What is the difference in services provided by the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to a business and its owner?
Both CPA and CFO services offer significant benefits to the business owner. The CPA is essential to the past. The CFO is essential to the current and future strategic goals and health of the business.
Business owners often believe that their CPA can provide all the financial guidance their business needs. This is simply not true. The CPA does not have the time to understand everything about the business.
CPAs are tax experts and audit experts. Having a CPA who provides excellent tax service and advice will save a business owner thousands of dollars. A CPA who provides excellent audit service will help a business owner appease its bank and investors by validating past results.
What about the future of the business? Business owners are always (or should be) looking toward the future.
The CFO is a professional who is singularly qualified to help the business owner plan the future both strategically and financially. The CFO studies the owner’s business until he understands every aspect of it. Then the CFO applies his financial expertise with his broad business knowledge and experience to plan the future with the business owner.
CFO services are similar to those provided by a medical doctor (MD). The MD assesses the living body of the patient, assesses the health goals of the patient, prescribes treatment and medication, provides follow up, repeats treatment until the patient achieves his health goals and, provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment as conditions change.
The business owner who relies solely upon his CPA will fail to plan for the future.
The CFO who teaches the business owner to plan for the future will save the life of the owner’s business and help it thrive.
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