Hire the top 3% of part-time CFOs.

Toptal is a marketplace for top part-time, interim, and temporary Chief Financial Officers. Top companies and start-ups hire part-time CFOs from Toptal for their critical finance challenges.

  • Trusted by:

Hire part-time CFOs

Charlene Lee, Singapore

part-time CFO
Charlene has extensive experience in startups—growing MNCs and multibillion US Fortune 500 companies, holding senior positions as the vice president of finance and finance director. A Kellogg-HKUST EMBA, a chartered accountant, and a business psychologist, she has managed a $550 million dollar business, carried out successful profitability & business improvement projects, financial management, FP&A, and has led a $850 million M&A engagement. Click to continue

Kelly Sickles, United States

part-time CFO
After an eighteen year financial career working with and advising some of NYC's most well-respected startups (Boxed, S'well) and on Wall Street (Lazard), Kelly moved to Boulder, CO and relaunched her consulting practice. She enjoys freelancing because it provides her the opportunity to meet so many fascinating entrepreneurs, investors, and lenders and allows her to leverage her experiences to help them maximize value from the mountains. Click to continue

Juba Tsuladze, United Kingdom

part-time CFO
Juba is the founder of angioClast—a Cambridge-based biotech startup focused on cancer research. Prior to entrepreneurship, Juba was a seasoned CFO with multi-industry experience and has worked on projects ranging from an equity sale in a $150 million telecom company to the turnaround of a $50 million hotel business. He joined the Toptal network to resolve diverse challenges in FP&A, M&A, buy-outs, and strategic analysis. Click to continue

Nitin Mittal, United States

part-time CFO
Nitin has 15+ years of experience as a banker, hedge fund analyst, and CFO, and has deep operational and fundraising exposure in growth and turnaround situations. He has modeled and worked on complex equity and debt financing as well as M&A deals. He was the CFO of a VC-backed software company that grew from five employees to 200+. Click to continue

Steve Sprindis, United States

part-time CFO
Steve is an experienced financial executive and consultant with a broad range of experience ranging from deep dive financial analysis to M&A and valuation work. He has experience as a CFO, private equity investor, and investment banker. Steve has worked with over fifty companies on preparing business plans and offering memorandums and financial models, and has helped finance early and late stage companies, real estate, and other assets. Click to continue

Theresa Matacia, United States

part-time CFO
Over the last 15 years, Theresa has defined and implemented financial and operational strategies as a CFO for multiple companies in the technology, healthcare, and business services industries. She has built functions from the ground up at startups and redesigned current ones at mid-sized organizations. In freelancing, Theresa is excited to continue supporting companies seeking growth options and/or higher valuations for potential future exits. Click to continue

Andrew Grimalda, United States

part-time CFO
Andrew is a highly experienced CFO with focus in the insurance, healthcare, eCommerce, and technology sectors. He collaboratively guides companies to maximize their value and growth potential. From angel funding to managing an IPO process, from renegotiating debt structures to developing complex capital budgeting models, or to just be a sounding board—Andrew helps companies find their optimal solution which he finds personally fulfilling. Click to continue

Scott Brown, United States

part-time CFO
Scott has extensive experience working with high growth businesses in many capacities. He finds that a solid foundation in accounting and operations helps him better guide the financial planning and decision making process. He has consulted with a number of different service and manufacturing businesses helping with capacity planning, incentive plans, business plan development, and developing driver-based rolling forecast processes. Click to continue

Zerrick Bynum, United States

part-time CFO
Zerrick majored in electrical engineering at Stanford (later gaining a Harvard MBA), but his professional career has been in business—primarily in finance/business development at high-growth companies. He enjoys freelancing as it exposes him to a breadth of companies and industries to which he can add value and from which he can learn. He works best as a strategic CFO—managing the cash flow, fund raising, and providing mission-critical analyses. Click to continue

Calvin Clark, United States

part-time CFO
Calvin has helped raise a total of over $300 million in capital for dozens of VC-backed startups, PE-backed middle market companies, public companies and investment funds. He has run several buy and sell-side M&A processes. As a freelancer, he enjoys exploring strategic opportunities with companies undergoing significant change and growth. He has extensive experience in mobile technology, financial services, edtech, and transaction processing. Click to continue
A hiring guide
Hiring a Part-Time CFO: Key Duties of the Strategic CFO Role

The CFO is a pivotal role within any organisation, of any size. In this guide, we will demonstrate the specific advantages that a part-time CFO can bring a business, in terms of addressing very specific needs with tailored sets of skils.

part-time CFOs
Trustpilot
Toptal on TV
"Toptal is killing it, it kind of owns this market."
Andrew Ross Sorkin Reviews Toptal
Cnbc 02e66b
"Companies simply cannot find the quality employees they want to hire. The solution: Toptal."
Liz Claman´s Review of Toptal
Fox 7ef901
Toptal in the press
“Toptal prides itself on almost Ivy League-level vetting.”
Selina Wang
“Toptal allows corporations to quickly assemble teams that have the right skills for specific projects.”
Steven Norton
Testimonials
“Toptal has helped my business tremendously by finding, vetting, and recruiting the talent I need, at the right time. I’d definitely recommend it to others.”
Xavier Xicay
CEO & Creative Director @ Tuatara Corp
“Always incredibly responsive, prompt, and flexible, Anna has done an outstanding job -- her work is exactly what we needed. Toptal has been a great experience for us due to the ease of getting a project going with quality talent at a cost that fits our budget. The automated online system for managing everything during onboarding was also impressive.”
Cody Wilke
Product Manager @ Crucial Life Sciences Data Solutions
“One of our most time consuming problems is finding qualified staff. We need to find the correct platform to advertise on, create a proper ad, filter through tons of applications, interview and test the applicants' capabilities, and finally take a risk by hiring. This was the old way of doing things. The new way: describe the job position to our Toptal account manager, interview a few qualified applicants, and hire with a risk-free trial -- much faster, a lot easier, and with incredible results.”
Catalin S. Balaci
Owner @ EvoBits Information Technology SRL
“Toptal has been an incredible key partner for Sidekick. As an early-stage start-up, we’ve leveraged both design and financial talent. The experience has been incredible, with those professionals bringing creativity, expertise, and advice to ensure Sidekick succeeds. My Toptal financial expert helped steer Sidekick’s business model, which resulted in an initial ROI of 650x! My experience with Toptal has given me great confidence in the future.”
Doug MacKay
Founder / CEO @ SideKick
“The best talent is at Toptal for sure. It's way better and faster than any other means of getting top talent.”
Rajesh Nagarajan
Co-Founder & CTO @ maxmantra
“What really sets Toptal apart is the caliber of finance talent available in their network. I had a very specific and pressing need, and Toptal quickly matched me with the perfect person for the job. The expert produced a thoughtful and robust financial analysis that has ultimately allowed us to forecast and prioritize initiatives much more efficiently.”
Chris Pozek
CEO @ Veterans Rideshare
“Getting set up with Toptal and finding a new team member was so easy, I don't know why anyone wouldn't give it a try. Best of all, we no longer have to worry about finding great people to help with our projects!”
Mike Branch
President & CTO @ Harbor System Integrators, Inc
“Toptal has been extremely helpful to us in finding top remote talent. The ratio from interview to hire with Toptal candidates is the highest I've ever experienced in my professional career.”
Philipp Berner
Co-founder and CTO @ KeepSafe
“Chris was great to work with and was always available on my schedule. His communication skills and personality were a 10/10. His outputs on the project were top notch and allowed us to develop more efficient forecasting and initiative prioritization frameworks. I would definitely use Chris again.”
Chris Pozek
CEO @ Veterans Rideshare
“I can't say enough about how happy and confident I am in working with Enrique. He brings an enthusiasm to his profession that is very refreshing, constantly surprising us with his depth of knowledge and his capability to not only complete the task, but to surpass our expectations. He presents us with solutions that we would not have thought about ourselves, and sees the problem better than we can explain it.”
Chad Berryman
Senior Technical Lead @ Zoomedia
“What attracted us to Toptal was that Toptal is sourcing its talent from a global pool. The selection process is very stringent. They’re sourcing the talent not only based on capabilities -- sourcing the best 3% -- but also based on cultural fit, which is really important to us. We had an amazing experience working with Toptal. Toptal helped us achieve our goals by bringing us very high-quality resources, on very short notice.”
Elmar Platzer
Digital Transformation Leader, CSR Australia @ CSR Limited
“Scott had a lot of finance experience which he used to ask the right questions and help us do things more quickly than we would have done without him. The commission model is crucial to us being able to scale, he integrated seamlessly with our finance team and efficiently got us the outputs we needed.”
Naushad Parpia
Founder and CEO @ GSD
“I was very impressed with the quality of finance talent in Toptal’s network. Our expert's experience was immediately evident through his insightful questions and the speed at which we could move. Toptal stayed on top of the process from making the match through to the successful completion of the project. I've already recommended Toptal Finance to my network.”
Naushad Parpia
Founder and CEO @ GSD
Hire a top part-time CFO now.
Toptal is a marketplace for top part-time CFOs. Top companies and start-ups choose Toptal finance experts for their mission-critical finance projects.
Full
profile
Charlene LeeSingapore
Charlene has extensive experience in startups—growing MNCs and multibillion US Fortune 500 companies, holding senior positions as the vice president of finance and finance director. A Kellogg-HKUST EMBA, a chartered accountant, and a business psychologist, she has managed a $550 million dollar business, carried out successful profitability & business improvement projects, financial management, FP&A, and has led a $850 million M&A engagement.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOPricing AnalysisFinancial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)Financial ModelingRevenue & Expense Projections
Hire
Full
profile
Kelly SicklesUnited States
After an eighteen year financial career working with and advising some of NYC's most well-respected startups (Boxed, S'well) and on Wall Street (Lazard), Kelly moved to Boulder, CO and relaunched her consulting practice. She enjoys freelancing because it provides her the opportunity to meet so many fascinating entrepreneurs, investors, and lenders and allows her to leverage her experiences to help them maximize value from the mountains.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOFundraisingValuationFinancial ModelingThree Statement Operating ModelFinancial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
Hire
Full
profile
Juba TsuladzeUnited Kingdom
Juba is the founder of angioClast—a Cambridge-based biotech startup focused on cancer research. Prior to entrepreneurship, Juba was a seasoned CFO with multi-industry experience and has worked on projects ranging from an equity sale in a $150 million telecom company to the turnaround of a $50 million hotel business. He joined the Toptal network to resolve diverse challenges in FP&A, M&A, buy-outs, and strategic analysis.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOThree Statement Operating ModelComparable Company AnalysisRevenue & Expense ProjectionsMergers & Acquisitions (M&A)Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
Hire
Full
profile
Nitin MittalUnited States
Nitin has 15+ years of experience as a banker, hedge fund analyst, and CFO, and has deep operational and fundraising exposure in growth and turnaround situations. He has modeled and worked on complex equity and debt financing as well as M&A deals. He was the CFO of a VC-backed software company that grew from five employees to 200+.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFORevenue & Expense ProjectionsThree Statement Operating ModelComparable Company AnalysisFundraising
Hire
Full
profile
Steve SprindisUnited States
Steve is an experienced financial executive and consultant with a broad range of experience ranging from deep dive financial analysis to M&A and valuation work. He has experience as a CFO, private equity investor, and investment banker. Steve has worked with over fifty companies on preparing business plans and offering memorandums and financial models, and has helped finance early and late stage companies, real estate, and other assets.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOMergers & Acquisitions (M&A)Financial ModelingFundraisingFinancial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)Venture Capital
Hire
Full
profile
Theresa MataciaUnited States
Over the last 15 years, Theresa has defined and implemented financial and operational strategies as a CFO for multiple companies in the technology, healthcare, and business services industries. She has built functions from the ground up at startups and redesigned current ones at mid-sized organizations. In freelancing, Theresa is excited to continue supporting companies seeking growth options and/or higher valuations for potential future exits.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOMergers & Acquisitions (M&A)Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
Hire
Full
profile
Andrew GrimaldaUnited States
Andrew is a highly experienced CFO with focus in the insurance, healthcare, eCommerce, and technology sectors. He collaboratively guides companies to maximize their value and growth potential. From angel funding to managing an IPO process, from renegotiating debt structures to developing complex capital budgeting models, or to just be a sounding board—Andrew helps companies find their optimal solution which he finds personally fulfilling.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOFinancial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)Revenue & Expense Projections
Hire
Full
profile
Scott BrownUnited States
Scott has extensive experience working with high growth businesses in many capacities. He finds that a solid foundation in accounting and operations helps him better guide the financial planning and decision making process. He has consulted with a number of different service and manufacturing businesses helping with capacity planning, incentive plans, business plan development, and developing driver-based rolling forecast processes.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOFinancial ModelingFinancial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)Three Statement Operating Model
Hire
Full
profile
Zerrick BynumUnited States
Zerrick majored in electrical engineering at Stanford (later gaining a Harvard MBA), but his professional career has been in business—primarily in finance/business development at high-growth companies. He enjoys freelancing as it exposes him to a breadth of companies and industries to which he can add value and from which he can learn. He works best as a strategic CFO—managing the cash flow, fund raising, and providing mission-critical analyses.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOThree Statement Operating ModelFinancial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)Financial ModelingMergers & Acquisitions (M&A)Market ResearchVenture Capital
Hire
Full
profile
Calvin ClarkUnited States
Calvin has helped raise a total of over $300 million in capital for dozens of VC-backed startups, PE-backed middle market companies, public companies and investment funds. He has run several buy and sell-side M&A processes. As a freelancer, he enjoys exploring strategic opportunities with companies undergoing significant change and growth. He has extensive experience in mobile technology, financial services, edtech, and transaction processing.
[click to continue…]
Part-Time CFOComparable Company AnalysisValuationFinancial Modeling
Hire

Hiring a Part-Time CFO: Key Duties of the Strategic CFO Role

Why Hire a Part-Time CFO?

The first reaction to this title would be, why would you just want a part-time CFO - they are a key player in the business? If your business is growing fast, or you have complex accounting projects to implement or even an important fundraising event coming up, a CFO is the obvious solution to look for. Traditionally, this would manifest in the form of a search for a full-time CFO, but at times a temporary one can bring certain strategic advantages. For example, consider the following scenarios:

  • First-time CFO: Key hires are critical. Getting them wrong can be costly from a time and financial perspective. A part-time CFO allows the management to dry test the role and see what results it brings and the traits that the role demands

  • Firefighting: An experienced outsider can come in and solve a complex issue using earned knowledge from having already solved it in other organizations.

  • Caretaker: If there is an interim period where the CFO chair is vacant (gardening leave, maternity leave) an interim can come in and maintain continuity.

  • Jolt of ideas: At times, companies can become myopic in their views. Bringing in an outsider for a period can allow for fresh ideas from someone whose goals are very transparent.

  • The Closer: If there is a significant funding or exit event approaching, a part-time CFO can lead the business over the line. With timing and bonus related advantages, this can be an excellent way of achieving the desired result

In terms of cost, the median annual CFO salary in the USA is between $406,474 and $639,000 for public and private companies respectively. If a headhunter was used, their total fees can then add approximately $60,000 to the bill. This is not a cheap exercise and, if done poorly, can be expensive and bring hidden costs to the business from inertia. On the other hand, you could hire a seasoned professional as a part-time CFO within a matter of days and at an annual cost of between $156,000 and $208,000. This also comes with the flexibility of no termination fees and the license to roll the contract over on a weekly basis. The position could also change throughout the year, giving the opportunity to bring in specialists to tackle specific problems. Why have a generalist, when you can hire specialists at a third of the cost?

There are four key pillars to the role of the CFO; in this article, we will look at these roles in the context of how an interim CFO may be required and can help. Each section will also detail desirable characteristics that such a role requires.

Accounting

While they will not necessarily be preparing the financial statements, a CFO is the person who has to sign off on them and defend them to management, investors, and regulators. Control is a key element of the role along with ensuring that financial records are presented in a timely, accurate, and informative manner.

image alt text

The accounting process for a team with a tenured CFO is a well-oiled machine. Controllers and accountants will prepare the finances and the CFO will communicate business decisions down the chain, review the figures, and report them upwards. However, when seeking a part-time CFO, there is likely to be a more hands-on role required of them the accounting process. Perhaps:

  • The process is a mess. Cracks may have been papered over before in processes such as reconciliations.

  • A modernization process is required with software.

  • A more strategic insight is required for the board pack and reporting channels.

  • The team needs to be trained for new business units/incorporating acquisitions.

Such a role will require a strong set of project management and delegation skills. An ability to communicate clearly and inspire a potentially jaded/overworked accounting department also cannot be overlooked. When assessing CFOs for this role, pay attention to their most recent roles and the prestige of their last company. A CFO who has worked in a large, traditional organization may not have received enough exposure in recent years to changing accounting technology and may not be able to cope with the stress and flux of an accounting clean-up operation.

Treasury

CFOs also oversee the treasury function of an organization and, depending on the size of the company, they will delegate day-to-day management of it to a treasurer. For that, the main concerns and responsibilities for a CFO are to oversee on a high level the following:

  • Risk: FX, interest rates, counterparties, operational risk

  • Liquidity: Working capital management and availability of credit lines

  • Capital Structure: Asset liability management and balance sheet composition

A strategic CFO will view the balance sheet as a ship that they sail and one that can be powerfully maneuvered to the benefit of the organization. During the Financial Crisis of 2008, balance sheets became the focal point of all businesses. Strategic CFOs were those that were both defensive and proactive to this. They pivoted their capital structures towards longer dated liabilities and shorter dated assets, giving their businesses the breathing space to operate and prepare for future opportunities.

image alt text

While from an accounting perspective a CFO will need book smarts and project management, on a treasury level, a strong understanding of the financial markets takes over. Prior experience of dealing with financial instruments will ensure that they are privy to the machinations of foreign exchange risk and the suffocation that poor working capital management can enact on new business growth.

The best CFOs are those that sit with a commercial hat on and view their role as as a business generator, not a supporter. If working capital management is poor, a company might be bleeding money away on unnecessary interest payments on borrowing. On the other side of the coin, unnecessarily high cash reserves are a sign of a CFO that doesn’t have creativity or proactivity.

A CFO with a treasury background in banking will be exceptionally strong on the liquidity side, but perhaps not so much on working capital. Conversely, a CFO with a manufacturing background will deviate to the opposite. For that, dependent on the pressing treasury needs in the organization, pay attention to the trained background of the candidate.

Capital Markets

Treasury duties are mostly concerned with cash flow from operations, in terms of cash flow from financing, a far bigger picture is required. Tapping capital markets and managing investors is a role that a CFO must instigate and lead; funding the company with significant capital ranging from small angel rounds, through to IPOs and then institutional bond issuances.

Part-time CFOs are normally hired especially for a role like tapping the capital markets. If the founding team is not experienced in this area, their negotiation power can be boosted by bringing in a skilled operator to lead the process. Again, this demonstrates the value of a part-time CFO, where specialist expertise can be brought in for a specific project. By the time a startup is raising Series A, where a priced round is being negotiated, they must be prepared to ensure that the appropriate funding arrives at a fair valuation. Yet, for early stage companies looking for seed rounds, it is more important to have a CFO that has the creativity to find investors and communicate the long-term vision for the business. Bringing in different part-time CFOs for different stages of fundraising can be strategically critical for startups.

image alt text

Capital can be raised through debt or equity, from public or private sources. The CFO should be able to clearly inform the management team both when the company should be raising and what type of instrument they need. The previously mentioned areas of accounting and treasury lead into this role, as effective management of those responsibilities will provide perfect insight as to when capital needs to be raised.

While the CEO is an important public figurehead for companies, the CFO also plays an important role communicating the financial side. They are expected to be made available to investors to provide deeper color to the financial statement numbers. Being able to communicate a vision for the the company based on numbers, not rhetoric, is important. When assessing candidates for this role, pay attention to their confidence and communication skills.

Business Strategy

Effective CFOs provide a different perspective in both the boardroom and on the business front line. They can be the voice of reason that drive revenue growth through margin expansion, pointing out cost savings and maintaining the cadence between making sales and making profits.

A CFO will have no particular bias to a certain business line, geography, or customer. Their metric is the financial stability and health of the company and for that, they can be a crucial form of impartial advice at a strategic level. The viewpoint of a CFO can be more long-term than other divisional heads, because their responsibilities stretch that far, for example: “can our debt be paid off in ten year’s time?”

Candidates that have a diverse mix of operating and financial roles throughout their career demonstrate these traits. Especially someone that has worked in sales or product development, where they can then marry the needs of the revenue generators with the support staff. According to Ernst & Young, when CFOs were asked to asses their input to strategy, the majority of respondents say that their most valuable input is across all strategy, as opposed to specifically within the realms of financial guidance:

Table 1: Survey of Where CFOs See Where Their Strategic Input Is Required

When interviewing part-time CFOs, you need to find someone that can grasp the business quickly and hit the ground running. Ask them questions related to your business, pose a commercial problem to them, and see how they respond. A confident and well-rounded CFO will relish this opportunity and will not shy away from it.

Summary

Gone are the days where CFOs are bookkeepers. They are a differentiated tool to have in in the management arsenal. The more flexibility and diverse career experience that they have the more they will be able to offer your business. Aside from paying attention to their classical training in finance (the bedrock for the job), look at their commercial nous and ability to grasp the bigger picture and link parts of the business together.

Hire part-time CFOs now
Alvaro 1506e7

My team is going to personally help you find the best candidate to join your team.

Alvaro Oliveira
VP of Talent Operations