controller vs cfo responsibilities for non profit

This part of the job description should include details about how long the organization has been operating as well as some information about the mission. We are looking for a CFO to join our nonprofit organization and manage all financial aspects, including investments and audit activities. A CFO is not simply a more experienced and higher paid controller – the roles are different and require a different level of experience and a different way of operating.

controller vs cfo responsibilities for non profit

The biggest distinctions can best be described by breaking down the operations and responsibilities of each role. In this article, we’ll look at the three key differences between these positions. We’ll address their scope, daily responsibilities, and hierarchy to help give you a better understanding of how CFOs and controllers impact your company.

Step Into the Controller vs. CFO Face-off

Although your business may not be ready to have multiple dedicated senior accounting roles for quite some time, it is still important to understand how these roles work. Doing so will allow you to make better decisions, plan job duties more clearly, and strengthen your accounting and financial operations as a whole. By $10MM, the controller is more involved with managing internal controls, closing processes and report generation, as these tasks are more intensive and time-consuming than in smaller companies. At this size, there are many more moving parts in the accounting function, so the role is that of a classic controller. When, as an accountant, you get really good at accounting and financial reporting and develop the ability to manage several different activities and supervise people, you can become a financial controller.

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Meanwhile, a CFO utilizes these reports to focus on more broad, big-picture company positioning. By contrast, a controller typically focuses on producing financial statements and managing the technical aspects of the organization’s accounting function. The CFO role is strategic by nature, creating budgets, analyzing financial statements, and strategically interpreting the data.

Outsourced vs In-House Controller: Which is Right for Your Business?

The duties of a controller include assisting with the preparation of the operating budgets, overseeing financial reporting and performing essential duties relating to payroll. The controller’s role is more hands-on in that they’re responsible for creating, implementing, cfo vs controller and overseeing the functional policies and procedures that collect, record, and report financial data. Though the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the financial controller work closely together, they have significantly different roles within a company.

Download our Executive Growth Reports now to see the kinds of reports a controller or CFO should deliver and keep them handy to compare with reports you receive from candidates. So, as you might imagine, there are many small businesses which have a controller or a CFO, but not both. Instead, they should be worried about the big picture — about ratios and trends and whether the company is meeting its obligations to banks, vendors, investors, and employees. While hiring an experienced CFO is an investment, the return can be significant.