What is a virtual finance director / VFM and where can I find one?

What is a virtual finance director / VFM and where can I find one?

In today’s technology world you might be forgiven for thinking that a virtual finance director is an automated or remote web based professional, well it isn’t yet at least though maybe one day it will turn out like that!  A VFD is a Finance Director who does not work for you directly, and may or may not work full time.   So something more like a part time or self employed or third party employed FD better describes them.  They work remotely hence the Virtual terminology.

Here are FD Capital we have more than 20 years of FD experience and can provide your business with a Portfolio FD or Virtual FD to meet your requirements.  There are many benefits to be had by working in this way, the costs are lower as you are only employing someone for the days you need them per week or month.   Their day rate is high reflecting their experience but overally the costs will be lower than employing someone full time.   There are also no benefits to worry about or Pension costs etc, just a flat daily rate.  Also all our team are UK based so there is no overseas or international outsourcing.

There are a large number of skilled professionals who due to family or the availability of suitable roles within their geograhic area are available for virtual FD or virtual CFO roles, it is a great opportunity to access talent of this level, and being remotely based does not make the professional concerned any less motivated or focussed on the tasks the role requires. It is a complete myth that you need to be watching a staff member to ensure they are productive enough, that is a common misconception and certainly does not apply to senior finance professionals.

As internet speeds have risen and platforms designed for remote team working have become more accepted and more widely used it is now seen as normal to use Zoom or MS Teams to work with a team of staff members in remote locations or other office locations.  It is no longer necessary to have to travel for meetings and all that time can be more productively used, not to mention the environmental benefits of less journeys.

VFD’s are not short term, they are long term arrangements in very much the same way as employing a full time FD would be.  The same personal chemistry is important and the same need for team and presentational skills, it is simply just that you only pay for a fraction of their time.  They get to spread themselves around a variety of different clients and therefore gain work satisfaction through the varied work they undertake.  You can imagine them as a time share FD!

Also being virtual doesn’t mean there are never face to face meetings, these remain important for building a team and developing a chemistry amongst the senior team.   The intention is for the FD to be based remotely, often the best arrangement is to meet once per month or per quarter.  With the availability of teams and zoom it is possible to work efficiently and effectively from any remote location provided the internet connection is robust.

Sometimes a VFD will have specialist complimentary skills for example some of our team have built up a Search Marketing based business and has strong SEO skills as well as being a FCA so if you need this type of skill combination then it is always worth requesting a skill set to match.

To get an understanding of the areas we cover please review the following pages to see the disciplines currently on offer:-

  • Part Time FD’s – This is our main focus covering the London and West Midlands areas.
  • Portfolio FD’s – Part Time FD’s who work for multiple businesses.
  • Private Equity FD’s – Finance Directors with experience of working with Private Equity Houses and Venture Capitalists.
  • Interim FD’s – Finance Directors needed for short periods.
  • Turnaround FD’s – Finance Directors with particular experience of distressed situations and turnarounds.
  • E-Commerce FD – Finance Directors with expertise with E-Commerce website and Search marketing.
  • Non-Executive FD – Non Executives or NED’s with finance expertise for boards.

To answer the second part of the question?  where can I find a virtual Finance Director or VFD?  the answer is simply just call us on 020 3287 9501 or use the contact us page on this website one of our team will reach out to you and we can move forward with finding the perfect VFD or Portfolio FD for your business today.   Our traditional team members are based in the London and West Midlands areas but with a virtual FD or CFO their location is less important, other than for occassional team and other face to face meeting needs.

Update (April 2021)

Given what has happened with the Pandemic and lockdowns FD Capital are seeing a lot more roles coming forward where remote working is a requirement, and whilst some of this is clearly a response to the short term challenges over the last 12 months, companies have come to realise that their expensive offices are just not necessary anymore.  There is clearly still a place for real meetings and group get togethers, as these foster a sense of corporate inclusion, but productivity is actually higher when the team does not have to commute and use up valuable time which could instead be invested into more value added activities.

We now have a much larger database of candidates open to remote working, or who have a stated preference for being home based.   If you are a London based business then this can represent a good saving on day rates, as for example a West Midlands based FD/CFO looks for a day rate of between £500 and £650 per day, whilst a London based ones seek £650 – £900+ depending on experience.

If you are considering recruiting a CFO/FD remote or office based make sure to speak with us first as we have a great list of candidates available for immediate start.  Given the recent shocks to the job market the calibre of our team is now really high, with Oxford graduates and MBA’s amongst them and many with a very good work pedigree also.