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The Duties of a Controller - Do you need one?

What does a controller do? A controller is a professional who manages the accounting functions of a company. This is the professional who makes sure that the company ledgers are accurate and correct. A controller also supervises the recording of a business's finances.

Services handled by a controller include accounting team management, inventory accounting, revenue recognition, establishing formal financial procedures, and month-end close. A controller does not only work with an accounting team, they also work with the company's senior management and finance team. They use complex financial data to offer insights to stakeholders. A good controller is a skilled communicator and liaison for all of the objectives and goals of a business. You may think of a controller as a chief financial officer.

Controllers are skilled communicators who can link company finances to overall business objectives and goals. In some businesses, the chief financial officer and the controller are the same people.

In the role of a controller, this professional may take on other duties Including budgeting of company finances, software rollouts, risk evaluation, and due diligence for acquisitions and mergers. All around, a controller is a leader who implements proper accounting systems, optimizes the accounting team, provides financial analysis, and communicates directly with the company's executives.

When to Hire a Controller

When a company experiences a lot of growth, accounting needs become much more complicated. This is when it's needed to hire a controller to handle the ledgers and make sure everything is in full compliance. There are many regulations when it comes to compliance.

When a company grows rapidly, it may become uncertain about the finances of business decisions, such as exploring revenue or purchasing a new facility - a controller can assist with this. When a company lacks accurate information regarding the financial status of the business, it's time to hire a controller. A controller can help with making sure month close deadlines are met on time.

You may also want to consider hiring a controller if your accounting team lacks management skills and oversight. You may also need to hire a controller if your business has a large inventory with a lot of accounts receivable. These are just a few red flags of when it's time to hire a controller for your company.

In sum, a controller can help keep your company in good financial health.

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