Most people think of a financial controller as someone who handles the finances of a company. But in reality, a financial controller is so much more than that. A financial controller can help you manage costs, optimize revenue, and keep your business on track financially.
We’ll go through how a financial controller can help your business and how to hire one that fits your needs.
What does a financial controller do?
A financial controller is a senior-level executive responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies to grow revenue. In addition, a financial controller oversees the accounting department and ensures that your business complies with all financial regulations.
A financial controller can help keep your business financially healthy, compliant and ready for growth.
How can a financial controller help my business?
Financial controllers wear various hats for different businesses. As a result, their skills and expertise vary depending on the size of the company and the industry they work in.
Manage business costs and expenses
One of the critical roles of a financial controller is to manage costs. They do this by creating budgets and forecasting future prices. They also work with other departments to find ways to reduce expenses. A financial controller can help you understand where your business is spending money and help you save money by finding ways to cut the costs associated with your products or services.
Grow your revenues
A financial controller can also help you grow your revenue. They do this by analyzing your financial data and reporting on metrics such as revenue growth and segments contributing the most to your bottom line. They can help you develop strategies to improve sales in the best-performing segments and inform you of struggling lines of businesses. Financial controllers can also play a strategic role by working with sales and marketing to find new customers and markets for your products or services.
Help you optimize profit.
A financial controller can help you understand which product lines or customer segments are the most profitable. They can help you understand the returns from investing in marketing or other sales strategies. The data they analyze can be used with pricing, sales, and marketing departments to create campaigns that result in more profit.
Cash Flow Management
A financial controller can also help you with planning your cash flow. Controllers have a good understanding of how your business brings in cash or uses money. As a result, they can help you ensure that you have enough funds on hand when you need them, for growth opportunities, or if there are low demand periods.
Another critical role of a financial controller is to ensure compliance with all financial regulations. They work with the accounting department to ensure that all financial reports are accurate and up-to-date. They also review all contracts and transactions to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. They can also work with your external accountants to provide all the necessary documentation needed for tax returns or in the event of an audit. A financial controller will help you avoid costly fines and penalties.
Reduce the risk of fraud and errors
Financial controllers are typically responsible for ensuring preventative measures to reduce the risk of fraud and error; these are internal controls.
With their knowledge and expertise, financial controllers can manage the implementation and oversight of internal controls such as:
- regular financial reviews and account reconciliations,
- maintaining proper approvals for expenses,
- ensuring only appropriate personnel have access to bank accounts and ledgers, and
- formalizing documentation for internal controls.
Take a strategic view of your finances.
A financial controller can also help you with overall financial planning. When you find a suitable controller for your business, they can take a big picture of your finances. They can help you understand your business finances and optimize workflows and internal processes to ensure your business is healthy.
They can also help you identify any financial problems early, such as unexpected expenses or revenue shortfalls and recommend solutions.
Knowing about issues early on can prevent problems from getting out of hand and keep your business on track.
How do I find a financial controller that is right for my business?
Not all financial controllers are created equal. When you’re looking to hire a controller, finding someone with the correct skill set and expertise for your business is crucial.
Financial controllers can wear different hats and are responsible for various financial aspects of your business. Therefore, a suitable financial controller will fit your business’s current growth stage.
Has the proper knowledge and expertise
Make sure that they have the proper skill set and expertise. A suitable controller will have a strong understanding of accounting, finance, and business. They should also be up-to-date on all financial regulations. Ideally, they should be familiar with the industry your business operates in.
A controller needs to communicate with other accounting and finance team members effectively. They should also be able to explain financial concepts to non-financial executives and employees. A qualified financial controller can provide relevant information and guidance to those who need it within your business.
Aligns with the needs of your business
The controller should be a good fit for your organization. They should share your values and be committed to the success of your business. You should be able to trust them with your financial goals, and they can provide the expertise to guide you towards the finish line. Since controllers can wear different hats, it is vital to assess if their experience and knowledge fit into what your business needs right now.
Ask for recommendations
The best way to find a financial controller is to ask for recommendations from people you trust. For example, talk to your accountant, business advisor, or other businesses in your industry. You can also search online for controller services. Once you’ve found a few controllers you’re interested in, set up interviews and ask each other about their experience and qualifications.
If your business is ready for a financial controller, but you’re not prepared to commit to hiring a full-time resource or are unsure of what your business needs, there are other options you can consider.
Many accounting firms offer their expertise for part-time CFO or controllership options. They can take on your business’s accounting tasks, whether through one-time projects such as implementing controls or ongoing support for month-end jobs. Outsourcing these tasks will that your business financially healthy even if you don’t have in-house expertise.
Hiring a financial controller can be an excellent decision for your business.
They can help you save money, make money, and keep your business on track.
When you’re ready to hire a financial controller, you should find someone with a relevant skill set and experience who can communicate effectively and align with your company’s goals and values. Even if you are not ready to bring on a full-time resource, outsourcing or hiring a part-time controller can still provide you with the support your business needs.
Contact McCay Duff LLP in Ottawa for Experienced Financial Advice
Talk to a skilled accounting professional to find the proper support for your accounting needs. At McCay Duff LLP, our financial experts will provide you with recommendations on simplifying your accounting function and providing you with services to support your accounting team. To learn more about how McCay Duff LLP can provide you with the best accounting expertise, contact us online or by telephone at 613-236-2367.