What’s the Difference Between a CPA and CFO

If you utilize the services of a certified public accountant, or CPA, you may think your finances are covered. While it’s true that there is some overlap between a certified public accountant and an in-person or virtual chief financial officer, ultimately each is a distinct profession offering unique services that complement one another.

What is a CPA?

A CPA is an expert at managing tax strategies. They are good at keeping financial records, preparing a variety of financial reports, and helping companies reduce their tax burden.

Although they can provide long-term tax advice and strategies, they are more focused on the short-term work of maintaining your finances.

What is a CFO?

Conversely, while a CFO can certainly provide you with input on your tax strategy, they are much more interested in getting to know your business and  focusing on the long-term strategy of your organization. A chief financial officer may be tasked with raising funds, strategizing how to grow your business over the next decade, measuring profitability over time, and maintaining shareholder relationships.

They can also help you change behaviors and habits that are affecting the success of your business. In contrast, a CPA will focus on the numbers and how they apply to tax law, as well as making sure records are drawn up in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Every Business Can Benefit From a CFO

Ultimately, even if you already have a CPA, your business can undeniably benefit from a relationship with a CFO. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire someone full-time! A virtual chief financial officer can work for your company on a part-time basis; saving you money while providing you with long-term financial strategies to ensure your venture enjoys continued success.

For more information on how you might benefit from a relationship with a virtual chief financial officer, please call 1 (888) 400-2148 or book your complimentary strategy session.



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