A Problem Shared Is A Problem Halved: Why An Outsourced Finance Director Can Help With More Than Just The Numbers

Issue 99

Staff mental health and wellbeing are rightly moving further up corporate priority lists. But increasingly, reports are showing that it is not just the workforce feeling the strain; CEOs, Directors, and managers are also increasingly being affected by the 'loneliness epidemic'. According to Deloitte, almost 70% of C-suite executives in 2023 were "seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their well-being."

Geoff Maclauchlan is one of five outsourced Financial Directors at Kingsmere working with a wide range of clients, including C-suite, directors, and owner-managers, and he has seen first-hand how the support of an outsourced adviser can significantly benefit a business.

Business dream to nightmarish reality

Regardless of your role or seniority within a business, the past few years have certainly been tough. But for those in charge, it can start to feel like the waves keep rolling with little to no opportunity to take stock before the next one crashes down. Even the most resilient business owners and managers will begin to struggle.

Geoff has found that recruiting – and retaining – the right talent, and battling inflation are the most common struggles facing the businesses he works with. Business owners encountering these challenges can soon feel disheartened and unsupported with what was once their passion project.

“What we try to do in those circumstances is to bring some perspective,” says Geoff. “Sometimes the perspective is, “you’re better off out of it”. But usually, with our experience we find the positives and identify openings that they haven’t thought of as opportunities.”

More than just the numbers

Geoff continues: “The most underrated function that an outsourced FD fulfils is that of a sounding board for those at the top, who may find it difficult to talk openly to their colleagues or have no one they can speak to openly about their business challenges. The outsourced FD is impartial, independent, and open-minded – providing an opportunity to explore new ideas with someone who is commercially aware and can provide a new perspective.”

As outsourced Finance Directors, while they’re initially brought in to support the business’ finance function, chances are that Geoff and the team have also worked with organisations who have faced similar challenges. This uniquely enables them to provide advice and guidance based on experience, removed from any politics or nuances in the business.

Support and pragmatism are key

Having ploughed your heart and soul into making a successful business, it can be difficult to step back and let others help. While some business owners are good at managing everything, many have their specific talents which are underutilised when trying to be all things for all people.

“Most of the problems that we see stem from a refusal to accept that they’re not very good at something and continuing to follow the same old path” says Geoff, “they then get a double whammy – they’re doing something that they’re not good at and it’s stopping them from doing what they are good at.”

It’s good to talk

Geoff’s advice to those facing struggles at the top is “find people to talk to”. Whether that’s a networking group or another senior professional with experience and outside perspective, such as an outsourced FD.

“It’s an old saying but it’s very true: a problem shared is a problem halved,” concludes Geoff, “you need to find people to talk to because, once you start talking it through, you find solutions which you couldn’t see because you’re so wrapped up in the problem itself.”

It doesn’t need to be lonely at the top, a sounding board, solid network of peers, and an outside perspective can bring the fun back into running a business.

Expert advisers

Kingsmere FDs provide high-level strategic financial and operational planning and management guidance to increase stability, efficiency, and profitability to businesses from start-up to expansion and maturity.

The Kingsmere team is actively on the lookout for like-minded FDs seeking a flexible, varied and impactful working life, as well as more junior support roles for activities such as management account production and bookkeeping.

To find out more visit

Sign-up to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.