Interim CFO

Interim Chief Financial Officers

Find the right interim CFO

Quickly engage with reputable and varied interim CFOs to bring the expertise, skills, and proven experience necessary to advance your business. 

  • Swift shortlisting
  • Premier candidate diversity
  • 20 years’ experience providing executive interim management solutions 
Contact us now to begin shortlisting potential candidates for you.

"Practicus helped find the perfect candidate for a very specific interim leader requirement at relatively short notice. They were patient with our rather lengthy sign-off process and managed the expectations of the board and candidates effectively."

Best interim CFO for you

Hiring an Interim CFO?

We have refined our approaches over two decades, collaborating with boardrooms across various sectors to concentrate on appointing the appropriate interim leaders.

During this period, we have developed a network of thousands of interim CFOs, achieving a global presence around the world.

We work closely with you to delve beyond the surface details of the role and conduct a search that genuinely identifies and engages individuals who will best meet your organisation’s requirements.

Rapid Shortlisting

Swift yet meticulous? That is our speciality.

We recognise that you require the right person promptly, and given this pertains directly to your business’s future, it must be handled with care.

How do we manage such rapid shortlisting? It’s due to our distinctive approach that bypasses the lengthy dogma of traditional searches. We concentrate on the real-world business challenges you are confronting and identify those who have recently and demonstrably overcome these obstacles. In essence, by diligently understanding you and your organisation from the outset, we guarantee a shorter timeframe with an enhanced shortlist.

Interim CFO


We believe an inclusive approach maximises the talent available to you. The outcomes of numerous surveys indicate that we are at the forefront of the industry in terms of candidate diversity—ensuring you have access to talent that avoids other brands. In short, we help you reach the best talent available and if that also helps you to enhance representation in the boardroom, that is a fantastic result.

Find out more: Practicus candidate diversity

Key findings of Practicus candidate placement diversity

What is the difference between interim CFO and fractional CFO?

An interim CFO serves temporarily during times of transition, transformation and turnaround, while a fractional CFO works part-time as a caretaker for multiple companies simultaneously. In theory, a CFO can be both interim and fractional but it’s worth understanding the different use cases. 

An interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is typically engaged during periods of significant change within a company, such as leadership transitions, major transformation initiatives, or financial turnarounds. The role of an interim CFO is to step in and provide immediate leadership and financial expertise to help navigate these critical times. This position is temporary and usually full-time, aimed at stabilising financial operations, implementing new processes, or preparing the company for a new phase of growth. Interim CFOs are generally seasoned professionals who bring a wealth of experience and a specific skill set tailored to the company’s immediate needs.

Conversely, a fractional CFO provides financial leadership on a part-time basis and often serves multiple companies simultaneously. This arrangement is particularly useful for smaller companies or start-ups that require expert financial guidance but do not have the resources or the necessity for a full-time CFO. Fractional CFOs manage critical financial functions, offer strategic advice, and assist with specific projects or ongoing financial management. By dividing their time among various organisations, fractional CFOs offer a cost-effective solution for companies in need of top-tier financial expertise without the full-time executive commitment. This role involves a mixture of strategic planning, financial analysis, and systems development, tailored to the needs of each client they serve.

What is a part-time CFO called?

A part-time CFO is often referred to as a “fractional CFO.” This title reflects their role in providing strategic financial leadership to multiple companies on a less than full-time basis, effectively sharing their expertise across different organisations.

It is possible for a CFO to be both interim and fractional simultaneously. 

Why hire an interim CFO?

Hiring an interim CFO can be a strategic decision for businesses facing specific challenges or transitions that require expert financial guidance for a limited period. Here are several compelling reasons to hire an interim CFO:

  • Navigating Transition: During periods of significant change such as mergers, acquisitions, or leadership gaps, an interim CFO can provide the stability and expertise needed to manage financial strategies effectively.

  • Specialised Expertise: Interim CFOs often bring specialised skills that might not be present within the existing team, such as experience in restructuring, raising capital, or implementing new financial systems.

  • Objective Insight: As temporary and typically external hires, interim CFOs can provide a fresh, unbiased perspective on the company’s financial health and operational strategies.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Employing an interim CFO avoids the long-term commitment and associated costs of a full-time hire, which is particularly advantageous for companies in transitional phases or with uncertain futures.

  • Speed of Engagement: Interim CFOs can be brought on board quickly to address immediate challenges, ensuring that the company does not lose valuable time in critical situations.

  • Flexibility: Companies can benefit from the flexible nature of an interim appointment, tailoring the duration and role of the CFO to match the specific needs and goals of the business at that time.

Why do CFO resign?

CFOs may resign due to a variety of reasons including seeking new professional challenges, differences in vision with the board or CEO, personal circumstances or better opportunities elsewhere.

Like any high-level executive, reasons for the resignation may include:

  • Seeking New Challenges: CFOs who feel they have achieved all they can within their current company may resign to seek new opportunities that promise further professional growth or different challenges.

  • Strategic Differences: Sometimes, CFOs may have strategic disagreements with other top executives or the board of directors regarding the financial direction or management of the company. Such fundamental differences can lead to resignation if they feel their professional integrity or vision cannot be aligned with the company’s path.

  • Personal Reasons: Personal circumstances such as health issues, family commitments, or a desire for a different work-life balance can also prompt CFOs to step down.

  • Better Opportunities: CFOs may receive offers that provide better career prospects, higher compensation, or more desirable locations, which can lure them away from their current positions.

  • Retirement: After a long and successful career, a CFO may decide to resign to retire, often after ensuring a transition plan is in place for their successor.

What is an interim CFO?

An interim CFO is a temporary executive who steps into the Chief Financial Officer role during periods of transition, absence or when a company requires financial expertise without committing to a permanent appointment. This professional is typically hired to manage specific projects like restructuring, mergers, acquisitions or to bridge a gap between the departure of a previous CFO and the selection of a new one. Interim CFOs bring specialised skills and an objective perspective to tackle immediate challenges, stabilize financial operations, and ensure continuity in financial leadership. They are particularly valuable in scenarios where rapid, experienced financial leadership is needed on a short-term basis.

What do interim CFOS do?

Interim CFOs provide temporary financial leadership during transitional periods, offering strategic guidance and stability to ensure continuity and address specific financial challenges within an organisation.

Interim CFOs play a crucial role in organisations by stepping into the Chief Financial Officer position on a temporary basis during periods of transition or crisis. Here are some of the key functions and responsibilities they typically handle:

  • Financial Leadership: Interim CFOs provide immediate leadership in the finance department, ensuring stability and continuity in all financial operations. They manage financial planning, risk management, record-keeping, and financial reporting.

  • Strategic Guidance: They offer strategic advice to the CEO and board members, particularly in times of significant change such as mergers, acquisitions, or corporate restructuring. Their expertise helps shape the financial strategy to align with the company’s long-term goals.

  • Operational Efficiency: Interim CFOs often look for ways to improve processes and increase efficiency within the finance department. They may implement new systems, technologies, or processes that enhance the financial operations of the company.

  • Crisis Management: In times of financial distress or operational challenges, interim CFOs are instrumental in stabilising the organisation. They might renegotiate terms with creditors, manage cash flow more tightly, and make tough decisions to keep the company solvent.

  • Transition Management: When a permanent CFO has departed, an interim CFO prepares the ground for their successor. This involves ensuring that the finance department continues to function smoothly, and that there is a solid financial strategy in place for the new CFO to take over.

  • Expertise on Demand: They bring specific skills that might not be present internally. This could include experience in areas like international finance, IPO preparation, or major financial transformations.

Examples of interim CFO assignments

Here are three examples of typical assignments that a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) might undertake:

  • Financial Restructuring: A CFO may be tasked with restructuring the company’s debt, optimizing capital structure, or implementing cost-cutting measures to improve financial health and sustainability, particularly during times of economic downturn or after a significant loss.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A): Leading the financial strategy for mergers or acquisitions, a CFO would oversee due diligence, assess the financial implications, negotiate terms, and integrate financial systems and processes of the merged or acquired entities to maximize value and efficiency.

  • Strategic Growth Initiatives: A CFO could lead efforts to expand the business, which may involve spearheading initiatives like entering new markets, launching new products, or scaling operations. This includes financial planning, risk analysis, investment evaluation, and securing funding to support these growth strategies.

What is the difference between an acting and an interim CFO? 

The difference between an acting CFO and an interim CFO lies primarily in their intended tenure and the nature of their appointment within the organisation:

  • Acting CFO: This role is typically filled by an existing member of the company who steps up to the CFO position on a temporary basis, usually when the previous CFO has suddenly left or is unable to perform their duties. The acting CFO might be a senior member of the finance team, such as the Controller or the Finance Director, who takes on the CFO responsibilities until a permanent CFO is hired. This is often seen as a placeholder role to maintain continuity.
  • Interim CFO: Unlike an acting CFO, an interim CFO is usually hired externally and brought in specifically for their expertise in handling particular situations like transitions, turnarounds, or significant projects. They are not considered for the permanent CFO role and are brought in solely for a defined period or until a specific goal is achieved. This allows them to provide objective, experienced leadership without the constraints of internal company dynamics.


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sam hawkins practicus

Sam Hawkins


Sam heads up our interim management practice 

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Synonyms for this page include:

Interim executive

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