“A CFO has knowledge of what management should do versus just doing accounting.” When you are trying to determine the scope of a CFO engagement for you and the client, it is critical that you are very clear about and understand the activities that are required to get results.

Some of these activities will be your responsibility as the CFO, but many of them will be the responsibility of management. Your job will be to give them the information necessary to take appropriate action, but at the end of the day, the responsibility falls on management to take the required action and generate the results. You may be able to hold them accountable to a certain degree and persuade them to take action by continually providing reporting and resources to support those actions – however, these engagements will last several years, and in this timeframe, you will have plenty of suggestions for management that will benefit the company strategically but that management will not take action on.