Passing the torch: What happens next for small and medium businesses?

Passing the torch: What happens next for small and medium businesses? 
Report reveals SMBs are less likely to have a succession plan and are most 
vulnerable to repercussions of a CFO departure 
TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - This week, as thousands of businesses celebrate 
BDC Small Business Week™ in Canada, Robert Half uncovers a risk that affects 
the future success of two-thirds of Canada's small and medium business (SMB) 
market: succession readiness. 
Who will take over when a CFO leaves? That is a question that only 
one-in-three SMBs can answer with confidence, according to CFO Succession 
Planning - a new report by the Canadian Financial Executives Research 
Foundation (CFERF), sponsored by Robert Half Canada. This leaves a huge gap in 
the future of a market that accounts for 45 per cent of the GDP and 60 per 
cent of all Canadian jobs(1), cautions the report. 
A number of factors compound the issue for SMBs. "On the horizon we face a 
looming shortage of financial leadership in Canada, particularly those with 
the requisite critical thinking skills, at a time when global competition is 
on the rise," said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management 
Resources. SMB companies must be prepared to keep the role of the CFO 
functioning in order to avoid disruption to financial stability and long-term 
"By virtue of their size, small and medium businesses are particularly 
vulnerable as they are more likely to run leaner operations. In contrast to 
larger organizations, there may not be the same pool of talent to pick from 
internally to fill a CFO position," adds King. "With the boomer generation 
expected to retire in the next five to 10 years, it's more important now than 
ever for organizations of this size to not only think about what happens when 
a CFO leaves his or her post, but to have a strategic plan in place that is 
understood and shared among the C-suite and other employees whose role may 
change as a result of a departure." 
To help SMBs mitigate the effects of disruption within the C-suite, King 
provides a few key takeaways: 

    --  Plan: The first step is to confirm a plan. It is not the
        responsibility of the CFO alone to establish his or her
        successor; every member of the C-suite should participate in
        the development and execution of a succession plan.
    --  Collaborate: In addition to members of the C-suite team,
        companies should consider other employees whose roles may be
        affected by a potential restructuring. The key to succession
        planning is readiness - the more prepared the team is, the less
        the impact of the departure.
    --  Train: "Professional development and succession planning go
        hand-in-hand," says King. "Starting when a CFO has given notice
        is too late." Look to include employees who have the potential
        and desire to advance within the organization in the succession
        planning process, including the identification of any training
        that may need to happen in preparation.

To hear more from one of our experts, Judy Munro, on succession planning, join 
a complimentary webinar taking place this Wednesday, October 23(rd) at 9 a.m. 
PT / 12 p.m. ET. Click here to register, using as RHSuccession as the code.

To access the CFO Succession Planning report, click here.

For more information or to schedule an interview with one of our experts, 
please contact Naz Araghian at or 416.350.2330.

About Robert Half Canada
Founded in 1948, Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized 
staffing firm, is a recognized leader in professional staffing services. The 
company has seven divisions including Robert Half® Finance & Accounting and 
Robert Half® Management Resources, for full-time and senior-level project 
professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance. Robert 
Half International has staffing and consulting operations in more than 300 
locations worldwide, including locations across Canada. Find more information 
at, and follow us on Twitter at


SOURCE  Robert Half Canada 
Naz Araghian 416.350.2330 ext. 62132 
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-0- Oct/21/2013 11:47 GMT
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