What are the Real Expenses Involved in Appointing a Finance Director?

Hiring a part-time finance director (FD) might be the breakthrough you need for your business. Finance Directors are the ones who will guide you through your company's fiscal health, leading strategic financial planning and growth. However, the luxury of a full-time FD may not align with the financial realities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups. This is where the innovative solution of a part-time FD comes into play, offering the expertise and strategic insight of a financial director without a full-time financial commitment. Let’s look into the expenses of appointing a part-time FD, exploring the direct and indirect costs and uncovering the hidden benefits.

The Role and Benefits of a Part-Time FD

The role and benefits of a part-time FD (Financial Director) extend significantly beyond cost savings. They:

  • Provide SMEs and startups with strategic advantages in a competitive marketplace.
  • Offer a blend of high-level financial expertise and strategic insight tailored to the specific needs and scale of the business.
  • Manage crucial financial functions such as cash flow analysis, budgeting and financial forecasting, which enable businesses to make informed decisions, optimise financial performance, and navigate the complexities of financial management with greater ease.

One of the primary benefits of engaging a part-time FD is the access it grants to expertise and strategic thinking. These professionals often come with a background in diverse industries and a broad perspective on financial management and business strategy. This experience allows them to identify opportunities for

  • growth
  • efficiency improvements
  • risk mitigation,

that might not be immediately apparent to business owners or managers. As well as providing invaluable guidance on,

  • capital structure
  • investment decisions
  • financial planning,

ensuring that the business remains on a sustainable growth path. Moreover, a part-time FD's flexible engagement model allows for scalability, making it an ideal solution for businesses in growth phases or those experiencing cyclical fluctuations. This flexibility ensures businesses pay for expert financial guidance only as needed, without the overhead associated with a full-time position.

Furthermore, a part-time FD can also mentor in-house teams, enhancing their capabilities and contributing to the development of a stronger, more strategic financial function within the company. Ultimately, the role of a part-time FD can be pivotal in steering a business towards financial stability, growth, and long-term success.

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Direct Costs of Appointing a Part-Time FD

  1. Salaries
    The compensation for a part-time FD can vary widely depending on experience, industry, and location. However, it's generally a fraction of the cost of a full-time FD, aligning with the hours worked.
  2. Benefits
    While part-time positions traditionally offer fewer benefits, some companies provide prorated benefits to attract top talent. Offering benefits such as prorated paid time off, health insurance, and retirement plan contributions can make the position more appealing.
  3. Recruitment
    Finding the right part-time FD involves recruitment costs, including advertising positions and potentially engaging recruitment firms. The recruitment process allows businesses to select candidates whose experience and strategic vision align with the company's goals. This ensures that the part-time FD can hit the ground running and immediately impact the company's financial health and strategic direction.

Indirect Costs and Considerations

  1. Training and Integration
    Onboarding a part-time FD requires an investment in training and integration into the company's systems and processes. This process is essential for ensuring that the FD is fully aware of the operational dynamics and can efficiently navigate the company's financial landscape. It also facilitates smoother collaboration with existing teams, setting the stage for a productive working relationship.
  2. Oversight
    Some additional oversight may be necessary to coordinate with the part-time FD, ensuring alignment with the company's strategic goals. Regular meetings and communication channels need to be established to foster a clear understanding of expectations and progress. This oversight helps maintain a cohesive strategy between the part-time FD and the company's long-term objectives.
  3. Tools and Technology
    Access to financial management software or tools may be an additional cost, although this is often nominal compared to the benefits. Investing in the right technology enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of financial operations and supports the part-time FD in providing accurate, timely financial insights. This technological support is crucial for enabling strategic decision-making and optimising financial performance.

Comparing Costs: Part-Time FD vs. Full-Time FD

Comparing the costs between hiring a part-time FD (Financial Director) and a full-time FD reveals a substantial difference in financial commitment, making the part-time option particularly attractive for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or startups.


The primary savings come from the salary, as part-time FDs are compensated only for the hours they work, which is significantly less than the full-time salary and bonus structure of a full-time FD. This difference in compensation can be a game-changer for businesses operating with tight budget constraints or those in their nascent stages, where every dollar saved can be redirected towards growth and development activities.

Employee Benefits

Full-time employees typically come with additional financial commitments for the employer, including health benefits, retirement plans, and potentially other perks that contribute to a higher total cost of employment.


Full-time positions require dedicated office space and resources, such as computer equipment and software licenses, which can further inflate overhead costs. In contrast, part-time FDs often work remotely or require less frequent access to office space, and their need for company-provided resources can be significantly lower. This arrangement reduces direct costs and offers flexibility in managing financial operations without compromising on expertise.

For businesses in growth phases or with fluctuating financial management needs, accessing high-level financial advice and support on a flexible, as-needed basis without the full financial burden of a full-time executive position is an invaluable strategic advantageTop of Form.

Hidden Benefits and Potential Savings

  1. Tax Implications
    Employing a part-time FD might offer tax advantages, depending on the structure of the employment agreement.
  2. Flexibility and Specialisation
    Part-time FDs often bring specialised skills tailored to a business's specific needs, offering flexibility without the commitment to a full-time salary.
  3. Reduced Overhead
    The part-time model can lead to significant savings on office space and other fixed costs associated with full-time employees.

Making the Decision

Deciding between a part-time and full-time FD requires carefully assessing your company's financial health, strategic needs, and growth trajectory. Consider factors such as the complexity of your financial operations, the stage of business growth, and the level of financial oversight needed.

The decision to appoint a part-time FD can be a strategic, cost-effective choice for businesses navigating the complexities of financial management and growth. By understanding the real expenses, companies can make informed decisions aligning with their financial capabilities and strategic objectives.

Book a free consultation with one of our Finance Directors today.

Rob Boll
Founder & CEO