an apple and an orange are like a cfo vs. accountatn

CFO vs. Accountant… What’s the difference?

By Mckenna Clarke, blog writer at TOP CFOS

CPA? CFO? What’s the big difference? If I already have a great accounting staff, why do I need to hire a CFO on top of that? Well, there are quite a few things that a CFO can do that your accounting staff will never be able to help you with. For example, while a good accounting staff will take care of running the numbers, a good CFO will analyze your finances, make predictions, and give you advice for making decisions.

CFO vs. Accountant

Typically, an accountant takes care of the following tasks:

  • Reconciling bank accounts and credit cards
  • Keeping track of accounts payable and receivable
  • Organizing cash flow procedures

A CFO spends his or her days doing the following:

  • Economic strategy and forecasting
  • Overseeing the capital structure of the company
  • Reporting to investors on the financial health of the company
  • Deciding how to invest the company’s money

A good way to sum to up: accountants report on the past events and CFOs predict the future events.

A good part-time CFO will not compete with your current accounting staff, but simply augment what they already do best. CPAs, controllers, and accountants are well trained to input the numbers correctly, whereas finance people are well trained to interpret the numbers correctly. And, this is where outsourced CFOs’ tremendous value comes in: the ability to extract significant information about your business to help it grow. By interpreting the numbers, CFOs offer the very best in financial guidance.

Whether your business is just starting out or well established, having a CFO who knows your finances like the back of the hand will give you a leg up in your industry. If you are looking for help interpreting your numbers, understanding where your business is going, and investing the company’s money, try a part-time CFO who can give you professional advice without the cost of a full-time CFO.