There is a difference between a normal Finance team and a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). While both roles are responsible for managing the financial aspects of a business, the scope and focus of their responsibilities can differ depending on the size and nature of the organization.

The CFO is typically a more senior position, responsible for overseeing the entire financial operation of the organisation. They are often involved in setting financial strategies, managing financial risks, and driving financial performance. The CFO also typically has a more strategic role in the organisation, working closely with other senior leaders to guide the overall direction and growth of the business.

The Finance team, and cashiers, on the other hand, is often a more operational role, responsible for managing the day-to-day financial operations of the business. This can include overseeing financial reporting, day-to-day posting of transactions as well as managing financial controls and compliance. The day-to-day finance team may also be involved in decision-making, but their focus is typically more on the financial and operational details of the business. A Financial Controller, for example, is usually responsible for overseeing the accounting operations of the business, including managing the accounting staff and ensuring that financial records are accurate and compliant. They may also be involved in financial reporting and budgeting but it’s unlikely that they would be involved in M&A or in forecasting cash flow and negotiating with funders for lending.

In some organizations, the FD and CFO roles may be combined or have overlapping responsibilities. In others, the roles may be more clearly defined and differentiated. The specific responsibilities and focus of these roles can also vary depending on the size, sector, and stage of growth of the organisation. I work with some small finance teams to provide that strategic oversight. I also work with very large Firms with their own FDs, but who need more occasional support at the CFO level – often for one-off projects so that the FD can deal with the more day-to-day without getting overloaded.