A CFO isn't just for a company with a longstanding history: a person in this position can be essential for helping younger businesses handle a sudden influx of attention and revenue. As part of a long-term strategy for growth, executives can anticipate when they are going to need more help coordinating finances by pursuing staff who will fill the CFO role successfully beforehand.
Startups will not always be able to predict necessarily when their business is going to receive more attention, not to mention outside funds. Initially a Controller-type person might be sufficient, but ideally someone who could grow into a CFO role. Placing a CFO sooner rather than later could help a company prepare, as well as skip working with an interim CFO to find a permanent participant instead.
Snapchat serves as a recent example of this, as the company is expected to earn as much as $50 million this year, but has no current CFO to respond to this growth. According to PYMNTS, the company has been searching for someone to fill this position for months now, and its unique way of approaching investors makes finding a CFO who understands how to handle their finances that much more crucial.
"Whoever steps into the position may truly have their work cut out for them," the source says. "In addition to the stress that comes with taking any company public, Snapchat's future CFO will also have to deal with a young CEO and an evolving business model, all while the company continues to make its way up the valuation ranks."
Building a strong c-level staff will leave younger companies in a better position to develop and establish the executive talent needed to deal with a startup's immediate problems.
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