Accounting and Finance Insight Series – Interim CFO.

Hunter Campbell are invested in the future of the Accounting and Finance profession. Using our technical understanding and specialist expertise we bring you the Hunter Campbell Accounting and Finance Salary and Forecast Series. Profiling roles within the Accounting and Finance sector, including jobs in demand, wages and employment prospects with a feature on how this has been impacted by Covid.   

In our eighth article we spotlight Interim CFO roles, the trends we are seeing in this space and outline the rates different types of roles are paying in the market.  

Purpose of the role
An Interim CFO is an experienced financial, often executive, leader who will come into a business during a critical period of time to take charge of a particular project or to see a business through a phase of development. Common reasons for seeking an Interim CFO include organisations facing a business transformation, in between permanent CFOs, preparing for a sale, restructuring or needing a specific skillset.  

Reasons to hire an Interim CFO 


Interim CFOs have a broad, and often deep, range of experience gained from working in a wide range of industries. They’ve worked for businesses under different ownership models, transitional periods or companies going through the varying parts of the business cycle. The breadth of experience an Interim CFO brings means they’ll hit the ground running and onboarding is often faster than at other levels of recruitment. 

Many organisations bring in an Interim CFO to oversee a specific project, such as a merger or preparing for an IPO. There is a lot to consider, plan for, and much at stake with processes such as these so it’s imperative they are guided by a professional with the right expertise. Businesses may not have this expertise in house, so getting someone on board for this process makes sound business sense. 

Cost efficiencies 

Employing an Interim CFO provides the business with access to the skills and experience they have, without the commitment of taking on a permanent employee. At first glance, the cost of hiring an interim employee can look high. However, it’s worth noting the cost is temporary and they won’t have benefits, such as bonuses or share options, which form part of the package a permanent employee will have. Their commercial, strategic or governance skills will often mean this cost can be recouped quickly. 

New ideas 

A seasoned leader will bring new ideas to the table or add a new perspective on an old challenge. This can give a business the boost it needs to solve a problem or move on from an issue that is keeping it stuck. Often bringing in an Interim CFO who has particular industry experience will bring insights into how others operate in similar sectors.  

 Wise option for start-ups 

The needs of a start-up are quite different from those of established organisations. Most start-ups will not need a full-time finance leader, but the business will gain enormous benefit from being able to tap into the expertise of an experienced person. Relatively new businesses who are growing will, at some point, need to hire their first CFO, and do so by testing the water with an Interim CFO. We refer to these as “Establishment CFO” positions. 

Faster recruitment 

Without the need to go through a formal recruitment process, it will be quicker to find a talented CFO who can step in almost immediately. Speedy access to qualified support is a definite bonus, meaning time is freed up for the leadership team to focus on other business. Recruiting for an interim to fill the gap while a permanent replacement is being sought is commonplace, this option takes the pressure off finding someone quickly. A business will then have more time to find the right permanent CFO. 

Salary guide / trends 

  • Establishment / Growth CFO (Start-ups / scale-ups); Daily rates between $800 – $1,200 + GST 
  • Change / Replacement CFO (Circa $100, – $300m t/o businesses); Daily rates between $1,000 – $1,600 + GST 
  • Change / Replacement CFO ($300m + t/o businesses); Daily rates $1,400 – $2,000 + GST 
  • Consulting CFO (Preparing for a sale / IPO / Project based); Daily rates between $1,200 – $1,600 + GST 
  • Part time CFO (Common with SME’s); Hourly rates between $100hr – $150hr + GST 

If you would like to find out more about the role of Interim CFO, please contact Jason Hinton. Jason specialises in senior interim roles at the Commercial Manager, Finance Manager/ Financial Controller and CFO level.  

For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.  

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