The Accounting Dream Team: Roles and Responsibilities

As most business owners know, the team behind your bookkeeping is vital to the success of your business. Still, things can get a little complicated when it comes to understanding the roles and responsibilities of each person. In the interest of clarity, we at TGG are always interested in the numbers and transparency, let’s outline each of their roles and responsibilities.  


A bookkeeper keeps the financial books; they may use QuickBooks to record transactions accurately. They keep track of accounts payable, accounts receivable, and inventory. 

Your bookkeeper may pay your taxes for you, but they do not give tax advice or communicate with the IRS. 


Accountants prepare detailed financial statements, perform audits, and may prepare reports for tax purposes. But an accountant has no standing with the IRS. Only CPAs, tax attorneys, and “Enrolled Agents” represent a taxpayer in audits and investigations with the IRS.


A CPA is an accountant who has passed examinations and licensing requirements to be certified by that state. CPAs also prepare tax returns for businesses and individuals, sign tax returns, and can represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits and other matters. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the national professional association for CPAs.


A Controller’s responsibility is to provide financial statements in accordance with GAAP as well as other financial reports, including closing the books, preparing monthly financial reports and presenting to management. Some of their other responsibilities are ensuring controls and procedures are in place to create timely and accurate reports and apply accounting knowledge to ensure all financials are GAAP compliant.

A Controller excels at providing management a detailed view of financial information up to a point in time. 


A Chief Financial Officer helps grow your business; they work with management to create a financial roadmap to fiscal sustainability, and build metrics and reporting systems that provide performance feedback.  Some of their primary responsibilities include:

  • Ensure the company is adequately capitalized
  • Perform financial planning & analysis, especially forecasting
  • Interface with management, the board of directors, investors and banks
  • Supervise all financial operations
  • Install sophisticated processes and systems to support rapid growth

Who do you have and who do you need?

The short answer is, you need all of these roles if you are a business in growth mode. TGG Accounting provides all degreed accountants (Staff Accountant, Accounting Manager, Controller, and CFO) to support your organization.  We partner with internal bookkeepers where that is appropriate, act as your full outsourced team when you need it and partner with your CPA or Tax Attorney to support their work. Our full service strategic and operational accounting team gives you insights into your financials so you can make well-informed business decisions.

This post was reviewed by our team of accounting and financial experts. TGG’s mission is to make business owners’ lives better through excellent financial management. We strive to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on accounting-related topics so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All posts undergo a review process with at least one member of our Leadership Team to ensure accuracy.

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