CFO vs Controller Whats the Difference and Why it Matters

cfo vs controller

Another 11% (28,500) worked in professional, scientific, and technical services; 10% (26,400) in government; 7% in manufacturing (18,600); and another 7% in healthcare and social assistance (17,100). The BLS expects the job market for top executives to grow 6% between 2018 and 2028 but predicts the market for chief executives to fall 5% due to business consolidation. In May 2018, 30% of financial managers (193,000 employees) worked in finance and insurance, while professional, scientific, and technical services employed 90,700 financial managers, 14% of the workforce.

  • Some investor-backed companies, such as Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses, have more sophisticated needs than other companies with the same annual revenue.
  • With so many titles such as CFO, controller, and comptroller floating around, it’s not always clear what roles a finance team should be comprised of.
  • A controller is a senior level accounting position that attracts those with auditing, cost control, or accounting backgrounds.
  • This reversal of traditional relationships led me to reflect on the important differences that separate CFOs from their key team member, the Controller.
  • We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers.
  • Additionally, the CFO reports to the CEO and is part of the organization’s senior level / executive team.

A good financial controller will develop efficient and effective strategies to increase profit margins, increase employee productivity, and find cost savings through cash management. Controllers are responsible for managing a company’s financial reports and overseeing internal financial controls. In contrast, CFOs have a broader scope, including managing the company’s financial strategy and analyzing financial data to make informed decisions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places financial controllers in the category of financial managers, which also includes treasurers, finance officers, and insurance managers. The BLS reported there were 653,600 financial managers working in the United States as of May 2018.

What Does a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Do?

For example, your Controller should not be doing any data entry or bank reconciliations. Those tasks would be done at the Staff Accountant or lower accounting level so the Controller can focus on telling the story of your financials. Controllers spend a sizable portion of their time gathering data to report on current and past results—everything from cost-volume-profit analysis to balancing the books. The controller’s main focus is the daily management of the company’s financial records and accounting. CAOs, on the other hand, simultaneously keep an eye on the past, present, and future.

cfo vs controller

CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, and Controller are related to leadership roles in a business establishment. Some may think the two to be the same, and do not find any specific differences between them. Well, the fact is, that CFO and Controller are entirely different.

CFO vs. Controller – What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

The CFOs are expected to be the main person to shape the organization from every corner and should be familiar with the technology. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is your executive-level staff, often reporting directly to the CEO. The CFO position performs strategic analyses and is responsible for planning your financial future. Eric, a former Berkshire Hathaway CFO, advises companies walking through transitions and transactions or seeking to accelerate growth.

Apple CFO and Senior Vice President Luca Maestri Sells Shares – CEOWORLD magazine

Apple CFO and Senior Vice President Luca Maestri Sells Shares.

Posted: Wed, 11 Oct 2023 14:41:35 GMT [source]

Though the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the financial controller work closely together, they have significantly different roles within a company. The biggest distinctions can best be described by breaking down the operations and responsibilities of each role. In this article, we’ll look at the three key differences between these positions. We’ll address their scope, daily responsibilities, and hierarchy to help give you a better understanding of how CFOs and controllers impact your company.

indinero Has a Full Suite of Financial Services for Businesses of All Sizes

Outsourced controllers are already trained in processes that save time. Far less training time is needed when you use outsourced controller services. Indinero’s fractional CFO services can help your business grow smoothly. We’ll work with you to develop a financial strategy that meets your specific goals.

  • You may want to start with a good, hard look at your company’s financial records.
  • Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of what these roles typically cover, where they sometimes overlap, and how you can plan out the makeup of your finance team.
  • A CFO will track the company’s growth and capital, provide an analysis of where the business is strong or weak, and develop a plan of action for improvements.
  • Eric, a former Berkshire Hathaway CFO, advises companies walking through transitions and transactions or seeking to accelerate growth.

At Driven Insights, we have clients who take advantage of Controller and/or CFO services depending on their specific needs. You can see how those services are structured in the graphic below. The easiest place to start in a controller vs. CFO comparison is to give you a description of each role. If you are asking those questions, give yourself a pat on the back. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Our awesome CFO service add-on offers custom accounting at a price that fits within many budgets.

Similarities Between Controller and CFO

As to pedigree, a good CFO will have an undergraduate degree in finance or a related field, and most will hold a master’s degree, CPA, or CMA. Look for a track record of building and executing strategies that successfully improved efficiency and profitability in addition to technical skills. The ideal candidate will have strong financial planning, risk management, leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. A CFO’s duties include developing financial plans, managing cash flow, reviewing financial statements, overseeing investments, and advising on ways to reduce costs and increase revenue. A CFO also works with the CEO to develop long-term plans for the company and sets financial goals. Additionally, the CFO reports to the CEO and is part of the organization’s senior level / executive team.

When hiring for a CFO or Controller position, you must look for candidates with the necessary experience and skills to thrive in the designated position, leading to a functional accounting department structure. cfo vs controller Candidates should have a proven track record of success, strong communication, leadership, and analytical skills. They also suggest business improvements that help achieve your goals for the business.