Accounting & Auditing | Business and Industry | Business Strategy | Future Ready | Leadership / Management | MACPA Events | Practitioners | Technology | Training & CPE

Beyond expectations: MACPA’s outsourced CFO forum

You know that feeling when something goes totally beyond your expectations? That’s how I would describe last week’s Outsource CFO Community Forum.

We’ve been on this journey for a while. It started a few years ago during our biannual town hall meetings, when we noticed more and more members were answering “other” when asked which segment of the profession they worked in. In one of those serendipitous moments, we realized two of our own board members (Kelly Jennings and Barrett Young) fell into this category. They weren’t in public accounting, corporate, government, non-profit, or education. They didn’t consider themselves consultants, either. They were truly part time, external, outsourced CFOs / controllers. Knowing we had a portion of our membership engaging in this work and hearing from good friend and fellow outsourced CFO member Calvin Harris explain that they sometimes felt they didn’t have a place, we took action.

With the help of some forward-thinking members who had already met to discuss what this community might look like, we created the Outsourced CFO Task Force. This task force met both in person and virtually several times during the last year. This past week, we held our first meeting of the larger community. Our goal was to identify and gather 25 professionals in a community forum. Our message was simple, and it must have resonated because we didn't just meet our goal of 25; we more than doubled it.

Perhaps the most interesting thing wasn’t the numbers but the diversity in the room. This fast-growing and still fairly new service was for everyone. It was eye-opening and encouraging to see our members, from organizations of all sizes, engaging in and benefitting from this future-focused work. Identifying hard trends and seeking opportunities for our members is, after all, what the MACPA and BLI are all about.

We might call it different things (outsourced CFO, client accounting services, contract CFO, virtual CFO and accounting services, and controller-for-hire, just to name a few) but I think former MACPA board member and task force chair Kelly Jennings said it best:

“Whether you are an outsourced CFO focused on NFP, focused on startups, or focused on winding down businesses, whether you get your energy from software conversions, from building teams, or from raising money, whether you fall closer to the controller or to the CFO mold, whether you only provide your service remotely with video or onsite to see day-to-day happenings, and whether you are a CPA or another finance professional, you belong under this tent and in this community,” she said.

The MACPA is here for you and excited to continue this journey as we seek to connect, protect and achieve together.

A special thank you to the members of the task force (Kelly Jennings, Barrett Young, Rich Stang, Calvin Harris, Josh Price, Robin Thieme, Sharon Gubinsky, and Timothy Fargo), and to our partners (Accountants World,, Expensify, M&T Bank, Receipt Bank, Sage, T-Sheets, XCM, Xero) who help us keep our members and the profession future-focused and #FutureReady.

Check out Tom Hood’s presentation from the event here, the forum report here, and the social Storify recap here.

If you are interested in being a part of this growing community, send an e-mail to and be on the lookout for additional events and targeted resources for this new segment of our profession.




Rebekah Olson