The Importance of a Controller in Your Business
By Becky Austin
As a business owner, you likely know how crucial it is to maintain a handle on your company’s finances. Like many multi-tasking owners, however, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the complex process of forecasting, planning, accounting, monitoring, and measuring. If you’re having trouble balancing the day-to-day demands of your business with your essential financial duties, it might be time to bring in an expert.
A controller — also known as a finance manager, accounting manager, senior accountant, or director of finance — is a must-have for any business that requires financial management. While a CFO is responsible for the overall fiscal strategy of your business, a controller takes the lead on the crucial activities of financial reporting, compliance, and complex accounting functions related to accruals and deferrals.
Here’s how a skilled controller can bring expert analysis to the table while protecting your business for the long haul.
A controller clarifies your financial reporting and keeps your business on track. A controller can provide clarity about complex business operations and performance by analyzing financial statements and explaining the story those statements tell about the organization. A qualified controller can implement appropriate matching principles and revenue recognition, analyze and report on established KPIs, and ensure that monthly and yearly financials align.
A controller reduces your risk of fraud. As a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for due diligence and management — but a controller mitigates risk by separating duties. Reporting and auditing functions are managed by the controller, not by the same people who have authorization or spending powers.
A controller can ensure regulatory compliance. Tax and financial regulations can be a minefield if you have not been trained with the technical knowledge needed to navigate them. A central component of a controller’s role is to maintain compliance with both state and federal regulations, as well as meet requirements set by financial institutions. You may choose to forge forward alone, but the reality is that non-compliance penalties can devastate your business’s bottom line.
Controllers bring measurable benefits to companies, but many businesses do not have the budget to hire a full-time, in-house expert. Hiring a virtual controller is a smart and financially prudent solution.
An outsourced controller offers a cost-effective alternative to an in-house controller because there are no added costs such as employer taxes, insurance, or benefits. There’s no need to worry about turnover, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of working with a highly skilled expert.
Our Client Accounting Services team has the talented people needed to help develop your business’s financial story and bring clarity to nagging questions and stubborn problems. Call your accountant or email Becky Austin (firstname.lastname@example.org) today. You can #countonus to help you determine how outsourcing to a virtual controller can be of benefit to your business.