It is time for your business to consider hiring a financial controller? To help you make that decision, this article explains the duties of a financial controller and the benefits of partnering with an outsourced accounting provider.
Is hiring a savvy financial controller the right move for your business?
Not every business brings a financial controller on board at the beginning. In fact, most businesses only make that decision when the company is growing and generating more revenue. However, there are times when an entrepreneur or small business owner is ready for change before that happens.
Before you post the job opening, it is important to understand exactly what a financial controller does and where one fits into the chain of command.
What is a financial controller and what does one do?
A financial controller typically answers to the chief financial officer (CFO). And, the CFO is under the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or reports directly to the owner, depending on the business hierarchy.
A financial controller is an accounting professional who oversees bookkeeping and accounting functions. They are responsible for ensuring internal procedures and processes align with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Other duties may include:
- Managing accounting software systems
- Establishing and monitoring finance-related internal controls
- Assisting with budgeting and forecasting processes
- Assisting other executives design and implementing financial strategies
When working with smaller firms and startups, this financial officer may act in other capacities, such as serving as both the controller and the CFO. Some become the company investor liaison and manage fundraising activities.
Is now the time to bring on a financial controller?
The decision to add a financial officer to your roster, whether that means adding a remote workforce, expanding your in-house staff, or hiring an outsourced accounting partner depends on your current situation.
Here are a few ways to tell if the time is right to add a financial controller to your team.
Your business is expanding or ready to expand
If you are opening new locations, expanding service or product offerings, or actively seeking new investment partners, getting your finances in order is important. This is especially true when you plan to apply for loans necessary to purchase new equipment, launch promotional ad campaigns, and onboard more staff.
A well-qualified financial expert can help by auditing financial records and making adjustments to correct issues. He or she may also prepare financial reports and summaries for lenders and potential investors that accurately represent your current financial health status.
Your business is struggling with cash flow challenges
A sign that it is time for a change in your financial management strategy is unpredictable cash flow. This condition may be caused by bottlenecks and inefficiencies in workflow patterns that delay invoicing and collecting processes. Delayed billing, as well as errors in statements, often mean customers don't pay on time. When a business waits 30, 60, or 90 days to settle accounts receivables, cash flow is limited to cash-on-demand payments.
The financial controller has the skills to help your company optimize finance-related processes and systems that enable prompt, accurate billing and faster payment. This improves cash flow, resulting in more consistent budgeting and spending activities.
Your business routinely faces compliance challenges
If you have trouble meeting your financial obligations, filing tax returns on time, and are paying late fees regularly, it is time to hire a financial expert. Failing to comply with tax collection laws can lead to serious fees and other negative sanctions. Plus, all these compliance issues negatively impact credit scores, which could mean that loans are denied and your reputation suffers.
The good news is that bringing on a financial officer to automate your processes and create specific financial strategies to avoid negative sanctions, can strengthen your financial health and reduce stress for everyone on your team.
Other signs your business needs a financial expert
The three signals that you are ready to expand your accounting team include:
You have a limited technology team and are vulnerable to internal and external risks. When your financial exposure is high, you risk spending thousands, even millions of dollars, to address the legal ramifications of fraud and data loss.
Operating with paper-based accounting methods is slowing you down. Using a mishmash of independent systems to record and track financial activity results in lost money and time – two very valuable commodities for small businesses. A fully automated system integrates everything from sales transactions to tax filing and everything in between efficiently and accurately.
Considerations of what type of financial officer you should hire
Hiring an in-house controller for your company could be a large expense to take on, but fortunately, there are many reputable outsourcing partners offering monthly packages for significantly less in the grand scheme of things.
AccountingDepartment.com offers outsourced full-charge client accounting service plans designed around your specific needs and budget. Reach out today to learn more about how we can set you up for future growth and profitability.