What Should Happen During the First 90 Days of Tenure as a Chief Financial Officer at a Private-Equity-Owned Company?


The first 90 days after a private equity transaction are critical. Without proper preparation, the integration process can introduce operational complexities and unnecessary chaos to organizations looking to grow.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can have a significant impact as to the success of a deal. It often falls to them to manage the integration process, working far beyond day-to-day finance and accounting duties to offer the strategic, hands-on guidance that is needed to achieve maximum deal value and efficiency.

As experts in helping companies drive success through a robust offering of private equity CFO advisory services, we’ve outlined several of the primary duties and responsibilities of private equity CFOs in the first 90 days after a deal is closed.

Top Duties & Responsibilities of the CFO During the First 90 Days of a Private Equity Deal

Depending on the nature of the transaction and the entities involved, there are various tasks a private equity CFO will want to achieve. For a detailed look into the specific duties of the ideal private equity CFO, head to our blog: The Ideal Private Equity CFO: Expectations, Traits & Other Considerations

To be successful, a private equity CFO will want to:

  • Align with the management team and Board of Directors as to key objectives and goals.
  • Design a 90-day plan (short-term) and longer-term strategy for finance and accounting functions as well as the company.
  • Execute against those plans.

Work across teams to align and conduct assessments to identify the ideal future state

It is essential for a private equity CFO, before the deal closes, to begin the integration process by identifying project sponsors and key stakeholders who will be involved in the transaction.

Private equity CFOs should also perform a current state assessment of people, processes, and systems to determine the scope and priority of key initiatives that need to be initiated in the first 90 days, as well as longer term and fully understand the business requirements and future-state technology, process, and people needs.

CFOs should consider conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to identify internal strengths and weaknesses alongside external threats and opportunities for constructive collaboration.

With this information private equity CFOs can then set expectations regarding goals, scope, resources, cost, risks, communication, and timeline as to the execution of the comprehensive plan.

Design an action plan for the future state

Next, private equity CFOs should seek to provide recommendations for future state process design, reporting, and KPIs, being sure to identify gaps and potential limitations to ensure a limitation in operational disruptions down the line.

They should also assess current system capabilities to ensure they proper configuration and will help the companies meet the requirements outlined in the ideal future state.

Using the findings, CFOs can develop detailed 30-, 60-, and 90-day plans to guide the company in the right direction upon closing the transaction. These plans should also address existing gaps and establish a roadmap for delivering and executing on solutions.

The next step is to present the plan to all stakeholders to ensure they agree regarding the refined strategies and solutions for satisfying the business needs.

Execute and deploy solutions based on roadmaps

Based on an agreed-upon roadmap,  the CFO should begin implementing solutions related to the people, processes, and systems, test them thoroughly and remediate issues identified.

Private equity CFOs can then deploy the solution, by training end users on enhanced procedures and processes and implement measures to receive real-time feedback from the new environment to ensure the solutions are optimized and work effectively.

Using the findings, companies can develop a playbook for a repeatable integration process to help them set the stage for future acquisitions.

Final Thoughts on What a CFO Should Do in the First 90 Days of a Private Equity Transaction

When private equity CFOs take the time to foster alignment across teams and design a solid implementation roadmap that is executed and deployed, they often see potential issues before they arise and the first 90 days after a transaction become much easier to navigate.

Instead of operational disruptions, organizations will be equipped to capitalize on opportunities for growth and efficiency while avoiding costly issues along the way.

PE firms expect management teams to move at a rapid pace. For times of growth or rapid transition, our experienced team of private equity CFO consultants at Bridgepoint are here to help you with:

  • Pre-sale preparation
  • Post-merger integration
  • Carve out support
  • Due diligence
  • Change management
  • Risk management
  • IT implementations
  • FP&A
  • Finance & technology optimization

About Bridgepoint Consulting

Bridgepoint Consulting, an Addison Group Company, is a leading national consulting firm providing advisory services that help organizations optimize financial operation and technology utilization while mitigating risks. From assistance with strategy, process improvement, technology, or regulatory compliance, our experts create significant connections to bridge resource gaps, allowing companies to sustain and succeed at every stage of their lifecycle.

The firm’s practice areas include: Finance & Accounting Advisory, Risk & Compliance, Private Equity Advisory, and NetSuite consulting. Bridgepoint Consulting is headquartered in Austin with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Houston.

Looking for Support as a PE CFO?

Whether you need strategic financial solutions, day-to-day operational support, or are simply looking for some guidance to bring your latest transformation to life, our team of private equity experts, financial gurus, and industry-leading CFOs at Bridgepoint Consulting are here to help. By aligning our goals with yours and combining actionable insights with specialized expertise, we alleviate dealmaking complexity at every phase of the journey.

Contact us today or explore how we can partner for growth at the link below.