Take a walk down memory lane and think back to this time several years ago, when you were writing your last matric exam. It was a thrilling feeling: first, the relief of being finished, and then the excitement of what lay ahead. You may have started at university shortly thereafter or started your first real job. But those who wanted a break decided to take a gap year. The lucky ones who took this option were able to explore new countries, learn about new cultures and have new experiences. They still had plans for their adult life, but they were doing this in the interim.
The gap year helps us look at the word “interim”. One dictionary describes it as “an intervening time; interval; meantime.” A second definition calls it “for the intervening period, provisional or temporary.” Bearing this in mind, what is an interim financial executive? The answer might come in further extending the analogy of a gap year. Just like a gap year, an interim financial executive can serve a number of different purposes. Here are some of the different reasons people take gap years, and some ways in which bringing an interim financial executive onto your team could do the same thing!
- Some take a gap year for relaxation. Many students are a little burnt out by the end of their high school slog. They’ve worked hard toward a specific goal, fielded a huge amount of pressure and known that the stakes were high. They feel like taking some time out will invigorate their minds and restore their energy. An interim financial executive can do the same thing. As a business owner, you’re very probably slogging around the clock. You have a constant weight on your shoulders and you’re always pushing to reach and exceed your own targets. An interim financial executive can be a second pair of hands, help ease your load and give you the mind space you need to relax. In other words, they’re there to help shoulder your burden when you need it most.
- Some take a gap year to decide what to do next. Directionless? Not sure what to study or which vocation to pursue? Take a gap year to figure it out!, people often recommend. It’s better than wasting time and money studying something that you won’t enjoy, they say. In the same way, your interim financial executive can help you make important decisions. If you’re wondering how a certain path may affect your company’s bottom line in the long term, bring in an interim financial executive. If you want to do some high level financial forecasting, bring in a financial executive. If your company needs some help cutting costs or improving margins, bring in a financial executive.
- Some take a gap year while they wait for their next move. For example, a student’s course of study may only start in June. So, they take a gap ‘half-year’ while they wait. In the same way, your company may have just lost someone who was playing a crucial financial role, whether it be CFO, financial manager or project accountant. You’d bring in an interim financial executive to ‘fill the gap’ while you look for a permanent replacement. Their role is to keep the wheels turning and provide you with the time and space to hunt for the perfect replacement.
As the fatigue mounts before year-end, a gap year starts to look more and more attractive! Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to take a sabbatical or several months off. But you can give your business a proverbial “gap year” by bringing on an interim financial executive. Contact The Finance Team to find out how.