A CFO has a transversal mission that includes the administrative, legal, human resources and financial fields. A company with 5 to 100 employees needs an individual responsible for financial management. Only the price of a CFO is very high so it seems more advantageous to outsource these services. Beyond 100 employees, having an in-house CFO makes more financial sense. To recruit a good CFO, word of mouth, LinkedIn, a recruitment agency and headhunters are the most effective means. Discover our tips for recruiting the right CFO by 2023 !

What is a CFO?

The studies of a CFO

The CFO or financial director has at least a five-year degree in management, law, human resources, finance, accounting, management control or audit.

The courses that dominate are the grande école option accounting-finance in the top 5 business schools in France.

The Higher Diploma in Accounting and Management(DSCG) and the professional Master's degree in Accounting and Controlling(CCA) are also two preferred courses.

Two rarer courses that fit the criteria are the Institute of Political Studies(IEP) with a financial section or an engineering school with management training.

The CFO position requires a minimum of 5 years of experience in the field. A background in an audit firm is a plus. The relevance of the experience depends on the company, its size, its sector and its business model.

Remuneration of the CFO

The remuneration of a CFO varies according to experience. A profile with 5 years of experience will be paid between 45 and 70k gross per year.

The most experienced profiles with more than 15 years of experience can earn up to 300k gross per year

The role of the CFO

What is the role of the CFO?
What is the role of the CFO?

The CFO manages the company's finances

Firstly, the finance director, as the name suggests, manages the finances of the company. Finance includes accounting, auditing, budgeting, financial forecasting, financing and budget planning.

The CFO directly manages these employees who are responsible for the areas mentioned above. The primary objective of a CFO is the profitability of the company

The CFO communicates between the different parts of the company

Finance was the area that brought together major sectors of a company, the CFO plays the role of communicator between the different areas of the company: accounting, legal, human resources and finance.

M&A, international growth, asset disposals and other strategic projects are directly related to the role of the CFO.

Support for human resources issues

The CFO is a support for human resources and management issues in general. The HRD is the main executive on these matters, but the CFO is an aid who can inform the HRD on strategic decisions concerning the human development of the company.

Management of the legal sector

The last important task of a CFO is the management of the legal sector. After all, the CFO is confronted with the legal rules in force.

He is responsible for ensuring that the laws are properly complied with and for monitoring their development over time. Good management of tax returns is key in a company. If there is a dispute with the law or with customers, the CFO will be the first to be concerned. 

In the long term, a competent CFO can then become the CFO of the company.

The necessary qualities of a good CFO

By nature, a CFO needs to have technical skills in finance, accounting, taxation and IT. The CFO is in contact with customers and therefore needs to be able to negotiate effectively and anticipate possible problems.

If the company is international, the CFO must speak at least English

In addition to these purely technical skills, a CFO has a managerial and leadership position. This role involves making decisions, managing and leading a team.

To unite his or her employees, a CFO must have strong interpersonal skills: be a good listener and ensure good communication. 

Areas of intervention of the CFO

The areas of intervention of a CFO are: finance, administration, human resources, management and legal. Other more remote areas that affect the CFO's job are: purchasing, communication, general services and internal audit.

When is a CFO needed?

Controlling and managing a company'sfinances is essential for its continued existence. This is a vital position in a company and can directly impact on its growth.

A growing start-up or SME with 5 to 100 employees will need someone to steer its finances. But when a company is still small, paying a full-time CFO can be too expensive and unnecessary.

The question of outsourcing the CFO profile can be a financially advantageous strategy.

However, when a company hires more than 100 people, a full-time CFO becomes necessary and more cost-effective.

How much does a CFO/CFO cost: full time, part time, in-house, external?

In general, a full time CFO is paid between 5,000 euros gross and 12,500 euros gross in France. The median salary for a CFO in France is €8,750 gross per month.

A CFO working in a large company will earn between €6,667 and €25,000 per month, which makes a media salary of €15,834 gross per month.

A company with 5 to 100 employees and a CFO budget of between €15,000 and €60,000 per year is well advised to outsource its CFO. 

The remuneration of an outsourced CFO varies between approximately 750 and 1,250 euros per day. This range is relative. The cost depends in particular on the profile of the CFO, his or her experience, the type of contract, the scope of intervention, the urgency of the need, the geographical area (a CFO in the Ile de France is expensive), the level of specialisation of the CFO, and the rhythm of the services.

For small companies, outsourcing their CFO allows them to have the expertise of a financial manager at a lower cost. 

How to recruit a good CFO? What tools can I use to find a CFO?

To find the right CFO, it is essential to look within your existing professional network. Word of mouth can give you concrete feedback on the work of individuals as CFOs. In addition, other start-ups in your circle may already be working with a competent outsourced CFO. There are three networks that can be used: your own, your employees' and your board's.

Platforms such as LinkedIn can be a powerful weapon in finding that special someone. Posting an attractive advert on LinkedIn can give you exposure and share the advert with potential candidates.

If the search for a CFO is too long and unsuccessful, outsourcing this onerous task to expert recruiters can be effective. Indeed, there are many recruitment agencies or headhunting firms that have a pool of candidates ready to meet you.

How can I finance the recruitment of my future CFO?

Karmen is there to support you financially during your recruitment periods. Indeed, Karmen allows digital companies to finance their growth in a non-dilutive way and very quickly.

At Karmen, the investor has no direct ownership in the business and does not require fixed payments. Payments will be based on the company's revenue . Karmen uses a tool to anticipate the future revenues of a business.

In concrete terms, if your income decreases during a month, the royalties to Karmen will be reduced proportionally . Conversely, if the company's revenues increase drastically during a month, the royalties will increase simultaneously.

Karmen offers an alternative to fundraising that allows more companies to finance themselves.

Indeed, Karmen does not have any particular requirement on a business sector or an ultra-tech product as a venture capital fund may have.

Getting a quick loan is the essence of Karmen's offer, as a business can receive cash in less than 48 hours

 A CFO has a cross-cutting mission that includes the administrative, legal, human resources and financial areas. A company with between 5 and 100 employees needs an individual responsible for financial management. Only the price of a CFO is very high, so it seems more advantageous to outsource these services. Above 100 employees, having an in-house CFO makes more financial sense. To recruit a good CFO, word of mouth, LinkedIn, a recruitment agency and headhunters are the most effective means.

To discover other advice from our teams, see our advice on how to manage your cash flow on a daily basis.