Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring a CFO for Your Business

Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring a CFO for Your Business

The right CFO can improve your bottom line and streamline financial operations. Take the time to learn about several mistakes to avoid when hiring a CFO for your business. When you hand someone the keys to your financial castle, you must be sure that they have the qualifications and the character to do the job right.


A CFO sits atop a heap of extreme temptation. The lure of reporting stellar results when the reality may be less rosy or the pressure to take risks with tax strategies can lead even the most trusted financial leaders astray.

Before you extend an offer to a CFO candidate, you must be certain the person has an unblemished record of integrity. You want someone who is unafraid to deliver bad news when necessary and won’t soft-pedal severe issues in financial management that you must address.


Launching a search with the intent of finding someone just like the person who recently left the position is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when hiring a CFO for your business. While everything may have been chugging along fine with the former incumbent, trying to find someone exactly like that person is nearly impossible and extremely unwise.

The need to fill an open executive position always creates opportunity. If the person who left was in the position for a long time, a fresh approach could benefit your business. Look for someone with a reputation for strategic thinking, innovative use of technology and the ability to communicate financial concepts concisely and clearly to a variety of audiences.


Industry knowledge is not the same as financial expertise. CFOs have a specialized set of skills that enables them to build a picture of your business based on your costs, revenue, expenses and profits. CFOs should be skilled at creating realistic projections and developing financial communications that are transparent and understandable for your board and the rest of the C-Suite.

Don’t assume that because someone has been in your industry for years, they’ll be able to take on your business’s financial management. While your CFO should understand your business and industry, their expertise should lie in managing financial information, thinking strategically about financial goals and managing the team that makes up the financial aspect of your operation. The team may include a variety of people, from accountants to technology professionals tasked with data gathering and information security.

Battalia Winston is an executive search firm that can help you conduct a successful CFO executive search. We have a team of professional recruiters who focus on sourcing superior candidates for executive leadership. We will work with you to find the right leader for your open position, from sales executives to information technology to CEOs. Contact us today to launch your search for new leadership in critical areas of your business.



of our searches
we conduct are from current Clients


of searches
are successfully


Years in business
Battalia Winston is led by recruiting experts with more than 30 years of experience. We work directly with company leadership as well as outside advisors (compensation consultants, private equity sponsors, etc.). Our experts understand governance as it applies to family-owned businesses and have placed more than 125 candidates in family businesses in the last decade.
We have consistently been recognized as one of the top retained executive search firms in the United States. Battalia Winston headquartered in New York, NY has offices in Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; and Woodbridge, NJ.

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