CFO vs Financial Controller You Better Know the Difference

cfo vs controller

The CFO should have a big-picture understanding of the business and accounting, even if they don’t have a specialized accounting background. They should be able to optimize the capital structure, prepare business plans, investor decks and presentations, and obtain financing. Most small businesses need both, which brings do you record income tax expenses in journal entries us to the third option. You can connect with our experienced outsourced CFOs by requesting a consultation on our website now. This law also gives consumers the right to a 3-day window, where they can reconsider and pull out of a loan process, to protect against high-pressure tactics that most fraudulent lenders use.

Chico’s FAS, Inc. Announces CFO Transition – PR Newswire

Chico’s FAS, Inc. Announces CFO Transition.

Posted: Mon, 12 Jun 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Your business should consider using AP automation software integrated with your ERP system to reduce the time to process invoices and make and reconcile global payments. Accounts payable automation speeds the monthly close process for financial reporting. This efficiency lets the controller spend more time on higher-level decision-support tasks using non-financial and financial information. Outsourced controllers are already trained in processes that save time.

When Should You Hire a Controller?

The CFO’s job is to connect the dots between the company’s current financial situation, their prospects for the future, and to act as an advocate for financially sound decision making. The cost and commitment of a full-time CFO may be too much for smaller organizations. Fractional CFOs perform all the same functions as full-time CFOs and can help you solve specific financial problems on a part-time basis.

The CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, is the head of an organization’s finance team. A CFO has duties similar to its controller or comptroller, but the overall responsibility is different. The CFO is responsible for the overall financial health of a company, while a comptroller or controller focuses on more specific aspects of financial management. A comptroller is responsible for an organization’s overall financial management.


After all, this job involves access to the financial information that a business owner does not want in just anyone’s hands. Many controllers also possess a CPA (certified public accounting) or CMA (certified management accounting) designation. Controllers in very low-margin businesses like commodity contract or product manufacturers are involved in managing the razor-thin margins to ensure the sustainability of the organization.

Outsourcing a CFO or Controller role can be extremely beneficial for businesses. Your CFO plays a more significant, more strategic, and forward-thinking role. The Controller position usually reports to the CFO and is only one aspect of the CFO’s responsibility. Hi
Currently in the market searching for opportunities to step into a medium /larger company as a Financial Controller reporting to a CFO.

Difference between CFO vs Controller

They work like a well-oiled machine to ensure the company’s long-term sustainable growth. Successful finance controllers have expanded their role beyond administrative and accounting policies and work closely with CFOs to develop strategic finance initiatives. Much like a modern CFO, a new-age SaaS finance controller is no longer just a backstage coordinator; they play a crucial role in managing a business’s revenue engine and growth. “The tone at the top plays a key role in ensuring how well the finance function influences other departments and processes,” – Mike Beach, CFO, Chargebee.

  • The CFO is not just responsible for preparing financial statements — instead, the CFO analyses financial trends, identifying opportunities, reducing costs, as well as identifying threats to the company.
  • Meanwhile, finance directors and controllers focus more on working on accounting tasks.
  • They then provide reports to executives who make the corresponding decisions.
  • Alternatively, you can reduce your costs by outsourcing this function to a firm that offers fractional finance and accounting services.
  • CFO and controller salaries and other compensation vary by company revenues (size) and private vs. publicly traded status, and candidate qualifications and experience.

A CFO is a priceless investment if you require a point person for financial strategy and a face for fundraising or investment. A controller who can guarantee accurate financial reporting that serves as the cornerstone for future planning and growth is as crucial, if not initially more so. In order to reduce the likelihood of accounting mistakes, irregularities, and fraud, financial controllers establish, monitor, and execute internal controls.

What to Know About a Controller

In either role, it’s crucial to find someone who aligns with your company’s culture and values. Ultimately, hiring a CFO vs Controller is about finding the right candidate for your company’s specific needs. Let’s start was defining the word, ‘fractional.’ Fractional is defined as part-time and in this circumstance, the fractional CFO and/or fractional Controller working for you is doing so on a part-time or contracted basis.

If a controller deals in the daily minutiae, then a CFO is all about the big picture. This strategic leader works with financial reports but is more interested in analyzing financial data and growing a company’s profitability. You may need an in-house CFO at either a large public corporation or a small private company, and while the financial strategies may differ, the responsibilities are similar. Meanwhile, controllers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring the accuracy of financial records.

The controller reports to the CFO, sometimes alongside the treasurer and tax manager. Fractional CFOs are an attractive option for small businesses or startups that can’t afford a full-time CFO. They can also be a good solution for companies undergoing a transition period, such as a merger or acquisition. If you’re unsure whether your company can afford to bring on a full-time CFO, then indinero’s fractional CFO services may be a more viable solution.

Is a COO higher than a CFO?

Who ranks higher: COO or CFO? The positions of COO and CFO are comparable in seniority as both are managerial positions that report directly to the CEO. Both COO and CFO may also be known as a senior vice president.

Who is higher than controller?

The directors of finance are higher-ranking officials who also earn more than the controllers of finance.


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