Interim Finance Director

Tom Malley FCCATom Malley FCCA

Tom Malley FCCA

Their skills and experience are wide-ranging. If the appointment is short-term or specialist many candidates will command high fees.

If you’re thinking about making an appointment, you should first establish:

  • What it is you want to achieve from the appointment and the candidate.
  • The time frame involved. Is it a one-month sabbatical cover or a two-year plan to sell your business?
  • Once your objectives are identified, you will be able to commence your search.

Interim Finance Director Recruitment

Once you identify what experience and skills best fit your skills gap you will be able to decide if you need:

  • A generalist interim finance director.
  • A specialist interim finance director.
  • A different type of interim management position.

There is fluidity with labels like generalist, specialist, or even a slightly different role like a turnaround consultant. The same person can be all three. It just depends on the marketing or perhaps the position they’re applying for.


Is your requirement a safe pair of hands to cover the day to day duties of an existing finance director who is off for a defined period?

Are you planning or expecting no significant projects during this period?

If yes, your pool to choose from will be larger than that of a specialist role. If your business operates in a sector or industry that doesn’t require specialist knowledge, relevant experience, and is not regulated, you have other options. You may even find an interim financial controller or good interim finance manager who will be able to perform the duties you require. It may also be significantly cheaper than recruiting an interim finance director.

BorrowingWell advises you to focus on candidates with a track record in interim or fixed-term contract (FTC) roles if you opt to recruit an interim finance director.

BorrowingWell believes this will limit the risk of employing somebody who views the role as a temporary stop-gap.


You may want an interim finance director to serve a specific purpose, such as a project with defined goals. In this instance, you may already have a Finance Director, or not, but require the services of someone else for a specific reason, such as:

  • to raise capital, be it debt or equity.
  • Debt refinancing.
  • A start-up specialist.
  • Growth acceleration.
  • Migration to a new CRM or accountancy system.
  • Align reporting requirements for a newly acquired subsidiary.
  • Change management.
  • Business turnaround.
  • Restructuring.
  • Planned public listing.
  • Systems and controls review.
  • Treasury management.
  • PE, VC, or Plc specific experience.
  • Exit planning.
  • IR35 preparation.

Alternatives to an Interim Finance Director

You may like to consider a temporary promotion for the second in command of the finance department. They will need to be competent and want to perform the role. You may also have other businesses under your control. Is it possible you have talent that you can deploy or talent that can cover two jobs? This could prove to be the most cost-effective route.

Alternatively, you can focus your search on candidates that have a track record of interim finance director roles. It’s understandable if you want the peace of mind of knowing you have somebody who is highly skilled, experienced, and can focus on the task at hand. The finance department isn’t a department you want to start having headaches over.

Alternatives that don’t involve the time and monetary expense of placing a candidate can be appealing but make sure they can achieve your objectives.

Other Interim Management Positions

There are plenty of other non-finance interim management positions (HR, Operations, Compliance, etc) that could be listed. But, BorrowingWell would like to stay on the topic of interim finance directors.

BorrowingWell advises that you’re open-minded when it comes to recruiting. You should challenge the assumption that you need an interim finance director as another type of specialist may be able to achieve your objectives.