159. What are the main differences between a full time and a fractional FD/CFO?

We have already outlined the role of an FD/CFO in this article, whether that is full time, interim or fractional.

A fractional FD/CFO provides the financial oversight but they will be supporting multiple businesses – perhaps a day or two per week in each one.

In terms of the role and responsibilities, the two are remarkably similar. It boils down to how much time they are spending in your business.

Clearly a full time and permanent FD/CFO will be with you, well, substantially full time. And they will be under a contract of employment and also on the payroll. And they will have employee rights, too; which could turn out to be very costly when you want to terminate the contract.

By contrast, a fractional FD/CFO provides you with a top-level resource at a fraction of the cost and when you need it. Quality FD/CFOs will offer you the option of paying by the hour (as well as by the more traditional day rate).

So, if you are a business owner in need of financial expertise without the commitment of a full time FD/CFO, then perhaps the flexibility offered by a fractional FD/CFO could be for you. This way forward offers flexibility in delivery and also potential cost savings.  Why not read our article about the key benefits of a fractional FD/CFO here.

The Tectona USP is that flexibility and scalability – we have easy in/ easy out contracts and you can also dial up/dial down the time required as needed.

While we are at it, let’s face up to some of the jargon flying around and decode it:

What’s in a word?

While others might seek to dress this up as something very complicated, really it is not. And here’s why:

  • A ‘Finance Director’ (FD) is basically the same as a ‘Chief Financial Officer’ (CFO) – we will use the hybrid term “FD/CFO” meaning the same thing.

  • Part time’ means the same as ‘fractional’, or, indeed, ‘plural’ – we will keep up with the times and use the buzzy “fractional”.

  • Interim’ is usually doing something on a project basis – typically for a finite and limited time.

We have distilled our thinking down into a series of brief articles which, again at the risk of making assumptions, seek to address the questions that you will have about how best to manage your finance function – and if you are not asking these questions, then could we perhaps suggest that you should be asking them?

  1. What is the role and what are the responsibilities of an FD/CFO?
  2. What are the 4 key benefits of having your own fractional FD/CFO?
  3. Signs to look out for which could mean that a fractional FD/CFO might be the right solution for you.


Don’t let your limited resources hamper the growth of your business. The benefits of working with a fractional FD/CFO are clear and with them as part of your management team you will be able to make informed decisions based on real data and, ultimately, be able to sleep easy at night knowing that that bit of the business that you may not fully understand is in safe hands.


About Tectona

Tectona Partnership helps business owners sleep at night by embedding one of our 18 commercially minded FD/CFOs in your management team.

Very often, a part time (or fractional) FD/CFO is the most effective solution.

We make sure you have the necessary management information and strategic insight to make informed decisions and reduce risk; and we will absolutely tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it.

Posted in Business Development.