The finance department is incredibly important for any business entity, and without proper financial management, a business is as good as dead.
This is why shrewd entrepreneurs hire the best talent to oversee and manage their business finances. Among the most sought-after personnel are financial controllers.
The position of a financial controller is pivotal in any organization. They are responsible for tracking an entity’s accounting activities.
In some companies, they are answerable to the chief financial officer or the finance director. Many people get lost between an accountant and a financial controller.
The difference between the two professions is that an accountant captures accounting entries while a financial controller monitors and analyses the finances of a business.
Roles of a Financial Controller
The roles of a controller depend on various factors, including the size of your organization.
The number of accounting employees, and the level of financial operations. Key responsibilities of a financial controller include:
1. Overseeing Accounting Operations
Controllers ensure that all accounting records are prepared efficiently and kept safely for future reference.
They watch over payable and receivable accounts in addition to overseeing cash disbursements. For financial safety, companies should create a separation of roles in their accounting departments.
For example, if a controller is in charge of cash disbursements, another officer should be the signatory of the same account.
2. Analyzing Financial Reports and Advising
Besides ensuring the efficient maintenance of a financial report, controllers must also possess proper financial analysis skills.
They should be able to offer guidance and directions to the company based on their scrutiny. A financial controller should be well versed in complex spreadsheet designs.
Most businesses rely on the opinions of controllers to assess future financial risks. Their opinions are also significant in the decision-making process of an entity.
3. Executing Internal Business Operations
Companies rely on controllers to establish and implement financial control policies and procedures. Some of the procedures include collecting, reviewing, and approving invoices.
In addition, controllers also coordinate with external auditors and tax officers by issuing them well-documented records, ready for examination.
4. Financial planning
Controllers provide the executive with accurate and precise data for future strategizing. They do this by issuing periodic financial statements that the business can use to budget.
Additionally, financial controllers help an organization assess depreciation schedules, the impact of specific contract negotiations, and major investment returns.
Senior accountants like controllers have knowledge and insight that other junior employees may not have.
They can help grow your business by offering internal training courses to other members of the staff.
Some tips that junior employees can learn from financial officers include financial policies, organizational procedures, business laws, and organizational ethics.
Even non-accounting employees can learn accounting operations from controllers.
Why Your Business Needs a Financial Controller
Your business may be struggling to reach its peak because you lack the right accounting support.
Hiring a financial controller could be the turning point you need. Here are four reasons why your business needs a financial controller.
1. Controllers Understand the Changes in Market Trends
A controller has adequate knowledge of market trends, and hiring one will help you know the right time to implement certain business ideas and the possible returns.
In return, you will overcome the risks of losses, thereby growing your business.
2. Financial Controllers Are Always a Step Ahead
Other than their accounting roles, controllers can help you predict what your business needs to grow.
They know the impact that certain government measures might have on your company and the steps you should take to counter them.
3. Controllers Know What’s Right for Your Business
Since they have information on your business’ ROI, controllers know what activities benefit you the most and those that lead to losses.
If you sell multiple products or services, information from comptrollers can help you know areas you need to improve to maximize your returns.
Their reports on actual expenses versus estimates can also guide you to determine suitable projects for your business.
4. Controllers Protect You From Fraudsters
It is vital to do regular fraud checks within your organization, especially at a time when cyber fraud has become so rampant.
The only person who can help you conduct an accurate fraud assessment is a financial controller since they are responsible for auditing and financial reports.
Financial controllers can help you organize your financial reports, plan, and budget for your business.
In addition, they also assist you in assessing your investment and plan for the future.
Since a controller is a vital position, you need to hire an honest, dedicated, and well-informed individual for the success of your business.
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