Difference Between CFO and CEO
The CEO is the acronym for chief executive officer who drives the company towards its goals, guided by its vision and plying on its mission and values. As the highest ranking corporate officer, the CEO aspires to ensure competitiveness and engage innovative strategies to reinvent and differentiate amongst competitors. While the rest of the company reports to this ‘big boss’, the CEO reports to the board of directors, in which the CEO may be a part of. The CEO may be the owner of the company or may be appointed.
The CFO is the chief financial officer, and it is the top finance position of a company. The CFO is responsible for the accounting department, budgeting, reporting, audits, financial business practices, undertaken in compliance with industry standards, and ensuring the company is financially sound for meeting its business goals. The CFO is responsible for the finance strategy in the company on the basis of market trends, projections, forecasts and in consensus with other senior members of the company. Several organizations rely on the expertise of a CFO to handle the investments of the company as well. The CFO reports to the CEO and may be a part of the board of directors. Some organizations are responsible to analysts for which the CFO is the key driver. While the CFO may be responsible to the Securities and Exchange Commission, he is in short the Accountant Extraordinaire.
The CFO by qualification must have a formal accounting degree with a masters in Accounts, finance or business, a CPA certificate or similar, over 10 years field related experience and in-depth knowledge of developments in the industry. Some organizations make exceptions about the formal accounting degree if the CFO is equipped with a reputed MBA and years of experience. While the CFO qualifiers are a long list, the required qualifications for the CEO are subjective and differ from organization to organization. While some companies may give weight age to an MBA degree from a reputed institution with over 15 years relevant experience in a leadership role, others may consider the right attitude, sound leadership skills, team player, decision maker, sound business and industry sense as the ideal candidate for this position.
In view of leadership, whether CEO or CFO, Peter F Drucker said, ‘Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.’ Both being critical functions will require working in synergy to drive all the results.
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