment analysis, and managing external financial relationships.

This approach ensures that your financial management capabilities scale accordingly as your business evolves.

Matching Skills with Business Requirements

The ideal part-time FD should be proficient in your specific financial software. While industry-specific experience can be beneficial, it's not always necessary. The key is to conduct thorough reference checks to confirm their capability and reliability.

Establishing Communication and Reporting Rhythms

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship with a part-time Financial Director (FD). Setting up a structured schedule for regular updates and discussions is crucial. This could be bi-weekly or monthly meetings where you review financial statements, discuss upcoming financial strategies, and address any immediate concerns. Such a rhythm ensures that you and the FD are on the same page and can proactively address any financial issues before they escalate. This ongoing dialogue is not just about keeping tabs on the numbers; it’s an opportunity to gain insights, offer feedback, and align financial strategies with the overall business goals.

 A part-time FD might not be present in your day-to-day operations, but with a well-established communication schedule, they can remain deeply integrated into your business's financial pulse. This consistent engagement helps maintain financial clarity and build a trusting and collaborative relationship with your FD. This ultimately leads to more informed and effective financial decision-making for your business.

Defining Clear Roles and Responsibilities

When you bring on a part-time FD, clarity in their role and responsibilities is critical to a successful partnership. It's important to outline a well-defined job description encompassing all the tasks and areas they oversee. This can include:

  • regular financial reporting
  • cash flow management
  • budgeting
  • financial compliance
  • strategic planning.

Setting clear expectations not only helps in managing your financial operations efficiently but also ensures that your part-time FD can focus on delivering value in their areas of expertise.

Regular meetings and check-ins are essential to stay updated on financial matters and to provide a platform for discussing strategic financial decisions. This structured approach helps build a strong working relationship where both parties understand their roles and contribute effectively to the financial health of the business.

Prioritising Effective Communication

Clear communication is the cornerstone of any successful working relationship. From the outset, establish open lines of communication with your part-time FD. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of expectations and responsibilities.

Avoiding Pitfalls in Personal Hiring and Collaborating with Financial Experts

Navigating the hiring process for a part-time Financial Director (FD) can be complex, particularly when considering candidates from your personal circles. While hiring family members for financial roles may seem convenient and trust-inspiring, this approach often leads to unforeseen complications. An external, experienced professional brings much-needed objectivity and expertise, essential for effective financial management. Beyond expertise, it's also crucial for your part-time FD to work in tandem with other financial experts, such as advisors or CPAs. This collaboration ensures a broader oversight and strategic depth in managing your finances. The synergy between your part-time FD and financial experts creates a robust framework for financial decision-making, enhancing the overall effectiveness and integrity of your financial operations.

At Evoke Management, we provide seasoned part-time Financial Directors who excel in expertise and collaboration. Our professionals are more than just numbers people; they are strategic partners who work hand-in-hand with your existing advisors to bring comprehensive financial oversight and innovative solutions to your business. By choosing Evoke Management, you avoid the pitfalls of informal hiring and gain access to a network of financial expertise. Let us help you navigate the complexities of financial management with ease and confidence. Contact us today to learn more about how our part-time FDs can transform your business’s financial strategy for the better.

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Rob Boll
Founder & CEO