Running a profitable business is no easy task. You must be an expert not only in what you do but also in running a firm. When an expert in any field decides to build a company to provide a service or a new product, they don't always consider the operational aspects of running a business, which require skills in management, business strategy, bookkeeping, accounting, and finance – not just marketing, engineering, consulting, or whatever it is that you do best.
What Is a Controller and What Does a Controller Do in a Business?
A financial controller is a member of senior management who generally oversees the bookkeeping and accounting department of a corporation. They oversee the company's bookkeeping and accounting methods, processes, and system, as well as financial reporting, tax filing, compliance, internal controls, and aiding the CFO with financial planning.
Although controllers may assist the CFO with "big picture" financial planning, the controller's primary responsibility is to organise, manage, and lead financial operations. In smaller firms, the financial controller may also serve as both controller and CFO, overseeing the company's strategic financial management.
Is Your Company in Need of a Controller?
A small business owner's decision to hire a financial controller or a CFO is not an easy one. These professions require highly educated and experienced personnel, and these kinds of employees are not cheap. As a result, to save money, many small business owners put off employing a controller and/or a CFO for as long as feasible.
However, if your company is facing any of the following difficulties, you would benefit from having someone on your team with the skills, expertise, and experience of a financial controller.
1. You Rely Too Much on Your Accountant
Many new business owners make the mistake of believing that their accountant oversees the whole financial department. The controllers, as you are now aware, oversee bookkeeping, accounting monitoring, and management.
2. Your company is expanding
If your firm is expanding (opening additional sites, bringing in new partners, exploring new markets, or introducing new product lines), you'll need someone to oversee your bookkeeping and accounting systems.
3. Your CFO is stressed
The CFO's key tasks should be centred on your company's long-term financial plan. The CFO should be concerned with making decisions on how the firm will spend its earnings, how it will invest, and how it might attract new investors.
4. Are You Concerned About Compliance
Oversight and management to guarantee financial compliance with all the laws and regulations to which your organisation is subject is one of a financial controller's responsibilities. Internal audits will be performed by a controller to guarantee that your finances are in order.
5. Are Our financial reports are consistently late or inaccurate.
To manage your business efficiently and make data-driven decisions that will lead to success, you must have accurate financial reports available at all times.
6. You're a Victim of Fraud
Unless you're just starting out, you're probably not the only one who works in the back office. Regardless of how much you trust your staff, functioning without a controller who has developed good back-office systems exposes your organisation to fraud.
7. Manual processes waste time and resources.
If your bookkeeping and accounting department relies on manual processes to function (such as tracking and categorising expenses, filing receipts, generating invoices and payment reminders, and generating financial reports), you're wasting valuable time and resources on tasks that could be automated.