In all industries, Controllers are the people who supervise all accounting functions in a business. These financial experts steer the ship to keep the company’s finances on track. As you can imagine, a Controller has many responsibilities, including:
- Supervising accounting teams
- Managing and maintaining cash flow of all accounts
- Managing controls to ensure assets are used appropriately
- Creating the policies and procedures to manage all accounting processes
- Providing data for audits
- Compiling financial statements and reports
- Determining appropriate budgets for the company
- Overseeing accounts payable
- Preventing fraud or misuse of company assets
In short, a Controller is in charge of managing the accounting department. The right person must have multitasking skills and highly developed communication skills to work closely with business leaders and their team.
4 ways a Controller can grow your business
A professional Controller can help your business grow in several ways, including:
1. Taking accountability for your company finances
Your financial Controller will take full responsibility and accountability for your company’s financial systems. This person is typically so in tune with your finances and business operations that are aware of every number crunched and have a thorough understanding of your business expenses.
A Controller will also be able to explain any fluctuations in your cash flow, strategize your finances, and optimize them. Your Controller will play a big role in every financial decision you make on behalf of your company, from purchasing new equipment to hiring new staff. Also, they will likely be the primary point of contact for your legal, insurance, and banking alliances. With all these major responsibilities taken off your plate, you are left free to do what you do best — further developing and running your company.
2. Finding areas where you could be saving on costs
One of the most critical parts of the Controller’s job is to get to know the business inside out and find ways to improve profitability and budgeting. A proactive Controller will know if your company’s sales are hitting targets, and they will be aware of ways to decrease expenses and improve product margins.
Your company can benefit from a controller who is an expert at finding and launching cost-saving initiatives to increase your profitability and allow your business to flourish.
3. Creating value as a business partner
A Controller who is worth their salt should manage vendor relationships, so the business receives the best available terms and contracts. The right Controller must also feel comfortable to talk to you if they disagree with your company’s spending habits.
If you are patient and listen to your Controller, you will find their opinion not only valuable, but their professional point of view can save you money that can be reinvested in your business.
4. Managing your company data
A financial Controller plays an important role when it comes to managing your company data. If you’re going to invest money in hiring a Controller, you need to understand his or her exact role in this critical area.
Your Controller will not deal with financial data entry but will supervise the process and make sure it’s carried out accurately, efficiently, and securely. Within this role, the Controller should be up-to-date on current accounting and finance technology. This person should always be on the lookout for new and innovative technology to help streamline the running of your accounting department.
When does your Business need a Controller?
Hiring a Controller sounds like a big job — and it is. So, when does it make sense to hire a high-level financial professional? If any of these situations sound familiar, it might be time to hire a Controller:
- Your company is growing rapidly, and you need help in making financial decisions, such as evaluating new revenue streams or purchasing a new facility
- You need someone to lead your company’s accounting operations so you can spend more time managing your business’s development
- You need regular, consistent reporting on your company’s financial position
- You want to ensure that your company is fully compliant with tax codes
- You need help managing significant amounts of receivables and inventory
What are the benefits of outsourcing a Controller position?
If you are running a small or medium-sized business, you may not have the budget or need for a full-time, in-house controller. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need someone to fill this role and the duties associated with this being a successful hire.
You can still benefit from a Controller’s experience and expertise by outsourcing this role. An outsourced Controller will give you benefits you would not get with an in-house Controller, such as:
- No lag in operations: When you hire an outside source for financial work there are multiple benefits. If they are sick, take vacation time, or there is turnover there is always a well-suitable candidate on the team who can pick up the work uninterrupted or step in where needed. This way, your business won’t feel the burden. Furthermore, you won’t have to spend time and money hiring and training another employee. When you outsource your Controller, they are already vetted, so you can be sure the job is completed with efficiency and expertise.
- Expertise on demand: When you hire a professional outsourced Controller, they should have an accounting degree, several years of experience working for other companies, and in-depth knowledge within a specific industry. Outsourced Controllers should come with a high standard of financial expertise and knowledge. Bringing on an outsourced Controller who knows your industry inside and out can make you more money and help your company grow. And in the event additional support or expertise is needed, your outsourced firm should have access to an entire team of experts so you are really getting access to the entire company of experts.
- Reliable reporting: As a business owner, you need access to accurate financial reports at the end of each month to help you see where your business is doing well, and to highlight problem areas. An outsourced Controller can create monthly reports tailored to your preferences, whether you need general or more in-depth reporting.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to hire a Controller. If your company is growing quickly and you feel that your financials are out of control, now is the time to get expert help before the company starts to suffer. Even if you can’t afford to hire a full-time Controller, you can still reap the benefits of outsourced Controller services. And it might even be a better fit until you really need to hire for a full-time role.
If you’re thinking of hiring an outsourcing Controller or even considering an in-house role, Signature Analytics can provide you with the best advice and direction on how to build your internal team and where outsourcing might benefit your company.
A Signature Analytics financial expert will collaborate with you and your company leadership to oversee the implementation of a financial plan designed to suit your company. They will streamline your current accounting process and provide you with ongoing financial reports and metrics for review. Signature Analytics also offers part-time CFO services, should your business plans require one – which most do at some point.
At Signature Analytics, we work together with our clients to provide them with the benefits of a large firm, coupled with the close relationship of working with a local team daily. Contact us today so we can help you take charge of your business finances and make your company grow.