How Different is the role of a Financial Controller to a Chief Financial Officer?

A Financial Controller and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) are similar sounding roles. However, each serves a very different function.

Both are vital to a business, especially if you plan to scale and grow. However, do you need to hire both at the same time? What do you do if you’re a small business and can’t take full-time financial professionals onto the payroll?

This article discusses the difference between the two roles and how you, as a business owner, can receive these valuable resources in an affordable way.

What Does a Financial Controller Do?

A Financial Controller is a senior-level executive responsible for a company’s financial management. They oversee the financial department and ensure that all financial reporting is accurate and compliant with regulations. Financial Controllers also develop and implement strategies to improve the financial health of their organization.

As the head of the finance department they have a broad range of responsibilities:

Financial controllers typically have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. Financial controllers must also have several years of experience working in accounting or finance. They should be proficient in financial analysis and have strong problem-solving skills. In addition, they must be able to effectively communicate their findings to senior management.

What Does a CFO Do?

A CFO is a Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for a company’s financial planning and management. They work with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to develop long-term financial goals and oversee the day-to-day financial operations of the business.

A CFO must be able to effectively communicate their findings and recommendations to the CEO and other members of senior management.

CFOs typically have a four-year degree in business or accounting, and many also have an MBA. They must be able to understand and analyze financial statements and have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. CFOs must also be able to effectively manage a team of financial professionals. A CFO is often seen as a key member of a company’s leadership team.

The role of a CFO is important because they are responsible for:

What is the Difference Between a Financial Controller and a CFO?

While both Financial Controllers and CFOs are important members of a company’s management team, they have different roles and responsibilities. Both positions are essential in ensuring the financial health of a company. The primary difference between a Financial Controller and a CFO is that a Financial Controller is more focused on the daily financial operations of a company. Where a CFO is more focused on long-term strategic planning. Financial Controllers typically have more experience working with accounting and finance software systems, while CFOs often have more experience in investment banking or corporate finance. However, both positions are important in ensuring the financial health of a company.

Do I Need Both for my Business?

If you’re running a business, you need to have someone in charge of your finances. But do you need both a financial controller and a CFO?

The answer to this question depends on the size and complexity of your business. If you have a small business with simple financial needs, then one person can probably handle both roles. But if you have a larger or more complicated business, you might need to hire separate people for each job.

Reasons to Hire a Financial Controller

A Financial Controller is needed if you:

Reasons to Hire a CFO

A CFO is needed if you:

The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual CFO and Financial Controller

Any business, whether small or large, can benefit from the hiring of a Virtual CFO or Financial Controller from Finvisor. Here are just some of the benefits that your business will enjoy:

How to Find a Virtual Financial Controller and CFO

At Finvisor, we have a whole team of dedicated financial professionals available whenever you need them. Whether you require the expertise of a Financial Controller or the guidance and wisdom of a CFO, Finvisor can provide it for you.

What makes hiring a virtual financial professional so appealing is that you only pay for the services you require. That means you don’t have to take on a Financial Controller or a CFO full-time. Simply pay for what you need, when you need them.

If you’re keen to learn more about virtual financial services, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re looking forward to helping you take your business further.

To learn more about what we do, or to request a quote, contact us at or 415-416-6682. We’re here to help you navigate deferred revenue journal entries so you can make the most of your assets!

*This blog does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This blog should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction.*



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