CFO Edge Logo
  Home > Resources > CFO vs. Controller Article  

CFO vs. Controller: Understanding the Differences

  Arthur F. Rothberg, Managing Director, CFO Edge, LLC  
  Open as PDF Open the entire article as a PDF  
  Article Summary  
There are two primary types of financial leadership within top organizations: the CFO and the Controller. Many growing organizations do not have a clear understanding of the two positions, often overlooking the value that a CFO could bring to their business.

This article looks at the differences in skill sets and duties between a CFO and a Controller with an eye to helping determine what level of financial leadership an organization requires. A table identifies and assigns 27 responsibilities to either the CFO or the Controller to support clarification of the differences.

Reviewed is the strategic vs. tactical value that each brings to an organization including the manner by which a CFO acts as a member of and trusted advisor to the executive leadership team. Addressed are CFO strengths in financial areas such as oversight, management, analysis, planning and implementation.

Also mentioned is the manner by which a growing business may engage a part-time or outsourced CFO when it cannot afford or may not require the services of a full-time CFO.

You may be interested in our complimentary white paper that explores this topic in more detail:

CFO or Controller: What's Right for Your Business?

  Open the entire article as a PDF  
Subscribe to CFO Inside Edge

Our monthly newsletter delivers first notice of new white papers and articles plus remarks on performance challenges and solutions. View past issues and subscribe.

CFO or Controller: What's Right for Your Business?
White Paper
CFO or
What's Right
for Your
Outsourced CFO Services
White Paper
CFO Services
Performance Measurement
White Paper
Performance Measurement
Strategic Planning & Forecasting
Year-End Strategic Planning & Forecasting
Planning a Business Exit White Paper
White Paper
Planning a
Business Exit
CFO Edge Blog CFO Edge on Twitter CFO Edge on LinkedIn
Intuit Certifications