David Johnston: Part-Time CFOs Benefit Smaller Biotechs

Former CFO, David Johnston, has served many life science firms over the years and has helped many achieve higher levels of success. Many of his jobs have been part-time gigs with smaller businesses that need financial help but can’t reasonably afford a full-time financial professional. Here are some reasons why a part-time CFO may be the best option for small companies trying to push to the next level.

Why David Johnston CFO Supports Part-Time CFOs

CFOs are a significant financial step for many businesses because they can provide unique advice and strategic steps to help a tech company thrive. Smaller businesses or those that are just starting can turn to part-time CFOs that may work with multiple companies at the same time. For various reasons, these nearly freelance professionals are a fantastic option for new tech companies.

David Johnston

First, a part-time CFO is a cost-saving measure that can help struggling or newly emerging life science companies. CFOs are not inexpensive, and hiring a part-time one lets you avoid paying excessive money for a full-time employee. It also decreases things like benefits packages or bonuses, meaning that you can focus on expanding your company and taking their advice to heart.

The real benefit lies in getting excellent strategic advice without spending an arm and a leg. David Johnston states that a skilled part-time CFO can create strategic advice based on in-depth business analysis that checks into every element of your company. They’ll provide an objective examination of your company, gauge its strengths, and help you expand.

For example, a part-time CFO can find grants that fall within your business’ operational range. These grants often come from science-based institutions and may help your company expand. Grants are perfect for life science firms because they don’t require repayment or high-interest rates. Part-time CFOs can identify these grants and even write applications for you to help you get early funding.

While you can also get this kind of help from a full-time CFO, hiring a part-time one cuts back on your investment costs and also provides you with much more flexibility. Why? You can adjust their role to suit your company. Maybe they come to the office once a week or only when you ask. Or perhaps they only work for you when needed and instead have an at-home office where they do most of their work.

That kind of scheduling flexibility is critical for life science companies trying to get an edge. For example, David Johnston says you can schedule a meeting with your CFO when discussing potential investment options with lenders or venture capitalists. They can create a presentation package, sell your business, and then work with the investors to get capital.

Then, you can call on them when needed rather than having them around at all times. Many CFOs not only expect this kind of setup but prefer it because it lets them work with multiple other companies and make even more money. This multi-company setup may seem like it would adversely affect you. However, it benefits you by giving your CFO more diverse industry experience and expanding their skills.


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