Breaking Down the FP&A Function of the CFO Suite

  • Large corporation: CFO has a Director of FP&A and a Controller as direct reports, each with a team of analysts. The CFO is focused on company-level strategic planning and building a relationship with investors.
  • Medium size company: CFO has a Controller as a direct report to handle the day-to-day financial operations and reporting. The CFO takes on the responsibility of FP&A.
  • Early-stage startup: Focused on finding product market fit, limited financial information to work with. The CEO outsources accounting to a third-party accounting firm and may conduct simple FP&A.
Source: Vena Solutions
  • The CFO is the financial mastermind of the company with oversight of major projects, expansions, reorganizations, fundraising and other strategic initiatives. It’s important for the CFO to have the financial acumen to manage the Controller and FP&A functions.
  • The Controller is responsible for accounting and financial reporting. The Controller is responsible for generating the three main financial statements and ensuring these statements comply with GAAP and other regulatory requirements.
  • FP&A is responsible for strategic planning, decision support, and financial modeling. The FP&A function helps all groups within the company make better decisions by taking historical data, forecasting future performance, and running sensitivity analyses.
  1. Strategic planning
  2. Financial forecasting
  3. Monitoring progress
  4. Project management
  1. Transactions
  2. Book keeping
  3. Financial reporting
  4. Financial planning
  5. Strategic planning

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Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Co-founder, CEO at Bluelight (YC W21). Angel Investor. Writing about the intersection of finance and startups.