<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1293496927697306&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">


    Full-Time vs Fractional CFO: Making the Right Choice for Your Business

    Posted by Aaron Jacobstein on Mar 20, 2024 10:25:11 AM

    As businesses grow, financial management becomes increasingly complex. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reach a point where they need specialized financial expertise beyond what their current team can provide.

    This often leads to a crucial decision: whether to hire a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or to engage a fractional CFO on a part-time basis. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and the choice depends on various factors unique to each business. In this blog post, we’ll explore these considerations to help you make an informed decision.

    The Role of a CFO

    Before diving into the differences between full-time and fractional CFOs, it’s essential to understand the role they play in a company. A CFO is responsible for overseeing a company's financial operations, including financial planning, budgeting, accounting, treasury and reporting. They also provide strategic financial guidance to help drive the business's growth and profitability.

    Full-Time CFO: The Benefits and Drawbacks

    Hiring a full-time CFO offers several benefits. First, having a dedicated CFO can provide stability and continuity to your financial management, ensuring that someone is always focused on your company's financial health. A full-time CFO can also offer more personalized attention to your business's specific needs and develop a deep understanding of its operations, which can lead to more effective financial strategies. Additionally, having a completely dedicated leadership team, composed of C-suite veterans, allows a business to make informed decisions, cross departmentally.

    The major downside to a full-time CFO is cost. Executives with the expertise and experience required to be successful CFOs come at a premium. Having a single executive represent 1% of total revenues presents inefficiencies and imbalance of resources.

    Fractional CFO: The Benefits and Drawbacks

    Engaging a fractional CFO can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a full-time CFO. Fractional CFOs work on a part-time or contract basis, allowing you to access their expertise without the expense of a full-time hire. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses that don't need a full-time CFO but still require strategic financial guidance.

    Another advantage of fractional CFOs is their flexibility. You can engage them for specific projects or periods, such as during a financial restructuring, fundraising round or acquisition due diligence. This flexibility allows you to scale their services according to your business's needs, providing a cost-effective solution for accessing high-level financial expertise.

    However, one drawback of using a fractional CFO is that they may not be as deeply embedded in your business as a full-time CFO. This can limit their ability to develop a deep understanding of your company's operations, which may affect the quality of their financial advice.

    Considerations for Choosing Between Full-Time and Fractional CFOs

    When deciding between a full-time or fractional CFO, consider the following factors:

    Budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on financial expertise. If your budget is limited, a fractional CFO may be a more cost-effective option.

    Flexibility: Consider how much flexibility you need in terms of financial expertise. 

    Long-Term Strategy: Think about your long-term business strategy and how a CFO can support it. If you anticipate significant growth or changes in your business, a full-time CFO may be more beneficial in the long run, if you can afford the investment.


    Deciding between a full-time or fractional CFO is a significant decision that can have long-lasting implications for your business's financial health. By carefully considering your budget, the scope of work, flexibility needs, and long-term strategy, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your business's needs and goals. Whether you choose a full-time CFO or a fractional CFO, having the right financial expertise can help drive your business's success.

    Schedule a consultation with Titicus to investigate which decision is right for you.

    Topics: Finance, Blog