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What is a Fractional CFO?

Updated: May 14

Over the past few years, the term “fractional” has become popular in the business consulting world. But what does “fractional” mean?

Fractional CFO with FirstCxO

Let us break jobs down into 3 basic categories:


I think everyone knows what this means - right?  Someone works 40 hours a week exclusively for one company. A full-time role is intended to be permanent and exclusive to the employer.


For example, a full-time employee leaves a company for some reason (fired, parental leave, etc.) or a company feels the need to hire someone full-time but hasn’t yet.  In these cases, the company is looking to fill a role for a specific period of time. The person filling the role works for the company exclusively for that period of time. Another term for “interim” is “project based.”


A fractional executive works with multiple companies at the same time (say one day a week per company). They are not full-time, and they are not interim. Using more dated and clearly less sexy terminology, a “fractional” executive is a part-time consultant.


So, what is a Fractional CFO?  

A fractional CFO is a strategic advisor to you and your company. They may hire, train, monitor, and lead your internal and external finance and accounting teams, but they themselves don’t do the accounting or booking. However, they will use the information provided by the finance and accounting team and the sales and marketing, operations, legal, technology, and HR teams at the company, as well as information from third parties (e.g., banks, CPAs, etc.) to create analyses, plans, metrics, and other strategic data to advise, guide and mentor a CEO or business owner as s/he looks to the future.   A true fractional CFO is a business planner, not a bean counter. If you hire a CFO to do your accounting and bookkeeping you are likely overpaying for that resource or you are inflating the title of the person doing those tasks. Both are costly to you. 



Bob Fiorella, CEO of First CXO
CEO and Founder of First CxO. 

Bob Fiorella is a strategic problem solver, M&A advisor, and right-hand man to CEOs and business owners contemplating or dealing with a major change; whether it's restructuring a company, building a finance team, getting a loan, setting the company up for growth, successfully selling the company, etc.  He began his career as an investment banker and worked on several deals including the multibillion-dollar merger of Avery and Dennison.  Over the subsequent two decades, Bob’s career centered around the media, entertainment, packaged goods, wholesale distribution, specialty retail, technology, and software development industries where he took on roles such as SVP Finance, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and independent board member. Bob is the Founder and President of First CxO.  Some of his assignments include being a fractional CFO for a $30mm packaging technology company, a $5mm software development company, and a $25mm e-commerce company.  He is also an advisor to a $500mm franchising company.  Bob holds a BS in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.  Bob can be reached at 310-422-6858,

Bob’s “claim to fame” is appearing on Season 13 of America’s Got Talent as part of the Angel City Chorale. They made it to the Semi-Finals. 


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