Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between CFO and Controller

cfo_bookCFO 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.

Even though the CFO and Controller have an accounting background, and have started as accountants, they have different roles to perform in business. Well, it can be said that the CFO has more roles in an organisation than a Controller. A Controller is entrusted with the overall accounting of a company. On the other hand, the Chief Financial Officer has to look into every financial and operative function of the organisation.

One can see that a Controller is a progression from an accountant. Once you have been handling accounting for several years, you could become a Controller.

Unlike the Controller, the Chief Financial Officer should have a thorough knowledge of financial reporting and accountancy.

Where the controller just has to look after the accounts, the CFO should have some knowledge about business operations, and the interrelation of the financial system. A CFO must understand business funding and capital structures. Unlike a Controller, a Chief Financial Officer should be able to identify the business’ risks.

While a controller deals with accurate financing, the CFO’s role is to analysis the situations, and determine solutions. Another difference is that a Controller has the responsibility of accounting and reporting, whereas the Chief Financial Officer has the responsibility of financing, and he has to make forecasts.

Where the Controller has to deal with the existing accounting status, the CFO will have a wider view on the finances. A Controller deals with the budgeting of an organisation. On the other hand, a CFO deals with the planning and implementing processes.

Summary:

1. A CFO has more roles in an organisation than a Controller.

2. A Controller is entrusted with the overall accounting of a company. On the other hand, the Chief Financial Officer has to look into every financial and operative function of the organisation.

3. Where the Controller just has to look after the accounts, the CFO should have some knowledge about business operations, and the interrelation of the financial system.

4. Unlike a Controller, a Chief Financial Officer should be able to identify the business’ risks.


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1 Comment

  1. “While a controller deals with accurate financing, the CFO’s role is to analysis the situations, and determine solutions.”

    Grammar error: analysis should be analyze

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