What Does a Financial Controller Do And Should You Hire One?

Farwah Jafri | June 11 2021

Finding the time to handle strategic planning and maintaining day-to-day financials can prove to be a major challenge for CFOs, especially those managing businesses that are in the growth phase. Moreover, as the number of transactions go up, their computation becomes more complex and thus, balancing day-to-day accounting alongside focusing on your business’s growth becomes exhausting.

This is where you can leverage the services and expertise of a controller. With the assistance of an accomplished financial controller, you can free your CFO to concentrate on making high-level strategic decisions that will optimize productivity and help you accomplish long-term results for your business.

Continue reading to learn more about what does a controller do and why outsourcing controller services could be an excellent option for your company.

What does a controller do in financial matters?

A financial controller — also known as a comptroller — is responsible for providing invaluable assistance to a company’s chief financial officer, and holds several key responsibilities under their belt. These include financial reporting, day-to-day bookkeeping, accounting supervision and maintaining the overall financial health of a business. In the absence of a CFO, a financial controller usually reports to the CEO.

An experienced controller can be well-versed in bookkeeping, accounting processes, account administration, cash management, and executive management. They are an invaluable resource to the CFO and accounting department because they concentrate on controlling expenses and performing important financial activities within the set deadlines.

In short, a trustworthy controller assumes a great number of day-to-day activities that are critical to ensuring the operational efficiency of a business. To learn more about what does a controller do, let’s compare their key responsibilities with a CFO.

What does a controller do that a CFO doesn’t?

A financial controller traditionally manages an organization’s accounting division, overseeing financial statements, recordkeeping, auditing, and other critical tasks that ensures a company’s compliance and financial wellbeing. CFOs, on the other hand, usually control the company’s financials, providing emphasis on research and strategic planning that fuels the success of the business.

Many CFOs depend heavily on financial statements and data from the financial controller to assess past results and make decisions that advance company goals. In this way, a controller’s role is crucial to strategizing when and how the organization goes forward, all the while delivering reliable, actionable insights to CEOs for the company to reach its maximum potential.

Although controllers have traditionally concentrated on accounting and financial reporting, the position is increasingly evolving. Many controllers nowadays carry more roles and duties in a company’s activities than they did before.

To continue learning about what does a financial controller do, let’s inspect the individual services they offer in detail:

What does a controller do on a regular day?

Any accounting, bookkeeping, or management activity that falls under a controller’s experience, reach, and skillset is considered a financial controller service. Depending on the size, complexity and needs of the organization, these can include everything from financial reporting to internal controls, reconciliations, long-term financial planning, and more.

Managing financial reporting

Controllers are in charge of overseeing and preparing the financial reporting needed to keep businesses operating smoothly. This contains the following:

  • – Preparation and oversight of the balance sheet and financial statement (P&L statement)
  •  Keeping track of and reporting expenditures (direct, general, and administrative)
  •  Generating cash flow statements
  •  Taking care of regulatory and executive reporting

Managing accounting

Controllers are also in charge of a variety of other accounting and finance-related tasks, such as, but not limited to:

  •  Managing accounts receivables and payables
  •  Examining accounts in the register
  •  Creating corporate tax returns
  •  Reconciliation of bank accounts
  •  Maintaining compliance of internal controls with regulations
  •  Overseeing insurance timetables
  •  Collaborating with outside tax accountants
  •  Collecting and managing cash flow

High-quality solutions

These days, what a financial controller does is that they handle many high-level duties that are traditionally the domain of the CFO, including, but not limited to:

  •  Financial planning, evaluation and oversight
  •  Management of mergers and acquisitions
  •  Planning for the future
  •  Building relations with investors

Having an accomplished controller on the team can greatly ensure financial accuracy, as they provide the guidance and expertise needed to open new doors and achieve long-term growth. Professional outsourced controller services, whether used on a per-need or full-time basis, can help ensure financial transparency in records while preparing the business for the next strategic move.

What does a virtual controller do that a full-time hire doesn’t?

Outsourced controller services for your company can offer a great deal of cost-effective resources for the entire lifecycle of your business.

See Also: Leveraging Outsourced Controller Services To Future-Fit Your Small Business

To learn about what does a virtual controller do better than a full-time hire, below are some of the most sought after benefits you can get for your accounting staff:

Reduced staffing expenses

Working with an outsourced controller allows you to escape the payroll and training expenses of recruiting a full-time employee, which could save you thousands of dollars per month.

Expertise tailored to your needs

Most CEOs tailor outsourced controller services to their company’s specific needs, allowing the CFO and accounting team to get a specialist’s help whenever and wherever they need it.

Enhanced performance

Since virtual controller services are provided offsite, they do not contribute to the internal disturbances that often impede objectivity and efficiency, resulting in more productivity that favors both your business and its customers.

Increased discretion

Without proper division between different areas of your business, sensitive information has a much higher chance to fall into the hands of the wrong people. Outsourced services help to mitigate this risk and safeguard confidential information important to the company by keeping everything online and traceable.

Continuous output

Learning more about what does a financial controller do, it’s important to note that with outsourced services, you don’t ever have to worry about your controller taking a day off, as another one would immediately take place of one in case of their unavailability. Outsourced controller systems would provide critical oversight, and ensure that you have the reports you need, no matter what.

Strategic direction

If you are planning for the future, a seasoned outsourced controller team provide strategic financial advice your company requires to optimize revenue and be prepared for anything that lies ahead.

Virtual controller services you can rely on

Monily’s virtual management services adapt their controllership approach to each particular company’s budget and needs. We provide companies with cost-effective resources they need to meet their budgeting, accounting, and financial goals. To learn more about what our controllers do and how they can help your business become more financially secure, talk with one of our representatives today.

Author Bio

Farwah is the Product Owner of Monily. She has an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, UK. She is passionate about helping businesses overcome challenges that hamper their growth, which is why she is working at Monily to facilitate entrepreneurs to efficiently manage business finances and stay focused on growth.