What’s the Difference Between an FD and FC – Why Does It Matter?

Accounts person with graphes

Finance Directors (FD) and Finance Controllers (FC) are senior finance professionals. Some of their responsibilities overlap which can make it difficult for employers to decipher the difference between the two.

It’s important to understand what separates an FD from an FC because they have different skills and responsibilities. Often, companies approach us thinking they need a Finance Director. Upon further investigation, it becomes apparent that it would be more beneficial to their business if they hired a Financial Controller (or vice versa).

Our consultative approach enables us to establish the support your business needs and whether an FD or FC will add the most value.


The role of a Finance Controller

 An FC is responsible for heading up your accounts function.

Often referred to as the ‘lead accountant,’ they look after the running of the finance team at grassroots level. Typical tasks are centred around accounting, reporting and internal financial processes.

It’s critical that FCs are skilled when it comes to looking at and interpreting data, trends and performance because they need to present this information to the FD (if you have one), company directors and stakeholders.

Key responsibilities for an FC include:

  • Internal and external financial reporting
  • Approving invoices
  • Payroll
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Regulatory compliance

In summary:

A Financial Controller overseas a business’s day-to-day operations and they’re a great asset to SMEs who need help managing traditional finance duties. If you’re a growing business however, a Finance Director would better support your organisation.


The role of the Finance Director

A Finance Director is more senior than an FC, with authority only superseded by company directors and CEOs.

Their role goes beyond reporting, as they are relied on to identify and implement strategies to grow the business and reach financial goals.

The role of an FD is a strategic one, with key responsibilities including:

  • Liaising with senior level directors
  • Strategic planning
  • Cash-flow forecasting
  • Managing investor relationships
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Creating roadmaps for revenue growth
  • Managing debt
  • Staff management

In summary:

One of the key differences between an FC and FD, is that a Financial Controller is more focused on historical reporting. A Finance Director on the other hand, is more strategic and forward-thinking.

They will form interpretations that affect the overall health of the entire organisation and use this information to take businesses to the next level.

To find out the level of support your business needs, get in touch with Acuity Associates today.

Talk to Us

It's time to hire for capability. 
Not just qualifications.

The expert team at Acuity Associates are here to
help you with your Financial Recruitment.


+44 (0)20 3405 3080


Discover Our Latest Articles

We only put forward candidates that have achieved a top 25% score vs. their peers.

Copyright © 2024 Acuity Associates