Magazine article Financial Management (UK)

Interim Finance Director: Dave Butler Explains Why Quitting Your Permanent Job to Go Freelance Can Be a Smart Move Even during a Downturn

Magazine article Financial Management (UK)

Interim Finance Director: Dave Butler Explains Why Quitting Your Permanent Job to Go Freelance Can Be a Smart Move Even during a Downturn

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Life as an interim financial manager will offer you a stimulating and challenging career--the chance to work in different industries, acquire new skills and embrace a more independent and flexible way of working.

The types of interim projects on offer vary widely. One month you could be helping a start-up to establish its financial procedures and the next you could be modernising an existing financial system for a charity or helping a large retail company to develop new systems to cope with a change in legislation. Or you might simply be filling in for a finance director and running the department in his or her absence.

While it's impossible to predict the fallout from the current financial crisis accurately, it's likely that there will be work available for interim managers with specific financial skills. Those experienced in handling change management projects, business turnarounds and mergers will be in demand because companies don't often have such qualified people internally.

The common requirement across all these assignments it that you must be able to deliver results quickly. The very nature of the rote demands that you make an impact on the organisation immediately and demonstrate value for money. There is no settling-in period when working as an interim manager--indeed, this is part of the attraction for some people. You will also be accountable to the board of directors and be expected to bring a fresh perspective to the organisation, which may lead to lasting and significant change.

Quitting a permanent job in the current economic climate isn't necessarily a risky move. Although companies may have put the squeeze on recruitment budgets for permanent employees, they will still be running projects that need to be completed. Also, remember that you are more employable than most: a CIMA-qualified professional should be capable of working in any industry and sector, including the public sector, which is particularly buoyant now in terms of interim contracts. …

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