Why you need to hire a part time CFO not a consultant | CFO Counsel Asia


Crude classifications and false generalisations are the curse of organized life    H.G. Wells

Hire a part time CFO.

Following on from my prior note regarding why you need a CFO and not an accountant, lets address why you need a part-time CFO and not a consultant. Exhibit 1 –  the article below recently doing the rounds on LinkedIn (even though it is from 2010) from McKinsey the renowned consultants


McKinsey report on how CFOs can make cost cuts stick

In the article  the content gets lost. Granted there are some good points – for example that the approach to cost cutting should be from the bottom up, and that the business strategy should define costs and cost-cuts and not vice-versa, but I’m not sure the premise and framing of the question is even clear. It’s not clear for me that cost cuts can’t stick – that just seems to be based on the fact that SG&A for S&P500 companies as a percentage of revenue has remained the same for years – but often that is how that is budgeted, and therefore in accordance with strategy, it may also reflect, for example, senior management bonuses mopping up any cost savings achieved or increased costs on consulting.

It then proceeds with generalisations on management and issues related to complex businesses, not addressing that the complexity of those businesses may actually be causing the exact problems that they are proposing to fix. And of course noting, for example, self serving issues of  benchmarking and six sigma management, and the latest fashions of management which the consultants make their bread and butter fees from.

If your organisation is getting this big, it’s already time to sell –  sell it to professional managers who can deal with this guff. For us, we like the basics of business and providing clear, practical, actionable advice.

At CFO Counsel we get inside your business, listen, and promote  acting from the management point of view on an ongoing basis, and not from providing general consulting advice from an external perspective. This is an important distinction, we aim to work with management from start to finish, not pop in for a project and repeat to management what they want to hear. This is especially important for start-ups and SMEs which should be highly focused on their business whereas Consultants in general have a broad approach and a set of jargon and fashionable business themes to sell, regardless of your business. Hire a part time CFO – for clear actionable advice, by people who will stand by that advice and continue to manage the business with you.


CFO Counsel

If you are interested in the support we can provide SMEs learn more at CFO Counsel Asia

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