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Difference between CFO & Financial Controller

CFO and Controller / Management Accountant Comparison

The difference between a Controller vs CFO is primarily one of perspective. A Controller focuses on compliance and historical record keeping or, in other words, tactics; while a CFO focus on planning and future performance (i.e.: strategy).
The Value of a CFO
The CFO holds a variety of responsibilities, including cash management, budgeting, compliance, internal controls, corporate credit and collection, audit, financial planning and strategic planning. The CFO acts as a trusted advisor to the executive leadership team, working as a sounding board when key decisions are being discussed.
The most significant value provided by a CFO often centres around the area of financial oversight and management. Analysis of the reports provided by the Controller enable the CFO to generate working capital and forecast information. Analysing and reviewing monthly P&L statements, balance sheets and cash flows provides the information needed to drive toward data-based decisions.

Ultimately, the CFO works to correlate operational and financial data provided by the finance department so that the executive team understands the financial impact of decisions in real-time.

Growing businesses cannot often afford, or may simply not require, the services of a full-time CFO. Yet, they may be seeking the forward thinking skill sets that such professionals bring to the table. A part-time or outsourced CFO can often provide the needed financial expertise and direction at a fraction of the cost, creating affordable options for small and growing businesses. A CFO who functions on an as-needed basis can become a trusted advisor to the CEO, offering key business, financial and operational insights needed to control direction of the organization. 
CFO                         Versus                                            Controller
• Analysis and Solutions                                      Accurate Reporting
• Financing and Forecasting                                  Accounting and Reporting
• Critical Key Indicators                                       Standard Formats
• Analyses New Views                                         Reports on Existing Status
• Planning and Implementing                                Budgeting
• Big Picture Future Vision                                    Reporting Here and Now
• Functional Focus                                               Financial Focus
• Compatibility                                                   Compliance
• Strategy                                                         Tactics
• Coach to Functional Managers                             Reporter
• Walks Four Corners                                           Stays in Financial Area

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