Small businesses probably need to bring on chief financial officers after they grow to a certain size -- often around the time they start to take in $10 million to $20 million in revenue. CFOs can also be necessary if the company is trying to make certain strategic moves such as to set itself up for an initial public offering. "When the CEO is being distracted from critical revenue-generating activities to handle financing or similar issues, it's time for the CFO to take his place and make these things happen," said Mike Henderson of Lendio.

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