Jill Farber, Autism Speaks Canada

Speakers: Jill Farber, Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada

Tell us about you and why you decided to take on a part-time CFO?

Jill Farber: Hi, my name is Jill Farber and I’m the Executive Director of Autism Speaks Canada We decided to explore the part time CFO model because we were growing as a non for profit organization, and our expertise in financial analysis and strategic planning was lacking but our budget was still growing and we just didn’t have the dollars to invest in a full time CFO so we thought we’d start at this level.

What one or two big issues/untapped opportunities were you facing before we started working with you?

Jill Farber: So a big issue that we were faced with before we brought on a part time CFO was reforecasting due to COVID. It was an unprecedented time and we were afraid about the financial strategic direction of the organization, due to some of the losses faced because of COVID, as well as an opportunity to restructure our budget and some of our reporting.

What have been the benefits for your business specifically?

Jill Farber: For us there’s been a couple of benefits for sure to the business. One would be board confidence. So within our non for profit board, there’s a little bit more confidence about budgeting and reporting. Lots of support for the Executive Team around both the revenue and expenses and doing budgets and keeping up with budgets for both revenue and expenses. And then, of course, the benefit around just the unprecedented time of COVID and dealing with reforecasting and making sure that we were risk adverse.

What have the benefits been to you personally?

Jill Farber: Okay, I think the benefits for me personally have been confidence in my own accountability to the board of Directors around the finances, education and finance and strategic planning that really has come as a bonus for the work being done and then just having an expert support system to rely on not only for me, but also for my whole team.

With support from your CFO, what are you hoping to achieve over the coming 12-24 months?

Jill Farber: Adele has helped us find a Director of Finance for our organization to work full time when Adele came on as the part time CFO, we didn’t know that what we didn’t have, and once, engaging Adele for over a year, we realized that this was and absolutely necessary necessity for the organization. And Adele was huge champion and trying to find us that candidate that would fulfil, a Director’s position.