Fractional CFOS

Experienced Fractional CFOs for Your Fast-Growing Startup!

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Jim Gellas
VP of Finance, CPA
Healy Jones
VP of FP&A

If your startup is growing fast and you need someone to manage your finances, but you’re not ready to hire a full-time employee, you may need a fractional CFO. A fractional CFO is an experienced Chief Financial Officer who provides services for startups on a part-time, retainer, or contracting basis. The main responsibilities of a fractional CFO are to:

  • Manage the startup’s financial reporting.
  • Build and maintain the startup’s projections and budget.
  • Execute capital raises i.e., venture capital rounds and handle legal and negotiations for the CEO, such as leases, insurance, etc.
  • Manage and support the company’s financial infrastructure.

Fractional CFOs most commonly partner with companies to help overcome financial challenges, achieve growth, optimize strategy, implement systems, raise capital, or navigate an audit and/or transaction. The CFO should be helping translate your company’s metrics into insight that the rest of the management team can use to make strategic, important decisions such as when to make additional hires, when to ramp up sales or marketing spend, or how potential contracts will impact unit economics.

Unlike a full-time CFO who oversees and maintains all general financial strategy or an interim CFO who performs CFO duties before or between CFO hires, a consulting CFO’s duties are usually on a project basis and are specifically tuned to your company’s particular needs, challenges, or goals. This allows your company to benefit from the experience and expertise of a premium CFO without the operating costs of a full-time CFO ie. salary, benefits, and bonuses.

When does a startup need a fractional CFO?

Fractional CFOs work well for Seed and Series A-C Startups. All startups should considerhiring a Fractional CFO at least a minimum of one quarter before a new fundraise to avoid overloading the startup CEOs during a fundraise. Having a CFO to work on the projections, prepare KPIs, answer financial reporting questions - and in the best case - come with existing venture capital relationships, will drive a significant amount of leverage for the CEO during this challenging time.

The story is different for seed stage companies. Rarely, if ever, do they need a full time CFO. Rather, business founders should opt to take a Chief Operating Officer title and preserve full time positions especially during the early stages. Enter a senior financial professional. A part-time CFO or experienced accounting CPA firm is a much better fit for most seed andSeries A startups because they allow you to lower costs without sacrificing quality output.

Telltale signs your startup is ready for a CFO, despite the series round, include:

  • The CEO focuses on distracting financial reporting or projections multiple times a day..
  • The CEO and/or COO work closely on multiple client contracts with the sales team.
  • The CEO deals with multiple accounting questions a week.
  • Your startup is considering going public within the next 12 to 18 months.

Not every fast-growth company needs a fractional CFO, but when it’s time, it’s time! Past Series D, a startup will usually hire a full-time CFO to manage the now growing accounting department, expecting to pay $240K+. However, before you reach Series D, you’ll want to look seriously at hiring for this role, either part time or full time.

What to look for in a Fractional CFO

Here are a few key items when hiring a senior finance professional on acontracting basis:

  • Do they know your stage? A company gearing up to get ready for a $100 million venture raise is very different from a company with more modest capital needs. You need someone who understands your stage and can propel you towards future goals.
  • Are they a specialist? If your startup operates in a specialty industry, you may need a specialist. Some industries, such as biotechnology or technology hardware manufacturing, have unique capital and cash flow needs. Finding an outsourced expert can help you craft a financial strategy unique to your business.
  • Are they paying attention? You need someone who can provide the right amount of attention to your company for the foreseeable future. Fractional CFOs are in high demand and finding someone who has enough time to dedicate to your business can be a challenge. Working with someone who doesn’t have the bandwidth to give you the attention you need could later become a massive mistake.
  • Are they compatible with your style? It is imperative you choose a partner who will compliment your leadership and management style. If you’re not a detail-oriented CEO, you’ll want to find a finance leader who is comfortable diving into the details. Remember, always look for someone who brings a perspective that compliments your style and grows the company.

You’ve found the right fit. What next?

What should a fractional CFO do at a startup?

  • Closing the monthly books and managing financial reporting.
  • Managing the budgeting process and the financial projections as well as keeping track of the company’s expected cash out date.
  • Fundraising logistics, advice, and coordination such as supplying investors with financials and other due diligence materials.
  • Contract negotiations for items like new leases and large vendor contracts.
  • Managing the company’s cash and burn as well as making recommendations around hiring or altering the burn rate.
  • Developing a short-term, mid-term, and long-term view of the business to better prepare the company’s trajectory and cash position as well as requirements.
  • Securing loans or investments and anticipating future owner compensation.

  • Enacting systems to support sustainable growth.

Fractional CFO’s are often brought into an organization to help you achieve a specific goal such as raising capital or preparing for a sale, merger, or acquisition or optimize your forward-facing financial visibility. An outsourced CFO’s services will include anything and everything the company needs to help translate the founders’ vision into reality from a financial lens.Quality startup CFOs understand the importance of translating each founder’s goal into a reality from a financial point of view and can be trusted to work with you to take your company successfully into the future.

Consulting, Tax and Valuation Prices

Competitively priced for high-growth companies

See our monthly pricing plans

Financial Consulting

Staff Accountant $85
Senior Staff Accountant $110
Controller $140
Junior Financial Modeling $175
Financial Modeling $400
Venture Debt $400
CFO $350
Tax Advisory $395

Startup 409A Valuation

Seed $2,000
Seed A $2,500
Seed B $3,000
Seed C $3,500

Affordable Startup Bookkeeping and Accounting

Check out Kruze's affordable monthly bookkeeping options. 

Monthly Company Expenses

Monthly costs vary based on your needs and company expenses.

monthly startup expenses
Basic Bookkeeping

Ideal for angel funded companies

Starting at $325 per month

  • Dedicated Bookkeeper
  • Operations in 1 State
  • No HR Services
  • No State Tax Compliance
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Founder Timesaver

Great for busy founders

Starting at $425 per month

  • Dedicated Accountant
  • Operations in 2 States
  • HR Services Available
  • State and Local Tax Compliance
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Ideal for high-growth, well-funded businesses

  • Controller or Fractional CFO
  • Multiple States, International
  • HR Services Available
  • State and Local Tax Compliance
  • Complex Revenue Recognition
  • Custom Reporting

The Best Funded Startups Trust Kruze

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$5.5B+ in Funding

Our clients have secured over five billion dollars in seed and venture funding; close to a billion in the past year alone. Top tier VCs trust our clients’ books, and Kruze knows how to prepare startups’ financials for VC due diligence. Our clients know that they’ll be ready for their next round.

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Successful Exits Every Month

On average, one to two of our clients are acquired every month. Our team has experience producing accounting and tax due diligence requests for the biggest public companies. Every month we help founders navigate the most important transaction of their life.

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$10 million in Cash Burn Saved

Right now, our clients are saving almost $10 million in cash expenses from our R&D tax credit work. Our startup tax experts know how to help startups navigate taxes to reduce their burn. Hundreds of funded startups trust Kruze to deliver the right advice, on time, at a reasonable price.

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