Some assume that a CFO and a controller are the same but these are actually different from each other. A CFO is someone who focuses on the future of the company. This is a person who will create strategies that can hopefully improve the state of the company in the future. CFO also stands for Chief Financial Officer.
The controller is the one responsible for keeping track of all the things that the company has done so far. The controller may also be taking note of the things that the company has paid for and invested in in the past. The controller may also manage different tasks and details that are related to the company’s IT issues, insurance, and audit.
CFO, which stands for Chief Financial Officer, and controller are two roles of leadership in a business establishment. These two roles actually both have accounting backgrounds. But the major difference between them is that the overall accounting section of a company is handled by the controller, while the Chief Financial Officer has the obligation of looking into every operative and financial function of an organization. Thus, it can be said that the Chief Financial Officer is saddled with more roles in an organization than the controller.
The work of a controller is not really different from that of an accountant. Someone that has been handling accounting for quite a long time can work as a controller. The Chief Financial Officer is required to have a sound knowledge about accountancy and financial reporting, which is not really needed for a controller. The CFO should also have good knowledge concerning business operations and financial system interrelation.