Accountant, Financial Analyst, Chief Financial Officer… How should the job responsibilities differ in each of these positions? Although most of us know the key differences, we tend to forget that each of these positions has different expectations, tasks, and responsibilities. In this article, we have summarized the main financial positions of the company. We also take a look at the question – when is it necessary to introduce these roles?
1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The CFO is the company’s chief financial officer in the most senior position. The CFO is responsible for developing and monitoring the company’s financial strategy, reviewing the budget, maintaining relationships with investors and / or banks, identifying and preventing risks, and leading the financial team. In large organizations, a chief financial officer is vital to the success of the business, but in smaller companies, an outsourced chief financial officer will be enough to compile a budget, attract funding, and provide other services. In large enterprises, the CFO is often one of the board members.
2. Financial Analyst
Financial analysts manage money and investments for the company or at a departmental level. Their responsibilities also include the preparation of financial statements and forecasts, credit monitoring, and investment analysis. They often work with other departments in the company to monitor costs. To a large extent, the financial analyst performs the practical role of financial director – while the manager has to focus on strategy, the financial analyst performs the given tasks directly. Larger companies need several financial analysts who are responsible for reporting and planning in different departments.
3. Financial Controller
The financial controller is the company’s chief police officer. They are mainly responsible for the company’s expenses, so they work closely with both the financial planning and analysis department and the accounting department. The financial controller must make sure that the company works within the existing budget and that the money is not lost anywhere. In addition, their responsibilities include timely and correct recording of transactions and cash flow planning – they have to keep track of how exactly the money enters the company and how it goes out. The financial controller, as well as the accountant, need to pay a lot of attention to detail. In contrast, financial analysts and managers are responsible for financial planning and analysis – budgeting and optimizing spending. The position of a financial controller is required mainly in larger companies with several accountants.
Accountants are responsible for keeping accurate records of the company’s figures in the accounting systems and for ensuring co-operation with the State Revenue Service. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that all transactions within the company are properly recorded and legal. Financial accounting is mandatory for companies, so only companies that have just started their operations and the number of transactions is very small can manage without an accountant. While a company is small, most business executives outsource accounting services because it saves costs and is much more efficient. Large companies or groups of companies will often have several permanent accountants, each responsible for their own cost groups (salaries, taxes, transactions, etc.) or subsidiaries.