Business success depends on how individuals or stakeholders manage, regulate, and control finances. Unfortunately, small business owners today disregard the role of accounting controllers and opt to do everything themselves. The eventuality is that such businesses either stall or project a significantly slow growth trend.
Experts advise business owners to amply comprehend the roles of an accounting controller, and how they can utilize professionals in that sector, to enhance overall performance. Hiring a professional accounting controller should be your next move if you dream of transforming your business into a financial powerhouse.
Who is an Accounting Controller?
An accounting controller is an individual mandated to oversee a business's daily accounting and financial operations. Through oversight, the accounting controller generates a report, portraying the overall business performance from an accounts perspective.
Aside from oversight, an accounting controller analyzes business financial health by scrutinizing past performance. With precise analysis, accounting controllers influence business decisions for improved future performance.
Most business owners can't differentiate between accounting controllers and auditors. An accounting controller is responsible for all business financial statements and records, while an auditor professionally examines all financial documents to determine their accuracy. Controllers' and auditors' roles cannot apply interchangeably.
Where Accounting Controllers Focus- The Roles
Accounting controllers are an integral part of the financial hierarchy, meaning roles are foundationally executed to ensure flawless operations in all departments. The specific accounting controllers' areas of focus include the following:
- Overall accounting oversight: An accounting controller can access all corporate financial and accounting documents. Their role is to thoroughly check the records and generate comprehensive reports, such as balance sheets and income statements.
- Establishing and executing controls: An accounting controller's role is to establish a control mechanism by introducing the respective financial and accounting procedures. Further, the controller's role may involve clearing invoices, cheque signing, and reviewing receivables, among others.
- Financial planning, budgeting, reporting, forecasting: Controllers engage in strategic planning based on their familiarity with the organizational accounts and finances. Additionally, the controller assists with budgeting with reference to the business plans and the organizational financial ability, after which reports and forecasts are generated.
- Tax compliance: Filing and paying taxes is an organization's cardinal obligation. An accounting controller gathers financial information, calculates taxes, and makes the necessary payments. With adequate accounting prowess, controllers can effectively compute taxes from different entities and make the respective filing.
- Financial analysis: Accounting controllers assist in the corporate decision-making process. The Controller's detailed analysis of accounting records helps project the specific business position in terms of finances. Thus, accounting controllers can advise stakeholders in making decisions toward achieving the stipulated business goals.
- Automate business processes: Modern technology allows accounting controllers to automate systems for easy bookkeeping. Controllers easily make effective decisions with real-time access to accounting information from automated systems. Automation further enables the controller to engage in planning, billing, invoicing, and order placement, among other things.
- Maintain relationships with external auditors and banks: Accuracy in bookkeeping is integral, particularly in projecting the actual business financial position. The accounts controller provides all financial and accounting documents to auditors and banks for scrutiny.
The Cardinal Skills of an Accounting Controller
Effectiveness in the oversight role depends on the accounting controller's competence. In this regard, business experts recommend hiring skilled and professional controllers to facilitate the flawless execution of the accounting oversight role. The primary skills an accounting controller should possess include the following:
- Analytical skills
An accounting controller holds a company's overall mandate of financial oversight, hence the need for analytical skills. Analytical skills resonate with organizing, visualizing, and assimilating data. An accounting controller should analyze data creatively to facilitate rational solutions and decisions.
- Attention to detail
An organization's large amount of financial data can be overwhelming. In this regard, a controller should demonstrate a thorough concern in all accounting areas, irrespective of how small.
Part of the accounting controllers' role is assisting in decision-making. Having conducted a thorough analysis of the financial documents, controllers are expected to communicate their position and paint a clear business picture. Communication is paramount, especially when stakeholders need the certitude to take a specific action.
- Mathematical skills
Corporate accounting broadly resonates with mathematical computations. In this regard, business experts recommend selecting accounting controllers with a strong prowess in mathematics. The controller's keenness to detail should enable them to calculate taxes, compile invoices, and perform other mathematically related activities.
- Organizational skills
The accounting controller docket is multifaceted. In other words, accounting controllers execute different roles, including oversight, decision-making, analysis, and planning. Organizational skills, in this case, assist accounting controllers in effectively completing various tasks without losing focus.
- Leadership and team management
The entire accounting records compilation process involves a team, with each individual assigned a specific task. The accounting controller oversees team operations while performing leadership and management duties.
Through professional leadership and management skills, the controller oversees flawless operations throughout the different financial and accounts processes.
The Benefits of Hiring an Accounting Controller
All business owners aspire to achieve success in their ventures. Hiring a professional accounting controller is one step in the right direction, whereby chances of business success are amplified. The main benefits of working with an accounting controller include the following:
- Market expansion: Skilled accounting controllers can deeply analyze the markets and identify business growth opportunities. With effective internal controls and risk management strategies, it is possible to achieve substantial market expansion.
- Day-to-day operations management: Accounting controllers operate closely with the accounts team to monitor all financial operations. Close oversight mitigates chances for adversities that could affect the overall business progress.
- Increased productivity: Experts recommend close scrutiny of business performance within a specific period. A professional accounting controller identifies weak financial performance areas, prompting action toward better achievements.
- Informed corporate decisions: Accounting controllers are instrumental in facilitating sound decision-making in business. Controllers embark on detailed analysis of financial records to determine the best line of action.
The Bottom Line
Dillon Business Advisors allows you to take your business to the next level through our financial advisory services. We have a robust team of financial experts ready to extend reliable fractional services for exceptional business performance. Learn how our Controllers collaborate with the Client Service Manager and Client CFO through our Team of 3 approach to foster time and financial freedom for business owners.
Our company provides CFOs, controllers, and managers to assist in growing your business and meeting your unique financial goals. Contact our team now and begin the journey to a bigger, better, and financially empowered business.
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