What Is an Outsourced CFO

What Is an Outsourced CFO, and Why Does Your Business Need One?

Outsourced CFOs are becoming more common, but do you need one? Learn whether your business should outsource its financial leadership.

What Is an Outsourced CFO, and Why Does Your Business Need One?


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In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role has become increasingly critical to a company’s success as it navigates complex financial regulations, manages risk, and drives strategic growth initiatives. 

Bloomberg has dubbed the CFO role the “toughest job in the C-suite”— and no doubt CFOs’ mounting pressures and responsibilities warrant a hefty salary. But this means finding the ideal CFO candidate while balancing costs has become a formidable challenge. 

A Deloitte survey further emphasizes this issue, indicating fewer experienced candidates for the role every year. This scarcity has prompted companies to explore alternative solutions, such as outsourcing, to ensure their financial management remains in capable hands. 

This has led many businesses to seek the expertise of an outsourced CFO to meet their financial leadership needs.

This article will delve deeper into the concept of an outsourced CFO and look at the benefits of using this business model, the services an outsourced CFO can provide, and what to look for when finding your ideal outsourced finance professional to partner with.

CFO working on his laptop

What Is an Outsourced CFO?

An outsourced CFO is a financial expert who provides financial services to businesses on a part-time, temporary, or contractual basis. This allows companies to benefit from a CFO’s expertise and strategic guidance without the commitment and expense of hiring a full-time executive.

It is not necessarily an individual; it can also be a service provided by a firm, consultancy, or several freelancers, billed per project or hour. This flexible approach enables companies to tailor their engagement based on their specific needs and budget.

CFOs can be hired locally through onshore outsourcing, allowing them to physically show up at the company’s location for face-to-face collaboration. Alternatively, they can also be engaged remotely through offshore or nearshore outsourcing, which offers the advantage of cost savings while still providing valuable financial expertise.

These financial professionals typically possess extensive relevant experience in:

  • Financial management
  • Financial reporting
  • Strategic planning
  • Risk management
  • Industry-specific regulations and best practices

In addition to providing strategic financial guidance and oversight, an outsourced CFO works closely with a company’s leadership team to develop and implement financial plans that align with the organization’s overall objectives. 

This can include things like:

  • Cash flow management
  • Budgeting
  • Financial forecasting
  • Performance analysis
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Debt management

By engaging an outsourced CFO, companies can access the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to drive growth and improve financial performance, all while maintaining flexibility and controlling costs. 

This innovative approach to financial leadership, whether through onshore, offshore, or nearshore outsourcing, has proven to be a valuable asset for businesses looking to remain competitive in an increasingly complex and fast-paced economic environment.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced CFO?

Working with an outsourced CFO can provide a range of benefits to businesses of all sizes, from startups to established enterprises.

Lower costs

Hiring a full-time CFO can be expensive, particularly for small and mid-sized businesses, as it involves paying for a salary, benefits, bonuses, and other associated expenses. 

In contrast, an outsourced CFO is typically engaged on a part-time, project, hourly, or as-needed basis, which allows companies to manage their budgets better and avoid the financial burden of a full-time executive.

For startups and emerging businesses, this cost-effective solution is especially appealing. As these companies often require financial guidance and expertise for specific projects or growth initiatives, an outsourced CFO can offer targeted, per-project solutions without long-term financial commitment. 

By opting for an outsourced CFO, startups can allocate their limited resources more efficiently and effectively, ensuring they receive critical financial support without breaking the bank.

Expertise and resources 

An outsourced CFO with extensive experience across multiple industries and businesses can tap into this expertise, offering insights and guidance that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Moreover, outsourced CFOs often have access to a broader network of contacts and resources, providing additional value to the businesses they serve. This includes access to industry-standard financial tools and software that may be cost-prohibitive or otherwise unavailable to smaller companies. 

By leveraging these advanced tools, outsourced CFOs can deliver more efficient and effective financial management, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions and stay competitive in their respective markets.

Flexibility and scalability

The dynamic nature of today’s business environment demands the flexibility and scalability inherent in the outsourced CFO model. Companies can engage an outsourced CFO as needed, allowing them to scale their financial leadership up or down depending on their current requirements. 

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for businesses experiencing rapid growth, seasonal fluctuations, or those undertaking specific projects that require specialized financial expertise. 

By engaging an outsourced CFO, companies can ensure they have the right level of financial leadership in place at the right time and without the long-term commitment of a full-time CFO.

Client and CFO handshake

What Are the Services of an Outsourced CFO?

An outsourced CFO provides diverse services designed to meet the unique financial needs and challenges of each business they serve. 

Financial planning and budgeting

Outsourced CFOs assist businesses in developing comprehensive financial plans and budgets to guide their short-term and long-term financial decisions. This includes setting realistic revenue and expense targets, allocating resources effectively, and monitoring progress toward achieving financial goals.

Financial analysis and reporting

Financial analysis and reporting are essential for understanding a company’s financial performance, identifying trends, and making strategic decisions. An outsourced CFO can provide timely and accurate financial reports and in-depth analysis to help businesses make data-driven decisions.

Cash flow management

Effective cash flow management is crucial for maintaining a healthy financial position. Outsourced CFOs can help businesses optimize their cash flow by analyzing receivables, payables, and inventory and implementing cash flow projections and strategies.

Financial risk management

An outsourced CFO can help businesses identify, assess, and mitigate financial risks, such as currency fluctuations, interest rate changes, and credit risks. They can also develop risk management strategies and policies to ensure the company’s financial stability.

Strategic planning and consultation

Outsourced CFOs provide strategic financial guidance, working closely with business owners and management teams to develop and implement strategies aligning with the company’s objectives and driving future growth.

Cloud accounting

With the increasing adoption of cloud technology, outsourced CFOs can help businesses transition to cloud-based accounting programs and systems, streamlining processes and providing real-time financial data access. This enables better decision-making and improved efficiency.

Systems automation

An outsourced CFO can identify opportunities for systems automation, leveraging technology to improve financial processes and reduce manual tasks. This leads to increased accuracy, efficiency, and cost savings for the business.

How To Find the Best Outsourced CFO

Finding the best outsourced CFO for your business is crucial for ensuring your financial needs are met effectively and efficiently. 

When looking for an outsourced CFO, you can use a recruiting firm or job board to make your search easier. One platform that can help you easily connect with experienced candidates is Near, which offers access to top financial talent from Latin America. Our vast network of professionals can provide you with the expertise you need while saving 30–70% over comparable US-based professionals.

Whether you use an agency or a search firm to help find your CFO or go it on your own, when searching for the best outsourced CFO, there are three major factors to consider: industry experience, services offered, and price.

Industry experience

It’s critical to find an outsourced CFO with relevant industry experience, as they will have a deeper understanding of your sector’s specific financial challenges, regulations, and best practices. 

This specialized knowledge can be invaluable in helping your business navigate the unique financial landscape of your industry and achieve a competitive edge.


As discussed earlier, outsourced CFOs can provide various services, from financial planning and budgeting to risk management and technology adoption. 

When selecting an outsourced CFO, consider the most important services to your business and ensure that the candidate or firm you choose can effectively meet those needs.


Like anything else, price is an important consideration when hiring an outsourced CFO. It can vary significantly depending on several factors, making it crucial to balance cost and value, ensuring that the outsourced CFO you choose can deliver the financial expertise your business requires without breaking the bank.


Partnering with an outsourced CFO has emerged as a practical and cost-effective solution for businesses seeking expert financial guidance without the commitment and expense of a full-time hire. 

From startups to established enterprises, companies across various industries have recognized the benefits of this approach, including lower costs, access to expertise and resources, and enhanced flexibility and scalability.

As a final thought, remember that the success of any financial partnership hinges on open communication and alignment of goals. When engaging an outsourced CFO, establish a strong working relationship built on trust and a shared vision for your business’s financial future. 

To find your CFO or for more specific financial needs, like investment analysts or payroll specialists, fill out this simple form to start interviewing for free with Near.

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