Recently Filled Position

Our Windsor, Ontario customer, which is open to help move the selected candidate to the Windsor area and eventually will be open to remote/hybrid work after the Finance department is running efficiently, is an established, profitable and planning to expand via acquisitions and a new market segment production facility, is a food production subsidiary of a France-based group of businesses. Due to the exciting, and entrepreneurial strategic business growth plans and the retirement of the tenured Sr. Plant Controller, the recently promoted from within CEO requires a hands-on CFO to rebuild the mid level finance team and the accounting processes and controls and begin to improve the day-to-day financial reporting so the CEO can fully trust the information received and shared with the parent company in France.

Although well established, the company is changing and growing – this is not a status quo or maintenance CFO position. This is a next steps for the company financial leadership and management of growth and refinement of processes career opportunity. The plan is to grow by acquisitions in North America and to develop a production facility for a new product line in a new market segment. The culture is positive and upbeat. The people are proud of what they do and how unique they are in Canada. This pride is also found within the unionized production workers. The CEO is a dynamic and charismatic leader who needs a right hand financial partner and leader who will assist with the formal business discipline required to make the business plans as successful and profitable as possible.

While initially maintaining and then improving the quality and efficiency of the current financial processes, controls and reporting, the CEO is looking to add an experienced CPA or CFA business leader to effectively lead and manage the bank financing (immediate need to renegotiate/refinance the bank financing and probably change the bank), run the day-to-day accounting and reporting (including budgeting/forecasting, business analysis, costing oversight) and effectively guide the structure, planning and development of the Finance team. Successful candidates will have hands-on financial reporting and analysis experience, refined skills at effectively hiring and/or managing at the Controller level and leading, managing, coaching and motivating an efficient Finance team. Preference will be given to applicants who are experienced in a food production or manufacturing environment and have M&A experience.

The salary range for this CFO position is $180,000 to $225,000 plus comprehensive benefits (including annual CPA or CFA and training fees cost reimbursement) and an opportunity to earn a 20-30% performance based bonus.

If you are or know of a dynamic, hands-on with financial analysis and reporting, CPA or CFA leader who is detailed with numbers and personally good at leading an efficient Finance team while communicating effectively with a parent office or Board and banks, please arrange for a resume to be sent to client0601@financialinterviewer.com e-mail subject line: CFO by May 27, 2022.  

 Please see position details below. No agencies please.

Position Behaviours

*Have drive to achieve targets, budgets and results and assertively communicate with others in a logical and professional manner. The senior leadership team (the CEO, Head of HR, Head of Sales and the incoming CFO – a new position for the company) will consistently and regularly communicate effectively as a team and approach challenges collaboratively. This is not a my-way-or-not-at-all CEO. Collaboration and discussion is expected.

*The CFO will need to invest time and energy to learn the business, about the Canadian Finance and Operations managers and the parent-office leaders in France. There will be travel to France once or twice a year and associated with the due diligence work required for North American acquisitions.

*Work hands-on to ensure the accuracy of the detailed, monthly, reporting package. The senior leadership team in France relies on the integrity of the information presented by CFO on behalf of the CEO to ensure an accurate and full picture of the business and the confidential future business plans.

*Continually seek out and identify opportunities to support the growth and development of the business.

*Meet people with ease and motivate them to seek opportunities and achieve high standards.

*Within a fast moving, dynamic and/or entrepreneur-like environment, be prepared to respectfully meet periodic opposition and/or resistance to ideas and pressure others when deadlines have to be met.

*Provide leadership, support and guidance to the incoming Controller, the Cost Accountant, and the A/P & A/R staff while ensuring effective controls are monitored, maintained and enhanced within the SAGE 13 ERP – which was implemented last year.

*Ask and listen first and have a friendly approach and the ability to influence and persuade others.

*Be a self-starter, competitive, imaginative, enthusiastic, self-confident without being arrogant or overbearing, inspiring, logical, systematic and precise.

*Bring focus and drive to achieve targets, budgets, deadlines and results.

*Set clear objectives, monitor progress, takes corrective action and control performance levels.

*Make decisions as appropriate to the role while at the same time ensuring others do likewise.

*Focus on results and willingly tackle problems or conflicts which threaten their achievement. 

*Lead, encourage, train and support others in order for them to meet work objectives.

*Personally work to a high specification in order to improve and maintain quality.

*Apply a systematic and logical approach in order to get things right.

*Bring a sense of urgency to situations, demonstrate an active and friendly approach and be willing to get involved in order to increase the pace and achieve goals and objectives.

*Bring and maintain impeccable analytical and reporting skills utilizing the SAGE X3 ERP and Microsoft Excel.

*Actively and effectively assess the skills of and manage, supervise, train, encourage, support and lead the Finance team.

*Communicate effectively and frequently (oral & written English) and, through example and expertise, help create and/or ensure a participative and involved work and team atmosphere. 

*Act as the primary lender liaison and meet all reporting requirements of bank(s) under the lending agreement covenant provisions. Maintain timely and accurate ongoing communications and information exchanges with the primary lenders.

*Form and maintain positive business relationships with the CEO, the parent office Finance leaders, staff and suppliers – always acting as a hard working example for the team. 

*Maintain confidentiality of pertinent data. Always protect operations by keeping financial information and business plans confidential.

*Proactively identify financial risks and opportunities and ensure that internal control mechanisms are in place and reviewed on a regular basis.

*Always be honest, ethical, up-front and respectful during all verbal and written communications with everyone inside and outside the organization.

Position Responsibilities:

Upon arrival, analyze and evaluate existing financial reporting, product costing/cost accounting and internal control processes and begin to assume autonomous responsibility and accountability for the financial functions and provide reporting for the CEO and the parent company in France. The parent company in France is accustomed to receiving a detailed reporting package and the CFO, along with the CEO, will be required to answer their questions during the monthly senior leadership team meetings.

Work with HR to complete the process of hiring a new Controller and/or Cost Accountant and then bring the new staff up-to-speed within approximately 60-90 days of their start dates. The training goal is to have each new hire hit their stride by approximately the six month mark.

Take responsibility for the Finance department and begin revamping, eliminating the less efficient aspects of the current Accounting and Finance processes, implementing and maintaining improved performance and enhanced reliability of the information. 

Meet regularly with direct reports and provide coaching and feedback and facilitate personal development and training plans for them.

Within 30-60 days, learn the fundamentals of the company’s SAGE X3 ERP system and the E-Forms software, conclude the diagnosis of current financial structures and procedures and make a concise, prioritized, report which explains any improvement plans. Discuss findings with the CEO and simultaneously gain his perspective regarding how best to implement any agreed upon changes within the business culture. 

Establish and maintain a positive relationship and credibility with the senior leaders in France (they speak English but, it is their second language).

Split the P&L between institutional and retail markets and thereby assist with clarifying where, specifically, profit and loss occurs.

Direct staff in the preparation and review of monthly financial statements.

With 60-90 days, mange the monthly variance analysis process and then, once hired, supervise/oversee the Controller in performing this function.

Renegotiate the short term debit and take the lead in moving the company to a new banking relationship.

Begin to guide the Finance team to utilize the SAGE X3 ERP system functions to a greater degree and thereby increase process efficiencies so business growth will be successfully embraced and integrated.

Establish a positive relationship with the Director, IT and, utilizing Excel, begin to address the current system workarounds so future team leaders and managers will be working from the ERP to a much greater degree.

Lead financial planning, forecasting strategies and practices to improve profitability and cash flow.

Within 90 days, be well integrated within the senior leadership team, become an integral part of the business expansion projects and start to contribute to the larger strategic planning and perform M&A due diligence/analysis.

In conjunction with the new Controller, introduce Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) procedures and begin to train A/P staff accordingly. This is a change leadership and management exercise.

Ensure appropriate for the business, effective, financial controls are in place and adhered to.

Assist the CEO with hands-on, confidential, financial analysis of growth opportunities and acquisitions. Act as a key representative during due diligence assessments and during acquisitions negotiations.

After 90 days, start to form positive business relationships with the current lenders and begin to bring new financing (banking) relationship options to the table.

Proactively maintain effective, ongoing, communication and information exchanges with the primary lenders and meet their reporting requirements under the lending agreement covenant provisions. 

Initiate strategies, procedures, policies and controls to mitigate risk, improve financial and operational control.

At approximately 120 days, in conjunction with the Controller, assist the Cost Accountant in progressing the function from inventory control to more of a full cost accounting service.

With the objective of providing proper financial analysis and clarity on financial and business status, start developing and/or refining the KPI and related to operations reporting. With the resulting clarity on costs and efficiencies and opportunities for improvement, Finance will become a partner to the rest of the operations and help drive greater efficiencies. Due to the significant tenure of some of the operations managers, assertive persistence, change management and leadership skills will be required of the CFO.

Within approximate 150 days, while continuing to learn about the business, become a trusted right-hand to the CEO regarding strategy development – from the financial perspective.

Prepare for, organize and lead the annual planning process and move the company from top-down to bottom-up budgeting.

Implement financial and Finance department KPIs that can identify opportunities for improvement and/or cost reduction.

After approximately 180 days, actively and effectively lead and supervise the production of the quarterly forecasts and, on an annual basis, lead the budget process. (The business is, and wishes to remain, more R.O.I. than budget driven).

In cooperation with staff, regularly monitor risk management policies and procedures to ensure that risks are minimized and external auditor recommendations are implemented.

Oversee the management of all leases, contracts and other financial commitments.

By approximately 210 – 240 days, communicate the detailed analysis of acquisition opportunities to the parent company for the purpose of obtaining the required funding.

Liaise with external tax professionals to ensure that all statutory requirements are met.

Prior to 365 days, present the fully budgeted financing plan needs to the entire senior leadership team in France for approval to proceed. Engage with the bank(s) and lawyers to formally facilitate the acquisitions and/or new production facilities development opportunities.

Within, or soon after, approximately 365 days, keep learning more about the business and contributing during senior leadership team discussions regarding the overall business strategy and tactics. 

Begin to learn about the commodity buying process and thereby become trained to backup the CEO during vacations and/or unexpected absences.

Organize, compile and deliver the annual budget and provide short, medium and long-term forecasts of earnings, cash flow and financial position.

In cooperation with, and under the guidance of, the CEO, begin challenging all areas of the operations to meet their commitments and find greater efficiency.

Lead the financial aspects of business integration for new acquisitions.

Act as the most senior financial professional contact for the outside accounting firm during their annual audit and corporate tax reporting procedures. (December year-end with full audit) 

Ensure that all acquired businesses integrate their financials successfully with or onto the SAGE13ERP.

Work with department leaders outside of Finance and begin to implement KPIs that can identify opportunities for improvement and/or cost reduction.

Other tasks and projects required of an energetic CFO consistently looking to add value while working cooperatively and collaboratively within a positive, team environment.