Hays’ latest quarterly report shows that demand for virtual CFOs has spiked in the accounting industry, cited by firms as an opportunity to provide new revenue streams.
However, supply isn’t meeting demand, and chief executive officer at Sequel CFO, David Boyar, thinks resources available in the marketplace are partly to blame. The associations in particular are falling short, he said.
“There is not much being done to develop the depth of the talent pool,” Mr Boyar told Accountants Daily.
“We have a situation where demand outstrips supply, because the talent doesn’t know they have this as an option,” Mr Boyar said.
“I don’t think they are aware of what their career options are the virtual CFO space. We are certainly seeing at financial controller and CFO level, people who are making enquiries are asking — what on earth is a virtual CFO?” he said.
Lance Rubin, who has been in and around the accounting industry since 1995 and is currently CFO for a fintech startup, said he was entirely unaware virtual CFOs existed until about 2015.
“I didn’t even realise the term virtual CFO existed until I transformed myself into one by turning a permanent part-time CFO role of three days a week into three days a month,” he said.
According to Hays, there are several factors behind the growing demand, including rapid technological change and a growing appetite for strategic, technical and financial advice.
“Cost-saving is another factor, with businesses looking for advice or services from those who are experts in the exact area where assistance is required. This is leading to the emergence of more specialised professional and business services companies who in turn require highly-skilled staff to deliver the necessary services and retain customers,” the Hays report said.