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Executive Assistant vs Chief of Staff in Small Business vs Financial Director/CFO

Primary Role:

Executive Assistant: Administrative and organizational support for executives

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Similar to Startup Chief of Staff, but in a smaller business context

Financial Director/CFO: Manages financial health, including strategies and operations

Reporting Relationship:

Executive Assistant: Reports directly to the executive they support

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Reports to the business owner or CEO

Financial Director/CFO: Reports to CEO or executive board

Scope of Responsibilities:

Executive Assistant: Focused on day-to-day tasks and administrative duties

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Broad, tailored to the needs of a small business

Financial Director/CFO: Responsible for financial planning, analysis, and reporting

Decision-Making Authority:

Executive Assistant: Limited to administrative decisions

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Significant, especially in strategic and operational decisions

Financial Director/CFO: Key decision-maker in financial matters

Strategic Planning:

Executive Assistant: Limited involvement, support capacity

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Active in shaping and executing business strategy

Financial Director/CFO: Integral to financial aspect of strategic planning

Team Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages administrative staff

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Manages or coordinates with small business teams

Financial Director/CFO: Oversees the financial team or department

Meeting Involvement:

Executive Assistant: Scheduling, preparing materials, taking minutes

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Active in business meetings, contributing to decisions

Financial Director/CFO: Attends executive meetings, particularly around financial planning

Project Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages small projects within their role

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Leads key business projects and initiatives

Financial Director/CFO: Involved in financial projects and initiatives


Executive Assistant: Facilitates internal communication

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Acts as a key communicator for the small business

Financial Director/CFO: Communicates financial information to stakeholders

Professional Development:

Executive Assistant: Focused on improving administrative and organizational skills

Chief of Staff in Small Business: Develops skills in managing a small business environment

Financial Director/CFO: Develops financial management and strategic skills

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