Topic: General Posts

Subject: Ideas about first few months after joining a new company
Chris Kraus
Member: 2020
Submitted on 05-01-20 3:28 pm


I'm joining a Company as their CFO soon and the Company's board meeting is 3 days after my start date. I was asked to share some of my ideas with the board about my first few months. Given my limited knowledge about the Company at this point, it will be challenging to have specific ideas. 

My idea is to break down the first 90 days into three 30 day increments. I also have some ideas on what my first 90 days would.should look like, but I would appreciate your feedback on how you would approach a new CFO role.


Thank you!

Dave Goldin
Member: 2003
Posts: 31

Subject: Re:Ideas about first few months after joining a new company

Submitted on 05-04-20 12:56 pm.

HI Chris. Take "standard" 90 day CFO tasks and modify them to fit what you kinow about the company, albeit it might be limited:

- evaluate department and staff strengths and weaknesses, including interviewing the team

- review the IT systems

- learn the prioirities of other members of the management team

- establish relationships with the audit firm, tax provider, bank etc.

- deep dive into most recent financials

- appraise the cash forecasting process

From the above, you can create bullets for a small, yet effective PoewrPoint.


Wayne Ackerman
Member: 2000
Posts: 1

Subject: Re:Ideas about first few months after joining a new company

Submitted on 05-04-20 2:38 pm.

I have used this effectively in consulting engagements 






The First Three Months……


They key to a successful CFO client rollout is to analyze critical areas outlined below, so that time can be properly allocated to high impact areas.  I have developed this list which can be completed during the first few weeks while managing the critical requirements of the new assignment.  Depending on the induvial situation, resources spent and depth of analysis of each area can be adjusted to meet the needs of the client.   From this data, we can develop a meaningful short-term and long-term road map for mutual success. 


1.    Review the Corporate Strategy: This should be done with the CEO and Board Chair. Look for completeness, consistency, communication and this will allow you act within the context of the bigger picture.

2.    Review Corporate Documents: In this component make sure all formation documents are current and their requirements being followed. Review minutes from Board Meetings and the most recent audit for the same reason.  This is strong indicator of the importance of running a professional organization

3.    Review the List of Compliance Requirements: This might be a long list that includes regulatory and commercial requirements. The key issues when reviewing these include timeliness and accuracy.   Quickly inserts CFO into impacting key risk areas of the rest of the company.

4.    Conduct a Balance Sheet Analysis: Know thy Balance Sheet is the first commandment of being a successful CFO. I allot an over-weighted portion of assessment time to this segment. A tidy balance sheet is the solid foundation a CFO needs to build out all the value-added capabilities your team will deliver to the company.

5.    Conduct an Income Statement Analysis: Some basic margin and ratio analysis coupled with an accounting policy review will give you a good sense of profitability, actual performance compared to plan, key accounting policies and the extent the company uses benchmarking as an improvement process technique. Know thy Margin is the second commandment of being a Successful CFO.

6.    Review the Periodic Financial Package: In this review look for content, timing and who is receiving the information. After this review you should have an opinion on how valuable this information is to the success of the company. Ask yourself, “Is the information we are supplying important for making key decisions in the company?”

7.    Review Treasury Operations: This review includes the cash management process, all credit facilities/terms and risk management practices at the company. If you are borrowing money, Know thy Creditor is an important commandment for being a Successful CFO.

8.    Review Finance Operations: This review looks at the budget process, forecasting and investment analysis. If the Balance Sheet and Income Statement are in great shape, there is a good chance your finance operations are in good shape too.



Within each area is the implicit requirement to analyze staff competencies and process deficiencies.  Armed with this information, the CFO consultant role can drive the success levels as quickly as needed to begin effecting change.