Recently Rutherford Cross held it’s second Interim CFO Virtual Roundtable event of 2021 attended by a number of interim finance professionals and hosted by Derek Lauder and Hazel Wynn of Rutherford Cross.
The event generated interesting discussions around the senior finance market, managing client expectations, and the merits of virtual networking as outlined below.
The Senior Finance market has remained very busy over the summer months with the demand for Accounting professionals remaining high for both interim and permanent hires. The view was largely positive about the short to medium term prospects in the Scottish market over the next 18-24 months with higher than normal Private Equity investment, more resources required to handle the additional bureaucracy caused by Brexit, and development projects that were stalled last year coming back on stream.
Attendees noted that it will be interesting to see what impact the reduction of Government Support has on the market over the coming months. It was discussed that businesses with strong working capital management are likely to fair best. Overall around the ‘virtual table’ the general feeling is one of positivity about market prospects.
Managing Expectations to Ensure Success
The discussion moved onto managing the expectation gap between the hirer and the senior interim. It was highlighted that the job brief of the Interim CFO virtually never pans out as expected and so manging expectations with the MD is critical. To be a successful interim you must be extremely flexible and able to adapt and deal with the unexpected. Usually the MD or CEO is looking for a fresh set of eyes when they engage an interim CFO and it is important that the interim calls out things that are not right early in the assignment and as they are discovered.
Attendees commented that often it is in the first couple of weeks that these quick wins are found and can be extremely helpful in bridging any expectation gap that may have existed. The interim CFO’s relationship with the CEO or MD is vital to the success of assignment and so it was discussed how doing some background and diligence on the CEO or MD you will be working with prior to joining is going to be helpful.
Virtual Networking – is it Here to Stay?
Finally, the Group discussed the merits of Virtual Networking echoing what we have found at Rutherford Cross that the ease of being able to attend both small virtual groups or larger online presentations is posing the question of when or to what extent ‘in person’ networking events will return in the future. The discussion confirmed that there is little or no ‘in person’ networking happening currently and that this may only become clearer once we see what companies working practices are in relation to returning to the office. You can read our recent blog on the benefits of virtual networking here.
If you are an Interim CFO and would like to enquire about joining this group or would like to have a discussion about the senior finance interim market please get in touch with either [email protected] or [email protected]