Controller vs CFO: The Differences and Similarities

what is the difference between a cfo and a controller

In addition to the qualifications listed below, see our post 5 Questions Every Owner Should Ask Their Controller and The Average CFO Salary (2018) + 28 Key CFO Interview Questions (coming soon). Generally speaking, $1MM in annual revenue is a minimum threshold to bring in a part-time CFO or contract CFO services, but some $500K businesses benefit as well. The common factor for those $500K companies is that they’re hungry to get and use financial insights. By $10MM, the controller is more involved with managing internal controls, closing processes and report generation, as these tasks are more intensive and time-consuming than in smaller companies.

You’re welcome to bookmark this page or download the chart for future reference. The CFO has more responsibilities and is more liable for business operations. The CFO assists the CEO in the growth of the organization, and the controller assists the CFO in maintaining the organization. Download our Executive Growth Reports now to see the kinds of reports a controller or CFO should deliver and keep them handy to compare with reports you receive from candidates.

CFO vs Controller: How to Know Which One to Hire

They use the reports the controllers and accountants generate to inform their plans, which might influence actions such as investing in a new project or determine their company’s future. Making prudent financial decisions is about more than just knowing the present financial situation. It’s about understanding the past and all the possibilities the future holds. These decisions require a big-picture approach, and the experts who make them must keep an eye on all types of revenue and expense streams to paint the most comprehensive financial picture possible. Such professionals need a specific mix of technical abilities and analytical skills to perform their work.

  • So, they must be detail-oriented, trustworthy, and knowledgeable about the rules and regulations that affect your industry.
  • His first venture was CMR Technologies, a FinTech company based in San Francisco serving the investment management consulting space.
  • They can also be a good solution for companies undergoing a transition period, such as a merger or acquisition.
  • It records and presents information about the company’s financial position, revenues, expenses,…
  • The primary difference between a controller and a CFO is the area of focus.
  • (Private company CFOs make 45% less than those at public companies.) Tack on benefits and bonus and you can expect to pay $225,000 to $275,000 depending on business size.

That’s an especially effective strategy if you’re not familiar with accounting, hiring a bookkeeper or vetting accountants or applicants for financial jobs. With over 16 years of experience providing CFO consulting services to over 300 organizations, and 30 years in the financial industry, Jerry is one of the most experienced outsourced CFOs in the United States. A controller will provide a clear and accurate view of where the company has been.

Does My Business Need a Financial Advisor?

Generally Accepted Accounting Priciples (GAAP) Financial reporting is an important part of business that communicates the financial performance and results of a company. It records and presents information about the company’s financial position, revenues, expenses,… Often, a bookkeeper and accountant can perform similar duties, depending on their level of expertise.

According to, in 2022, the median salary for a controller was $240,082 in the United States. Capitalization tables, commonly called “cap tables,” are highly useful spreadsheets maintained by companies that have multiple owners or investors. Cap tables are especially important for private companies at startup and in the early stages of the… Finding funding for your business is a process that takes a lot of time and effort, especially during the startup phase.

What is the Difference Between a Controller and a CFO?

These titles are used frequently–and often interchangeably–in the business world. However, despite the roles seeming colloquially familiar, in reality these two finance professionals have vastly different skills and qualifications. The CEO’s Right Hand takes charge of your finance, accounting, human resources, and other foundational functions so you can focus on what you do best – running your company. We then arm you with reliable data so you can make confident and timely business decisions.

The controller’s role is more hands-on in that they’re responsible for creating, implementing, and overseeing the functional policies and procedures that collect, record, and report financial data. The CFO reviews financial reports, manages risks, and targets future growth. Some day-to-day activities of the CFO include financial analysis, forecasting, finalizing financing, fund management, planning, implementing, strategizing, and coaching the rest of the finance team.

Benefits of Finance & Accounting Staff Augmentation

For example, at The CEO’s Right Hand, we provide accounting and bookkeeping services along with outsourced CFO services with packages starting at $4,500 a month. This will provide you with the support you cfo vs controller need at just a fraction of the cost. As an outsourced finance department provider, we recruit controllers quite often. If you decide to hire a controller and/or CFO, we can help with some resources.

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Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial resumes with ex-CFO Allen Weisselberg on the witness stand.

Posted: Tue, 10 Oct 2023 10:43:00 GMT [source]

Controllers ensure the work done by accountants is accurate and that their analysis is solid to allow upper management and executives to effectively plan for the future. They must be detail-oriented, accounting for every dollar and cent, even in companies that spend millions or billions each quarter. Controllers often oversee multiple financial departments and activities, such as budgeting, accounting, auditing, and investing. Controllers, who are sometimes called comptroller’s, supervise bookkeepers, tax managers, credit managers, and other accounting staff while reporting to the CFO, CEO or business owner directly. In smaller companies, a controller might be the only Certified Public Accountant in the company or supervise a team of accountants.






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