Dear Karen: I have an accountant who keeps good financial records for my company. Do I need a chief financial officer?
Answer: An accountant records business transactions and produces financial documents, which is adequate for many small companies. As you grow, you may consider a CFO, who will not only crunch the numbers, but interpret them strategically.
"While an accounting manager may be proficient at accurately recording the daily business transactions, a CFO will analyze that data to help you direct your efforts to your most profitable business segments," said Jess Meyers, project manager of Lyndon Group, an accounting and technology outsourcing firm in Orange County.
If you can't afford a full-time CFO, you can find a part-time professional who works for several small companies, he said.