What Is the Difference Between a CFO and a Treasurer?

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The New York Times describes the position of a Chief Financial Officer, or CFO, as the person who is responsible for accounting, budgeting, financial analysis and the oversight of insurance, health insurance, real estate, banking, accounts receivable and legal issues. A treasurer is responsible for managing financial risk for the company across credit, currency, interest rates and operations.

In business, a CFO generally oversees the performance of a treasurer. The CFO is responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial management, while the treasurer is only concerned with one area, risk. According to an article in San Diego Source, the treasurer is responsible for the monitoring and investment of the company’s cash so there is a balance between investments and returns. The same article notes that the treasurer may also be responsible for making sure the company’s assets are adequately protected by insurance.

San Diego Source describes the responsibilities of a CFO as overseeing controllership, the treasury, capital structure, executive reporting, financial intelligence and business strategy. The CFO is the highest financial officer in a company. This position often works in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, and reports directly to the owner of the company or the board of directors.