How a Financial Controller Helps Your Business

Running a small business appears to come hand-in-hand with hiring a small team of employees, but knowing which professionals to hire can leave you stressed and confused. Eventually, many business owners end up outsourcing specific tasks, especially within the finance department, but they tend to make the mistake at stopping with just a bookkeeper and an accountant. Many small (or even medium) businesses disregard the importance of a financial controller, dismissing the role as something suited for large companies.

A good, reliable financial controller is an essential member of any management team, no matter if the business is large or small. Knowing the role one plays in helping your business succeed is important when it comes to building a strong team of employees.

So what is a financial controller?

A financial controller is an accounting executive whose general responsibility is to review the preparation of financial statements (such as account balance statements, budgets, financial analyses, etc.) and oversees different functions within the accounting department. Acting as a controller comes with many duties, some of which include:

  • Managing all of the necessary finance reports
  • Approving invoices that need to be paid
  • Maintaining the account balance
  • Reviewing documents attached to checks
  • Reconciling bank statements and reports
  • Ensuring the accuracy of statements and tables
  • Managing monthly use and sales tax returns
  • Cooperating with auditors
  • Preparing projections and keep data up-to-date
  • Ensuring that insurance is renewed on time
  • Maintaining the company’s cash flow
  • Supervising employees in the finance department

Financial controllers do all of this and much more! They are experts in the financial field, and the right controller can give you exactly what you need. Hiring one for your team can end up saving you tons of time and money, and here’s how:

How can a controller help your business?

Knowing what kind of service, performance, and, most importantly, results that you are going to get out of a new hire is essential. The role of a controller holds a lot of responsibility, but when you find a highly qualified and reliable person for the job, the results that you get are worth the expense. As obvious as it sounds, hiring a control to be a part of your team gives you more control over your company. A financial controller improves the efficiency of your business in several different ways:

  • Accessible data. When your controller oversees the financial department, he or she ensures that you will have access to all of the necessary data with just a few clicks of your mouse.
  • Accurate records. Controllers see to it that all of your company’s financial records are kept up-to-date so that you are left with no doubt about the state of your business.
  • Comprehensive insight. The job of a controller is not only to manage your finances, but to make the data easier for you to understand. With simplified information, you can make decisions more confidently.
  • Precise estimates. With a controller maintaining the accuracy of your company’s information, you can use it to make predictions, forecasts, and objects, as well as to set realistic, achievable objectives.
  • Smooth workflow. As your business grows, you start to hire more employees–and with an ever-growing financial department, having a controller to maintain order and efficiency has never been more important.

The list goes on, but in short, there are numerous benefits that come along with recruiting a financial controller for your management team. With a good controller, you can stop worrying because your finance department will be in good hands.

When should you hire a financial controller?

As the growth of your company accelerates, you are going to have more and more accounting work on your hands. Many small companies outsource certain jobs, so knowing the right time to hire somebody outside of the company is essential. There is no set, specific time that you should hire, but once it becomes more beneficial and profitable to recruit outside help, you should start searching.

Having a controller to help you handle your finances lets you run your business worry-free. However, sometimes you need more than just the assistance of a controller. How do you know when you should hire a CFO instead of a controller? Perhaps you need to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant. Knowing the services each professional would provide ultimately helps you determine who you should employ.

Overall, before your profit margin begins to plateau and your workflow could use improvement, consider hiring a financial controller to help you manage your finances and increase your cash flow.

Gita Faust

About the Author

Gita Faust has over 30 years of accounting experience in the real estate and property management industry, Gita Faust is more than just a real estate investor; she is also popular for her work as an accountant, consultant, mentor, speaker, QuickBooks Top ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Solution Provider, member of Intuit’s Trainer/Writer Network, and, of course, author. Gita is well-known for her exemplary leadership and advisory skills. In fact, she even helped pioneer the adaptation of QuickBooks to suit the needs of professionals in real estate and property management. To share her knowledge she has written a series of courses titled Simplified Accounting Solution, which provides step-by-step guidance for those working with QuickBooks.

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