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Telltale signs that you need a chief financial officer

Chris Lamphear/Getty Images/iStockphoto

It's a point that many entrepreneurs encounter as their companies grow – it's time to hire a financial pro.

Mike Picco, the president of Picco Engineering in Concord, Ont., says it's time for a chief financial officer "when you feel you're not in control of the financial viability of the company."

Mr. Picco, who is also president of Coachwood Manor Homes Ltd. and IDEE17, a new company that imports engineered wood flooring from Italy, has seen his business grow. He's experienced the rigours of trying to keep on top of everything.

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There are some telltale signs, he says, that indicate it's time to hire a CFO:

• You discover surprises. For example, you print out the profit and loss for the quarter and "you start sweating," Mr. Picco says. "You're working on a reactive rather than a pro-active basis."

• You regularly feel overwhelmed with financial demands because you're busy with the day-to-day running of the company. "You've only got time for so many things."

• You're not keeping good records, which makes it hard to look at numbers "from a holistic point of view," he says.

• Regulatory changes are overlooked, compliance issues might be falling through the cracks and long-term planning is hard to do – or non-existent.

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