What does a Fractional CFO do Compared to a Fractional Controller?

Many people do not understand the differences between the varying roles of your accounting team. For example, Controllers and CFOs hold similar roles with a few key differences. As your business continues to grow, the ability to produce accurate, efficient financial statements will be increasingly essential to your success. This starts with hiring a rockstar accounting team. Here’s the best way to do it:

Let’s start by breaking down the differences between Controllers and CFOs.

A Controller is the head of accounting and oversees the preparation of balance sheets, income statements, and other financial reports. They also perform compliance audits, run the internal controls, assist the budgeting process, and analyze your companies financial data. Some companies also give their Controllers the responsibility of evaluating and selecting the technology used in finance departments.

On the other hand, a CFO is mainly responsible for managing the financial actions of a company. This includes cash flow management, financial planning, and analyzing where a company’s financials are strong and where they are vulnerable.

There is a lot of overlap between these two roles, but the major difference is that a CFO is more involved in fundraising and financial strategy. The Controller is responsible for accurate reporting.

How do you know what you need?

When building a robust accounting team, you may have questions regarding who to hire and whether or not to outsource talent. Here are some signs that you may need to hire a Controller or a CFO:

You may need a Controller if you require the supervision of a bookkeeper. Hiring a Controller will also: ensure accuracy in your financial reporting, provide assistance in fixing the financial close process and report delivery timing, assist with mitigating errors, fraud, or security breaches, you need CPA support, or own your accounting processes.

A CFO would help your company if you need additional guidance and supervision of your finance team or if you need a more sophisticated reporting and analysis system, assistance with stakeholder reporting and better report package generation, or assistance with fundraising.

At TGG, we help small businesses get clear and accurate financial reporting. Our four-person teams come into your business to work with your existing team or serve as your accounting team and help your company thrive. Contact us for your 15-minute introductory evaluation.

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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