Difference Between CFO and Controller (With Table)

The terms ‘CFO’ and ‘Controller’ comes under the field of the corporate sector in the business world. These two positions are very important parts of business organizations of which the economic and administrative functions are carried respectively. They form part of the top management in a business organization. The CFO and Controller form part of the basic management structure and are interdependent in their functions.

CFO vs Controller

The difference between CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and the Controller is that the CFO of an organization is the main office of the organization who looks after the finances and directs the organization. Whereas, the controller of an organization looks after the accounts, bills, managing plans for the company, and controls.

The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is the main office of the organization who looks after the finances of the organization. The CFO is responsible to report the analysis to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the organization. The CFO is the supervisor of the financial department who is associated with budgeting.CFO is in charge of budgeting, cash flow of the company. The CFO visions for the future betterment of an organization whereas, the controller associates with the day-to-day assessments. The CFO assists the CEO in the growth of the organization and the controller assists the CFO to maintain the organization.

On the other hand, the controller of an organization is responsible for managing various activities such as accounts, operating budgets, financial reporting, and other essential duties of an organization. The controller is responsible to report to the CFO (Chief Financial Officer), in short, the controller assists the CFO. The controller manages all the day-to-day work of an organization and is involved in every aspect of its functioning. The CFO has more responsibilities and is more liable for business operations.

Comparison Table Between CFO and Controller

Parameters of Comparison CFO          Controller
DefinitionThe CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is The main official who looks after the finances of the organization  The controller of an organization is responsible for managing various activities such as accounts, operating budgets, financial reporting, and other essential duties of an organization.
Budget   The CFO is associated with budgeting.The controller is associated with the Operating Budget.
Management The CFO is associated with the stakeholderThe controller is associated with the process of management of an organization.
AssistanceThe CFO assists the CEO   The controller assists the CFO
Position The CFO is in a higher position than the controller. The controller is in a lower position as compared to the CFO.
RemunerationGets higher salaryGets lower salary than a CFO

What is a CFO?

The word CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer. The CFO of an organization is an advanced finance analyst. The CFO looks after the financial planning, managing financial risks, financial reporting, and financial records. The CFOs are expected to be the main person to shape the organization from every corner and should be familiar with the technology. The CFOs are also expected to be the outspoken person to guide the board members, as the CFO is also a part of the board and also takes part in board meetings as has voting rights.

The CFO is associated with budgeting. The CFO looks after the organization’s spending plan. The spending plan enables to advance of the budgets and decisions making of the organization. The CFO is the chief official of the financial department who plans the company’s finances and is responsible to report to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the organization.

What is a Controller?

The controller is the accountant of an organization who deals with high-level accounting. The controller looks after the accounts, bills, payroll, etc. The controller generally, works with the accounting team and supervises them, and further reports to the CFO. After the data analysis, the CFO further plans the budget and plans the future management.

The controller is associated with an operating budget. The controller deals with the expenditure, accounting, revenue, etc. of the organization. The controller is associated with the process management of an organization. The controller measures improve and optimize, and further reports to the CFO.

Main Differences Between CFO and Controller

  1. The CFO is the main head of the finance, who looks after the finances of an organization. Whereas, the controller is the accountant of an organization, who looks after the accounts related things of an organization.
  2. The CFO is associated with budgeting. Whereas, the controller is associated with operating budget.
  3. The CFO is associated with the stakeholder management of an organization. Whereas, the controller is associated with process management of an organization.
  4. The CFO assists the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). Whereas, the controller assists the CFO.
  5. The CFO possesses higher position than the controller. Whereas, controller possesses lower position.
  6. The CFO controls the company from the top to bottom. Whereas,the controller manages from every direction.

Conclusion

Both CFO and controller work in an organization. But, the work status differentiates them. The CFO looks after the finances and strategically plans the functions of an organization. Whereas, the controller looks after the accounts of an organization and guides the CFO. Both the job positions require knowledge in the fields of management, planning, decision making, accounting, finance, or business background.

The CFO is associated with budgeting which enables the organization to estimate the expenditure and the controller is associated with the operating budget, which includes sales, manufacturing costs, labour charge, and general administrative expenses. The CFO is also, associated with the stakeholder management of the organization and the controller is associated with the process management. The CFO assists and is responsible to reports the CEO and the controller assists the CFO and is responsible to report to the CFO. The CFO possesses a higher position as compared to the controller.

References

  1. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA144751761&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=08954186&p=AONE&sw=w
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/4a888731b716dff84339009de95b78a3/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=41065
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