Fractional CFO Services

Leverage the expertise of a talented CFO without commiting a substantial part of your budget

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What Is a Fractional CFO?

A Fractional CFO, now sometimes called a virtual CFO, is a Chief Financial Officer who supports a company on a part-time basis. Depending on the circumstance, a Fractional CFO can work remotely, in-office, or in a hybrid arrangement. A Fractional CFO usually works between 2-15 hours a week, but the work schedule is very flexible, subject to the company's needs. When companies need full-time CFO support, typically they will call on an Interim CFO.

Many times, a company will call on a Fractional CFO several times a month whenever they need guidance. Other times, the Fractional CFO will spend a set amount of time every week working with the company on a wide variety of challenges.

Do I Need a Fractional CFO?

If your business needs the expertise of a CFO but you don't have the need or budget for a full-time hire, a Fractional CFO is a great solution.

A Fractional CFO can provide occasional guidance, or they can roll up their sleeves and manage any set of finance tasks you need covered.

Early-Stage Companies

A fractional CFO can help early-stage companies secure the necessary funding, establish an effective finance function, and pursue their vision. Due to a lack of funding, many early-stage companies cannot afford a fractional CFO for their entire work effort. We work creatively with companies by incorporating a bonus structure after we achieve certain milestones, giving your company access to the highest-level executive finance talent immediately.

Growth-Stage Companies

A fractional CFO can help growth-stage companies optimize and achieve scale on the critical path. In many cases our fractional CFOs begin work by performing a finance assessment, taking a broad look at your finance function, and gathering insight from your team to create a roadmap to finance success. After the assessment, we will have identified and will pursue the low-hanging fruit that will provide the fastest and most substantial benefit to your bottom line.

Systems Transitions

A major systems transition, like an ERP implementation, is a complex, resource consuming project that many companies struggle to prepare for. Our CFOs can support your organization’s change management capabilities, guiding you through resource allocation, training, communication, and more. A major systems project will be a drain on cash as well as the time of your people. We can help you sufficiently plan and coordinate the effort, ensuring that your operations are healthy while the organization undergoes significant change.

M&A Consulting

Our M&A CFOs have a three-phase approach to the deal lifecycle, guiding you through the planning, evaluation, and execution of each deal. The idea of M&A strategy is a bit of a misnomer, as the underlying vision is all about corporate strategy. Instead, M&A is a tool through which we help you rapidly achieve your vision. As business leaders and corporate strategists, we understand how the M&A tool belt integrates with your broader objectives.

Benefits of a Fractional CFO

Benefits of a Franctional CFO

A Fractional CFO is available when you need them. They are a low-risk solution to your financial challenges and provide a fresh perspective on your company situation. It is the most cost-effective route to leverage the knowledge and expertise of a highly experienced CFO.

McCracken supports companies throughout the United States in a fractional capacity, guiding companies as they navigate new territory.


A fractional CFO help your company review and improve accounting policies and procedures. The fractional CFO will understand how to work with your accounting team to implement the changes and train them on the new accounting environment. The CFO can also ensure that your company is in compliance with all relevant accounting standards and regulations, including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Strategic Planning & Advisory

A fractional CFO can provide a wide range of advisory services to a company including financial planning and analysis, risk management, corporate governance, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and more. The CFO can collaborate with the company’s management to provide guidance and support on any of these topics. The CFO is also capable of leading any of these initiatives, managing the project from start to finish.


A fractional CFO can review all of your tax obligations and ensure the company is in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. This includes helping you stay up-to-date on changes to tax laws and preparing for any impact on tax liability. The CFO will identify tax planning opportunities, such as using credits and deductions to reduce tax liability. They can also help structure operations in a tax-efficient manner.

Finally, a fractional CFO can support the preparation and filing of tax returns, verifying the information and timeliness of the return. In the event that the company is selected for audit by the IRS, the fractional CFO can help your company respond effectively and efficiently to requests.

Financial KPIs

Support with KPIs can be broken into four categories: identification, target setting, reporting, and decision-making. A fractional CFO will first work with management to identify the KPIs most relevant to your company’s operations and goals. From there the CFO will help you set targets for each indicator, giving you the ability to measure progress towards goals. The fractional CFO will help you track and analyze the KPIs, providing insights and recommendations for improvement. They can also help create reports or set-up dashboards to view the KPIs in real-time. These reports and dashboards can be used internally or distributed to external stakeholders such as investors or board members. Finally, the fractional CFO can use the KPIs to help you inform decision making throughout the organization. Understanding performance in key areas gives management the ability to make more informed decisions on allocating resources and prioritizing initiatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ask a CFO to do something when I don't know what needs to be done?

You don't know what you don't know, which makes it difficult to ask for help in areas where you are not sure what the improvements are or if they're even needed. We will commonly perform an assessment of your organization's finance function at the start of any engagement. It is the CFO's job to inform the CEO about both what is needed from a finance perspective as well as where finance can contribute additional value to the overall vision of the company.

How many hours does a Fractional CFO work?

Fractional CFOs work a flexible number of hours based on the changing needs of the business they serve. This could be a few hours a month up to 10 or 20 hours a week.

What if I don't know how often I need the Fractional CFO?

Fractional CFOs are used to working flexibly and on-demand. This means that you may need them close to full-time for a few weeks before converting to a low number of hours for ongoing guidance. Your business may not need the full-time support of a CFO, but having fractional guidance to support your controller and advise your CEO can be an invaluable asset in creating company strategy.

When does a startup need a fractional CFO?

A startup can benefit from the council of a seasoned industry CFO from day one, but realistically the startup won't have demands on their finance and accounting function that warrant the involvement of a CFO until they've raised seed capital. Preparing for future rounds of funding is just one of the many areas that a fractional CFO can add value to a startup.

What to look for in a fractional CFO?

A fortune 500 CFO may not make the best fit in a startup environment. Similarly, a fractional CFO with a background in telecommunications is unlikely to have the expertise needed in a healthcare organization. A CPA can be a great credential to find in a CFO, but not every company will need a CFO with a heavy background in accounting. Circumstances vary for each company depending on the stage and needs of the organization.

What should a fractional CFO do at a company?

A fractional CFO's involvement depends greatly on the stage and needs of the organization. In smaller companies, the fractional CFO may personally take on a broad set of responsibilities, including managing the books, negotiating contracts, and more. In a larger company, the fractional CFO may oversee and guide the controller who manages the accounting function as well as other leaders in the finance function.

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